The EPA has issued new regulations for dealing with lead-based paint. The new law became effective April 22, 2010. The regulations apply to anyone who hires or is paid to renovate, repair, or disturb lead based paint. This specifically includes community board members, managers, painters, electricians, drywallers, and plumbers. Homeowners working on their own homes are not included. The regulations require that renovations involving lead based paint need to be performed by an EPA Certified Firm using Certified Renovators or employees training and supervised by a Certified Renovator.
The first step is to determine the age of your building. If the condominium or homeowner association was constructed post-1978, lead is not a concern. If the construction is pre-1978, the building should immediately be tested for lead based paint. All testing must be done by an EPA certified analysist. A certified analysist is able to ascertain if there is lead based paint and if so, whether it will be disturbed, and what precautions must be taken. Many projects on pre-1978 structures should NOT require any additional work beyond initial testing and a finding of no lead based paint.
If the testing does indeed reflect the existence of lead paint, lead-safe practices need to be followed. The regulations specify that the work must be done by a Certified Renovator or workers trained and supervised by a Certified Renovator. The regulations require specific notification requirements to residents, dust control, warning signs, specific clean up requirements and then more testing. Additionally, if lead based paint is present, practices like sanding, grinding, planning, needle gunning, blasting and other activities that create large amounts of dust are prohibited. After Completion of the project, the Certified Renovator must prepare and deliver test results to the owners and maintain records for 3 years.
Do not perform ANY construction, renovation, repairs, etc on any property that was constructed pre-1978 unless you have an EPA certified professional involved. Fines for doing so can be as high as $32,000 per day and the health concerns are even more significant.