Enforcement and Inspection

Building Managers Responsible for Lead-Based Paint Safety

Moving forward, property management companies (PMC) performing or offering to perform regulated renovations in housing built before 1978 or in child-occupied facilities will be required to obtain certification from the EPA and ensure that renovations in the homes they manage are performed by certified firms and employees trained to use lead-safe work practices.

On January 21, 2022, the EPA announced it will withdraw previously published answers to two frequently asked questions (FAQ) concerning PMCs and their compliance responsibility under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Lead Renovation Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. The answers are scheduled for withdrawal on March 21, 2022.

“Withdrawing the PMC FAQs signals that EPA plans to hold both the PMCs and the contractors they hire responsible for compliance if the circumstances indicate that both entities performed or offered to perform renovations for compensation in target housing or child-occupied facilities,” states the EPA news release.

“Compliance with the lead-based paint RRP rule’s requirements protects people, especially young children, from the hazardous effects of lead,” says Larry Starfield, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “With this action EPA is notifying property management companies that EPA will assess RRP Rule compliance based on the broadly applicable language of the RRP rule, whether the property management company uses its own employees or hires an outside firm to perform the renovation.”

The EPA published notice of its intent to withdraw the answers in the Federal Register on November 4, 2021. At that time, the Agency stated it intended to post a memorandum regarding the withdrawal if it proceeded with the removal of the answers.

The RRP rule requires companies doing renovations or offering to do renovations in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities to obtain certification from the EPA. These companies are also required to assign the performance of this renovation work to “individuals who have been trained to use lead-safe work practices; disclose important safety information to residents prior to the work; and document their compliance with the rule,” continues the EPA news release. “This is especially important to underserved and overburdened communities, which often include a high proportion of rental housing managed by PMCs, and the military community, where family housing is also often managed by PMCs.

“Compliance with the RRP rule’s requirements protects people from the hazardous health effects of lead. Lead-contaminated dust from chipped or peeling lead-based paint in homes built prior to 1978 presents one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.”

To learn more about the certification process, see the EPA Lead Renovation and Repair website.

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