New EPA rules on lead have renovators worried

Island PacketMarch 30, 2010 

Local contractors in the Hilton Head area fear that new rules intended to protect residents, students and workers from lead dust stirred up during remodeling will make renovation work on older homes and schools more expensive.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules that begin April 22 require contractors and subcontractors to be trained on how to deal with lead paint before they work on houses, child care facilities or schools built before 1978. The rules apply to jobs ranging from additions to window installations or painting.

The rule is intended to curb exposure to lead, especially among children who are most susceptible to possible brain damage. The rule kicks in whenever at least six square feet of interior space or at least 20 square feet of exterior space is affected. The fine for not having proper certification is an attention-getting $32,000 per offense.

Ashley Feaster, executive officer of the Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association, said the cost of the required class couple with certification and registration fees likely falls somewhere between $500 and $600 per person.

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