Lead Safe Renovation Rules

June 24, 2010 update
“Lead Safe Renovator” FAQs (click here to download)

Who needs this?
•    Anyone who is doing work for compensation on a home or child occupied facility built pre-1978 that is…
    Replacing window(s) (does not matter if replacement does not fall into square feet requirements below, window(s) are always included)
    Disturbing more than 6 square feet of interior painted or coated lead contaminated surfaces
    Disturbing more than 20 square feet of exterior painted or coated lead contaminated surfaces

What do contractors need to do?
•    Complete an 8 hour Wisconsin accredited  “Lead Safe Renovation Course” or an 8 hour out of state EPA accredited “Lead Safe Renovation Course”
•    Certify your Firm
    Fill out the Wisconsin Department of Health Services “Lead- Based Paint Activities & Investigations Certification Application- Company”
    Pay a fee of $75 to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for a 2 year certification
•    Certify the individual that has taken the Lead Safe Renovator Course
    Fill out the Wisconsin Department of Health Services “Lead Certification Application – Individual”
    Pay a fee of $50 to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for a 2 year certification
    Pay an additional $25 processing fee if training was completed out of state

What are the responsibilities of the “Lead Safe Renovator”?
•    Each renovation project must have a certified Lead-Safe Renovator in charge
•    The lead safe renovator is responsible for training employees on how to work lead safe.
•    The lead safe renovator must be on the job site during site set-up and posting of warning signs.
    The lead safe renovator does not have to be on the job site at all times while renovation work is being conducted but does need to be reachable by cell phone and able to return to the jobsite within about 30 minutes.
•    The lead safe renovator must be on the job site for take down and clean-up.
•    The lead safe renovator must personally perform the cleaning verification.
•    The lead safe renovator is responsible for all of the record keeping involved.

Who enforces the “Lead Rule”?
•    The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) enforces the Wisconsin Lead-Safe Renovation Program under Chapter DHS 163, Wisconsin Administrative Code.
•    WI DHS is EPA authorized to administer and enforce its own Lead Safe Renovation program
•    To report non-compliance call 608-261-6876
Where is the Wisconsin rule different than EPA’s?
•    The definition of lead paint is more stringent in the state of WI than EPA’s definition, .06% lead by weight compared with 0.5% lead by weight in the federal definition.
    Because the definition allows less lead in paint, there are currently no approved lead paint test kits in WI
    Testing for lead in a home needs to be done by a Certified Lead Risk Assessor or Certified Lead Inspector
•    No chemical paint strippers containing methylene chloride are allowed in Wisconsin.
•    No high-pressure water blasting or hydroblasting is allowed unless conducted in a fully contained work area with HEPA-filtered exhaust control and water collection.
•    No improperly operating HEPA vacuums are allowed.
•    No dry sweeping, dust, debris or paint chips in a renovation work area is allowed.

What does a general contractor need to know when working with sub-contractors?
•    The person/firm who has the contract with the homeowner to conduct renovation work must be a certified firm and is responsible for all reporting requirements
•    While it is strongly recommended that all companies involved in a renovation are certified, a general contractor can hire an uncertified lead safe renovator sub-contractor as long as the following is met:
    The general is responsible for assuring that other companies are properly trained and certified for the tasks they will perform and that work is performed per the work practice standards
    An uncertified sub-contractor may not be in the work area while paint is being disturbed
    An uncertified sub-contractor cannot disturb more than 6 sq feet of interior surfaces, 20 sq feet of exterior surfaces or remove or replace windows
    The general contractor must educate the uncertified sub-contractor on:
    The requirement to keep barriers and containment up, intact, and secured
    The requirements of entering and exiting the contained work area
    The general contractor that hires a subcontractor is also responsible for lead-safe renovation violations committed by the sub.

What does a sub-contractor need to know when working with a general contractor?
•    The person/firm who has the contract with the homeowner to conduct renovation work must be a certified firm and be responsible for all reporting requirements
•    If the sub-contractor is going to disturb more than 6 sq feet of interior surfaces, 20 sq feet of exterior surfaces or windows, the sub-contractor must be a certified firm and perform appropriate tasks
•    If the sub-contractor is not going to disturb more than 6 sq feet of interior surfaces, 20 sq feet of exterior surfaces or windows the sub-contractor needs to be aware of the following:
    The requirements of keeping barriers up, intact and secured until cleaning verification is complete
    The requirements of entering and exiting the contained work area
    The requirement to be trained and certified if disturbing more than the minimum amount of paint


June 21, 2010 update
You may have seen a press release from NAHB indicating that EPA was delaying the certification portion of the Lead Renovation rule.  We have received a number of questions regarding whether Wisconsin will also delay implementation.

I discussed this matter with a DHS official this morning.  She had not had yet seen the EPA guidance document and was hesitant to issue a statement indicating that DHS will follow the guidance.  She is going to get back to us after she reviews the guidance.

It is important to note that this guidance indicates that remodelers still have to comply with the lead-safe work practices contained in the rule.  DHS's concern seems to be how remodelers will know what the work practices are if they have not yet taken the training.

