Monday, February 8, 2010

Remodeling Rules

Via Mish, some bad news for Long Beach buyers purchasing properties built before 1978 (which, let's face it, is most buyers):

What Remodelers Need to Know About the EPA's Lead Paint Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule governing the work of professional remodelers in homes where there is lead-based paint was published in the Federal Register on Earth Day, April 22. The rule will take effect in April 2010.

The rule addresses remodeling and renovation projects disturbing more than six square feet of potentially contaminated painted surfaces for all residential and multifamily structures built prior to 1978 that are inhabited or frequented by pregnant women and children under the age of six.

It requires a cleaning inspection after the work is completed and grants the remodeler flexibility in determining the size of the work area, which can reduce the size of the area subject to containment.

The EPA rule also lists prohibited work practices ― including open-torch burning and using high-heat guns and high-speed equipment such as grinders and sanders unless equipped with a HEPA filter.

Additionally, the rule establishes required lead-safe work practices, including posting warning signs for occupants and visitors; using disposable plastic drop cloths; cleaning the work area with HEPA vacuuming and wet washing; and individual certification through a training course.


1. Training and Certification

Beginning in April 2010, firms working in pre-1978 homes will need to be certified. Along with the firm certification, an employee will also need to be certified as a Certified Renovator. This employee will be responsible for training other employees and overseeing work practices and cleaning. The training curriculum is an eight-hour class with two hours of hands-on training. Both the firm and Certified Renovator certifications are valid for five years. A Certified Renovator must take a four-hour refresher course to be recertified.

2. Work Practices

Once work starts on a pre-1978 renovation, the Certified Renovator has a number of responsibilities. Before the work starts this person will post warning signs outside the work area and supervise setting up containment to prevent spreading dust.


Clean up procedures must be supervised by a certified renovator.

3. Verification and Record Keeping

After clean up is complete the certified renovator must verify the cleaning by matching a cleaning cloth with an EPA verification card. If the cloth appears dirtier or darker than the card the cleaning must be repeated.

A complete file of records on the project must be kept by the certified renovator for three years.



To paraphrase Mish, these regulations, going into effect in mere months, virtually guarantee fixing up a house in the LBC just got a lot more expensive.


  1. Terrific. More paperwork and govmint' required makework. How on earth did people in Long Beach survive without this govmint' imposed wisdom. Rather than bringing new industries and businesses to Long Beach, let's raise our prosperity by regulating the shit out of the everything. That should work. Look how well Cuba is doing.

  2. Yet another incentive to do things under the table.

    Nice sentiments, but like most idealistic liberals, it completely ignores so much of the realities of life and survival.

  3. Let's raise our prosperity by stunting the mental growth of the population that lives in pre-'78 housing.

    uhh....maybe that hasn't worked so well.

    but its great if the US wants to compete with india and china for grunt labor jobs.