Builders training for EPA lead paint removal regulations effective April 22

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Capital Region Builders Association announced it is currently sponsoring certification and training programs for building contractors on how to safely remove lead paint from homes in an effort to have a sufficient pool of local building professionals in the Baton Rouge area who meet new federal requirements that go into effect April 22.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will require on April 22 that home owners hire only a certified safe lead paint contractor to do remodeling projects and/or expansion projects on homes built before 1978.  All contractors must be trained and certified under the Lead Paint: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (LRRP). Contractors subject to the rule include remodelers, carpenters, plumbers, heating and air conditioning workers, window installers and others.

Contractors who are not in compliance with the new regulations will be subject to a $32,500 fine per day by the EPA, and all work could be ordered to halt until a certified safe lead paint contractor has properly contained the work site and submitted a plan of action, according to the regulatory guidelines. The new, strict regulation aims to reduce exposure to lead paint that may occur when a home built before 1978 is remodeled.

CRBA President Jerry Passman said homeowners should ask their remodelers if they are part of an “EPA Lead Certified Firm” and have a trained and certified renovator on staff because only such firms will be able to work legally in homes built before 1978 beginning April 22. Homeowners may not be subject to the same fines as contractors, but they may be at risk for delays and additional costs associated with any corrective action required by the EPA, he said.

Passman said his association is working aggressively with the EPA to address the need for qualified lead paint contractors.  However, a shortage of qualified instructors and the EPA’s requirement that classes be limited to 18 people per session has created a tremendous shortage of certified contractors and a tremendous demand for training. The association has completed four training and certification classes thus far, and two additional classes have been scheduled for May 25 and June 1.  All classes are being held at the LA House on the LSU campus.

“This new requirement could delay many remodeling projects in the area, as well as put many non-certified contractors and homeowners at risk of violating the law.  It is important that we make our industry professionals aware of this change in order to protect them and their clients,” Passman said.  “I would encourage all professionals in the area, members and non-members, to call our office and become better informed of this new regulation before April 22.  Homeowners can also contact us to get a list of certified safe lead paint professionals.”

Those building contractors in the Baton Rouge area who wish to join CRBA and sign up for a certified safe lead paint class can do so by contacting the CRBA Office at 225-769-7696.

To learn more about the EPA ruling, go to For more home remodeling tips, contact Capital Region Builders Association or visit