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RRP Certification and Massachusetts’ Lead Laws

Varying Laws Between State and Federal Governments Can Make Lead Paint Safety Confusing

By: Scott Donovan

Most contractors that have completed their federal EPA RRP certification are surprised to hear that Massachusetts has its own standards for lead paint safety and lead abatement. While this may cause fear and frustration for many contractors, it is not as frightening as it sounds. It turns out that your federal EPA RRP certification in any state will allow you to be in full compliance with the Massachusetts’ lead paint safety law; almost.

MassachussettesIf you have taken an EPA approved RRP certification course and are an EPA Certified Renovator, then by Massachusetts’ law you are automatically considered a Lead Safe Renovator. Don’t let the names confuse you: an EPA Certified Lead Safe Renovator and a Massachusetts’ Lead Safe Renovator are pretty much the same thing. An EPA Certified Lead Safe Renovator is allowed to supervise uncertified workers (after training them of course) in the same manner as a Massachusetts Lead Safe Renovator does. This means that if you already have an EPA RRP certification you do not need individual certification in Massachusetts. If you were to receive your training in Massachusetts by a certified training provider, though, you would be more thoroughly trained in OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations such as the usage of personal protective equipment.

There are only 2 major differences between an EPA Certified Renovator and a MA Lead Safe Renovator. First, Massachusetts’ law requires that the Lead Safe Renovator be present at all times during the work. This differs from the EPA’s rule, which only requires that the Certified Renovator supervising either be reachable by phone or nearby. So if you are working in Massachusetts you should be conscious of who is present at the job site.

The other major difference that a Certified Renovator should be aware of is that reusable drop cloths (containment) can be used while working outside in Massachusetts. This contradicts the EPA’s RRP Rule which requires that outdoor containment be disposed of at the end of the work day.

In case you forgot, a Certified Renovator in any state must be working for a Certified Firm. Unlike the EPA’s RRP Rule, Massachusetts lead paint safety laws require that firms be certified with the State of Massachusetts. You can visit the mass.gov website to find the Lead-Safe Renovation Contractor Licensing Waiver. Once approved, this application will allow your firm to legally work in the state.

HouseIf you are thinking about moving to Massachusetts, the state keeps a registry of all homes that have had lead paint removed or covered. This can be helpful if you are looking for a lead safe home to live in. The registry can be found online at the Massachusetts Registry of Lead Safe Homes. While all these regulations and laws regarding lead paint may seem like a nuisance, they are in place for the safety of both others and yourself.

If you are looking for more information on the subject, the Massachusetts DOS website has a list Certified Lead Safe Renovation Training Providers. If you still do not have your RRP certification sign up for an EPA certified training course today.