Remodelers who are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work on homes that may contain lead paint under the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule now have the option to complete refresher training online, according to an EPA announcement.
However, EPA re-certifications obtained via an online refresher course will be valid for only three years – versus five years for hands-on training courses – and can only be exercised every other re-certification cycle.
“As a longtime advocate for a simplified re-certification process, National Association of Home Builders Remodelers Council appreciates that EPA’s changes provide some flexibility, but the limited and convoluted parameters of the online training option are unnecessarily complicated and could affect the number of renovators who opt to become re-certified,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Tim Shigley, CGR, CAPS, CGP, GMB, GMR, a remodeler from Wichita, Kan.
“Whether they choose to refresh their training online or in person, with the March 31 re-certification deadline looming for over 100,000 remodelers, and thousands more later in 2016 and 2017, remodelers are left with precious little time to meet their re-certification obligations.”
Additionally, certified renovators who were grandfathered in under a HUD or EPA lead-based paint training course before the RRP rule was adopted must attend a refresher course with a hands-on component. The rule also made several streamlining and clarifying changes to RRP provisions that apply to training providers.
EPA’s changes only apply to those states where EPA administers the program. The 14 states that administer their own programs will have to take legislative or regulatory action to adopt the online refresher course option.
The White House Office of Management and Budget released the final rule to EPA on Jan. 21.
For online or in-person refresher training, remodelers should contact their Home Builders Association of Greenville, or they can find a course on EPA’s website. More information on how to determine specific deadlines can be found using “What You Need to Know about EPA Lead-Safe Re-certification.”
The issue: An estimated 380,000 remodelers and others who must re-up their Lead-Safe Certifications from the Environmental Protection Agency to comply with its Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule are staring at some important deadlines.
NAHB Remodelers Chairman Robert Criner met with White House officials Monday to, again, plead the industry’s case for a simplified re-certification process for NAHB members and others who do work in homes with lead paint.
March 31, 2016, marks the end of an unprecedented extension granted last year for some of these remodelers. It’s the deadline by which those remodelers and other contractors who received their EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator certifications on or before March 31, 2010, must complete a refresher training course to maintain their status.
After March 31, 2016, the clock resumes ticking for the second phase of renovators, one day at a time. Those who became certified between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011, must be re-certified within six years from the date they completed the original training course.
The extension did not apply to renovators operating under one of the 14 state-delegated programs.
Complicating matters is the uncertainty of regulatory action regarding re-certification training requirements.
A draft final rule – proposed by the EPA and supported by your Home Builders Association – to remove the hands-on training requirement is pending review by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). When Criner met with OMB officials Jan. 11 in Washington, D.C., he urged them to expedite review and finalization of this common-sense improvement to the LRRP rule.
Without this regulatory action, the first wave of remodelers who received their initial certification on or before March 31, 2010, must renew their EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator certifications with in-person refresher training by March 31, 2016.
Your Home Builders Association will inform members immediately when the agency issues its final regulation on re-certification training.
If you were certified by March 31, 2010, or live in one of 14 delegated states that have their own unique set of rules, use and share this map to help you through the lead paint regulatory maze.
The regulation requires states, local governments and public housing agencies to conduct a more formal fair housing planning process than has been done in the past, as a condition of receiving federal funds.
To help clarify the sweeping changes announced in the rule, NAHB has created a Web page dedicated to this topic. The page includes an overview of the regulation, a link to a Frequently Asked Questions document compiled by NAHB policy experts, and links to HUD background materials.
NAHB is also creating a toolkit to help builders develop effective and workable recommendations when working with their communities to respond to the rule.
Further, NAHB filed comments with HUD on Aug. 17 pertaining to the agency’s proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment Tool. NAHB’s comments reiterate our belief that land use decisions are local issues and also addressed other specific concerns regarding this new assessment tool
Please visit NAHB.org for more information on this topic along with other valuable resources.