WASHINGTON — Architectural woodworkers, cabinet and closet installers, and other woodworking professionals must now have a Certified Renovator (CR) on staff to be in full compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule, which addresses the presence and removal of lead-based paint in pre-1978 target housing and child-occupied facilities. Enforcement of the CR requirement began  Oct. 1.

Although the RRP Rule went into effect April 22,  the EPA delayed enforcement of the CR requirement until this month to allow time for more contractors to be trained and certified. Contractors must have completed their training or be currently enrolled in a program and complete their training by the end of the year in order to be in compliance. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), more than 476,000 home renovation contractors have successfully completed the training required under the rule.

Among those certified is Mark Karas, CMKBD, CR and 2010 president of the National Kitchen & Bath Assn. "I recommend that all remodeling contractors make time for the 8-hour EPA course and become a certified renovator," he said. "We must ensure that as professionals, we are fully educated on how to comply and protect our clients. Conscientious remodelers may have already been taking most of the necessary precautions, but it's important we always keep the health, safety and welfare of our clients and employees at the forefront."

The EPA may suspend, revoke, or modify a firm’s certification if the company is found to be in non-compliance. Non-compliant contractors may be liable for civil penalties of up to $37,500 for each violation. Contractors who knowingly or willfully violate this regulation may face fines up to an additional $37,500 per violation, or imprisonment, or both.

Also read: 476,000 home contractors complete lead training.

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