New EPA Rule: Contractors Need to be Lead-Safe Certified
To address and limit the potential risks associated with the handling of lead, on April 22, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices. Under the rule, effective April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. These requirements will likely impact the cost of repair in the context of insurance claims.
What you need to know:
Activities that disturb paint in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities are subject to the Program, including:
- Remodeling and repair/maintenance
- Electrical work
- Window replacement
Why is this important?
The Program will likely impact the cost to repair certain facilities. Insurers should be aware of the new requirements so that appropriate contractors can be selected.
What should insurers do?
When adjusting property losses for pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities, insurers should:
- Confirm date of construction and occupancy;
- Order lead testing if necessary;
- Verify contractors are EPA certified for dealing with lead-based paint;
- Provide property owners/occupants with lead-based paint information;
- Require consent for additional renovations or repairs; and
- Ensure that proper lead safety and containment procedures are included in the estimate if lead-based paint is present.