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  1. #1
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    Sep 2019
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    2

    Default Lead Paint

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Louisiana

    We recently hired a licensed and insured contractor to repaint exterior wood windows and doors. Itís an older home built in the 1930s. His employees did not do any prep work to contain the dust being generated from the sanding. Before we could say anything both the 1st and 2nd floors of the house were covered in sanding dust. We had new kitchen cabinets that were waiting to be installed and they too are now covered in dust. We educated ourselves about lead paint after the fact. We asked the contractor had they tested the windows or doors for lead and he said he assumed they did not have lead and we shouldnít worry. We purchased a test kit and both came back positive for lead. I was able to test the dust via an alternative method and confirmed the presence of lead as well roughly at 1.5-2% from the dust I gathered. Of course this number could be higher or lower, but it does confirm lead presence.
    We have mentioned to contractor about the the test kits we did and he hasnít really mention anything concerning the dust except that it would be cleaned up. In his quote he mentioned the windows would be covered and prepped. This was never done.

    Is there any legal requirement for him remove all the lead tainted dust according EPA standards? What should be our next course of action? As of now I have only paid him 50% to start the work. I do not want to pay him the balance without properly correcting the issue. Any help would be appreciated. The home is currently vacant, but we want to make sure if we rent it out, it is safe to do so.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Pugetopolis
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    106

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,472

    Default Re: Lead Paint

    Quote Quoting CarbonNOLA
    View Post
    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Louisiana

    We recently hired a licensed and insured contractor to repaint exterior wood windows and doors. It’s an older home built in the 1930s. His employees did not do any prep work to contain the dust being generated from the sanding. Before we could say anything both the 1st and 2nd floors of the house were covered in sanding dust. We had new kitchen cabinets that were waiting to be installed and they too are now covered in dust. We educated ourselves about lead paint after the fact. We asked the contractor had they tested the windows or doors for lead and he said he assumed they did not have lead and we shouldn’t worry. We purchased a test kit and both came back positive for lead. I was able to test the dust via an alternative method and confirmed the presence of lead as well roughly at 1.5-2% from the dust I gathered. Of course this number could be higher or lower, but it does confirm lead presence.
    We have mentioned to contractor about the the test kits we did and he hasn’t really mention anything concerning the dust except that it would be cleaned up. In his quote he mentioned the windows would be covered and prepped. This was never done.

    Is there any legal requirement for him remove all the lead tainted dust according EPA standards? What should be our next course of action? As of now I have only paid him 50% to start the work. I do not want to pay him the balance without properly correcting the issue. Any help would be appreciated. The home is currently vacant, but we want to make sure if we rent it out, it is safe to do so.
    What does your contract say about abatement? Whose responsibility was it to have the paint tested? Did you tell the contractor that there may be lead paint that has to be dealt with?

    If you knew that this was a potential issue and you didn't inform the contractor then you could have an issue. It's also your responsibility to disclose hazardous conditions that may not be readily apparent. This also means that the painting crew was exposed and you knew about the possible risk and didn't disclose.

    I'd say this falls squarely on both of you and you'll have to come to a mutually acceptable solution since you both stumbled on this one. Properly clean up and dispose of the dust and cleaning supplies and move on. Use a HEPA vacuum and dust half mask respirators and you should be fine.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,635

    Default Re: Lead Paint

    The federal law that governs this is called (in shorthand) the RRP rule. It stands for renovation, replace, and paint.

    https://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-renova...inting-program

    The law was passed during the last Bush administration.

    Every contractor that renovates or paints or does any work on a home has to be certified under the law. That means that they have had to take a course on the RRP rule and be certified. This certification has to be renewed every several years. It is such a burden on commerce that nobody is looking to strict enforcement.

    The problem with the law is that local jurisdictions don't have the enforcement power (building departments) to see that contractors comply with the law. So there is not much enforcement.

    You could ask your contractor if they have RRP certification and if the answer is no, use that as leverage to get what you want. There are steep fines for the violation of this law.

    To correct your concerns about possible lead dust in your house, the law requires that the premises be swabbed by the contractor and that it be sent to a state lab for testing. If the tests come back positive for led, they have to clean your house until the test can be passed at their expense.

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
    View Post
    What does your contract say about abatement? Whose responsibility was it to have the paint tested? Did you tell the contractor that there may be lead paint that has to be dealt with?.



    If you knew that this was a potential issue and you didn't inform the contractor then you could have an issue. It's also your responsibility to disclose hazardous conditions that may not be readily apparent. This also means that the painting crew was exposed and you knew about the possible risk and didn't disclose.

    I'd say this falls squarely on both of you and you'll have to come to a mutually acceptable solution since you both stumbled on this one. Properly clean up and dispose of the dust and cleaning supplies and move on. Use a HEPA vacuum and dust half mask respirators and you should be fine.
    It doesn't matter what the homeowner knew or what the contract said about abatement. It is governed by the EPA RRP rule and it is on the contractors hands.

    If a contractor is not certified by the EPA for lead paint abatement, they violate the law and taking any job or advertising that they are certified when not is an offence .

    The most common EPA fines for remodelers are for violations of the agency's Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Statutory civil penalties for the RRP now stand at $10,000 per case and the maximum civil penalty that can be assessed for the violation now is $17,834 per case.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,472

    Default Re: Lead Paint

    It doesn't matter what the homeowner knew or what the contract said about abatement. It is governed by the EPA RRP rule and it is on the contractors hands.

    If a contractor is not certified by the EPA for lead paint abatement, they violate the law and taking any job or advertising that they are certified when not is an offence .

    The most common EPA fines for remodelers are for violations of the agency's Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Statutory civil penalties for the RRP now stand at $10,000 per case and the maximum civil penalty that can be assessed for the violation now is $17,834 per case.
    And yet another reason I hate residential construction and have stuck to industrial for the better part of the the last 20 years.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

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