A new federal law went into effect on April 22, 2010, that affects all homes built prior to 1978. That's over half of all homes in the U.S., including about 33,000 here in Central Oregon. The new EPA "Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule" or "RRP", is intended to protect U.S. citizens from the health hazards associated with construction work around lead-based paint. (The EPA estimates that about half of all homes built prior to 1978 contain lead-based paint. Lead was banned as an ingredient in household paint in 1978.)The new RRP rule is complex, but the key points are as follows:
The following situations are exempt from the RRP rule:
How the New RRP Rule Affects Homebuyers
Homebuyers considering a pre-1978 home have always had to consider the possibility of lead-based paint and its associated health risks. The RRP rule now adds a cost consideration. Many buyers of older homes do so with plans to renovate or repaint.
Contractors performing this work will now have added costs to comply with the RRP and these costs will be passed on to the customer. The EPA has estimated the additional cost to the contractor will be around $35, but most contractors I've talked to say that's unrealistically low and expect the actual cost increase to be in the hundreds on small projects and easily above a thousand dollars on large projects like kitchen remodels or exterior house painting.
Homebuyers planning large renovation projects would be smart to get written estimates from EPA certified contractors prior to purchase.