Recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions indicate that contractors who are operating without proper certification or training to remove lead-based paint will be held accountable for being non-compliant.

Last week, the EPA announced settlement agreements with nine California-based companies that failed to get certified before advertising, bidding on, or performing renovation and repair projects in older housing and schools. Each company was ordered to pay a $1,000 civil penalty and, in most cases, required to complete training and obtain certification.

Contractors and renovators who are not certified pose a potential health risk to consumers if they are working in pre-1978 homes and schools that may contain lead-based paint.

Under the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule remodelers and other contractors are required to be properly trained and certified by the EPA before working on these types of structures. The RRP program is designed to protect consumers, especially children, from exposure to hazardous lead dust caused by renovation and repair activities.

Contractors and renovators who are not certified undermine the intent of the RRP rule and the good work being done by those who are trying to comply with EPA’s home owner/tenant lead-based paint pre-work notification, lead-based paint safe work practices, post work cleaning practices, and reporting requirements under the RRP rule.

The agency said in a press release that it will continue to pursue enforcement against companies that are not certified, using public information to help identify violators.

Your Home Builders Association has been actively engaged in EPA’s lead-based paint program for the residential sector since its inception and has been an advocate and supporter of the required training completion for its members.