We will let you know when we get additional information from DHS on this issue.
Pat Stevens, WBA General Counsel

January, 2010
Contractors, property managers and others who disturb more than six square feet of potential lead- contaminated interior surfaces or 20 square feet of potential lead-contaminated exterior surfaces in homes and child occupied facilities built before 1978 must comply with the new “Wisconsin Renovation Repair and Painting Program Chapter DHS 163.” These new regulations have been set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Asbestos and Lead Section (DHS). As of April 22, 2010 companies need to be certified as a “Wisconsin Lead-Safe Company” and have at least one employee certified as a “Lead-Safe Renovator.” Any company doing work in these buildings must be certified, follow specific work practices and keep detailed records.

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, 2008. Wisconsin’s Lead Renovation rule was published on October 19, 2009. At the same time, Wisconsin also submitted a self-certification application package to the U.S. EPA, as of October 20, 2009 Wisconsin became authorized to administer and enforce its renovation program instead of the EPA operating its program in Wisconsin.  Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to have its renovation regulation in place and to self-certify its program with the U.S. EPA. People in Wisconsin only need to apply to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Asbestos and Lead Section for certification and comply with the Wisconsin renovation regulations chapter DHS 163. Fees from the program will stay in Wisconsin and go towards supporting a strong lead-safe renovator program.

The rule addresses remodeling and renovation projects in all pre-1978 single family homes, duplexes, apartments, condominiums and child occupied facilities such as day cares, preschools, churches, commercial buildings, office buildings etc. The rule addresses remodeling and renovation projects disturbing more than six square feet of potential lead-contaminated interior surfaces or 20 square feet of potential lead-contaminated exterior surfaces in pre-1978 housing and child occupied facilities. This could include remodeling, repair, maintenance, rehab, weatherization, painting, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, window replacement, floor refinishing, carpentry etc. Anyone who is paid to perform work that disturbs potential lead-contaminated surfaces is subject to this rule. 

This may include:
•general contractors
•painters
•plumbers
•carpenters
•electricians
•refinishers
•facility repair and
•maintenance personnel

Summary of the Rule
Review the points below for a quick summary of the new EPA lead paint rule.

1. Training and Certification
Beginning in April 22, 2010, companies working in pre-1978 homes will need to be certified. Along with the “Wisconsin Lead-Safe Company Certification,” at least one employee will also need to be certified as a "Lead Safe Renovator.”

The Wisconsin Lead-Safe Company Certification is $75 for a 2-year certification period.

The Lead Safe Renovator certification is $50 for a 2-year certification period.   This employee will be responsible for training other employees and overseeing work practices and cleaning. Initial training curriculum for the “Lead Safe Renovator” will be an eight-hour class with two hours of hands-on training. The “Lead Safe Renovator” must also complete a 4-hour refresher every 4 years.
For a list of available training in Wisconsin sponored by the WBA Foundation and your local home builders association, click here

2. Work Practices  
Before work starts the company has to distribute to the home or building owner the EPA booklet “Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools.” A confirmation of receipt of the lead pamphlet (pg. 14) must be signed by the owner, operator or occupant.

Once work starts on a pre-1978 renovation, the Lead Safe 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. The rule lists specific containment procedures for both interior and exterior projects.

It forbids certain work practices including
•open flame or torch burning
•use of a heat gun that exceeds 1100°F
•use of a paint stripper containing methylene chloride
•high pressure water blasting or hydroblasting unless conducted in a fully contained work area with HEPA-filtered exhaust control and water collection
•dry sweeping in the work area
•high-speed sanding and grinding unless the tool is equipped with a HEPA exhaust control and use of an improperly operating HEPA vacuum.

Once the work is completed, the regulation specifies cleaning and waste disposal procedures must be supervised by a Lead Safe Renovator.

3. Verification and Record Keeping
After clean up is complete the “Lead Safe 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 Lead Safe Renovator for three years. These records include, but aren't limited to: verification of owner/occupant receipt of the Renovate Right pamphlet or attempt to inform, documentation of work practices, post-renovation report, Lead Safe Renovator certification and proof of worker training. Record keeping will be a major enforcement tool for the regulation.

4. Exemptions
It is important to note that these work practices may be waived under these conditions:
•The home or child occupied facility was built after 1978.
•The repairs are minor, with interior work disturbing less than six square feet or exteriors disturbing less than 20 square feet being exempt.
•If the house or components test lead free by a Certified Risk Assessor, Lead Inspector or Lead Safe Renovator.
The owner-occupied opt-out acknowledgement clause is not an exemption option in the state of Wisconsin (chapter DHS 163).

Important Deadlines
December 2008: 
Remodelers must start distributing the new EPA pamphlet Renovate Right when working in pre-1978 houses.
April 2009:
Training providers may begin applying for accreditation. Once training providers are accredited, they may offer training courses that will allow renovators to become certified.
October 2009:
Renovation companies may begin applying to Wisconsin Department of Health Services Asbestos and Lead Section for company certification.
April 22, 2010:
New rule becomes fully effective. Work practices must be followed.