On June 26th, I had the opportunity to represent IDA by participating in an EPA Public Meeting addressing the subject of renovation, repair and painting activities in public and commercial buildings, and conducted in Washington, DC.  Twenty-one individuals participated representing a diverse group of associations including the: National Association of Homebuilders, Window and Door Manufacturers Association, National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and Associated General Contractors.

On a personal note, it was quite an experience to actually be on the “Hill” and addressing one of the nation’s most powerful Agencies, one that has made decisions that have crippled many businesses in the construction industry.  The RRP Ruling on residential construction is a perfect example of a decision hurting, not helping our industry.  The Ruling has been detrimental to us not necessarily as a result of its objective, but more so as a result of ineffective implementation and enforcement.

My actual presentation to the EPA can be read in its entirety via the IDA website; it is highlighted on the site’s homepage to make it easy for you to locate.  I did emphasize the fact that work performed by door dealers does not create a risk affecting children or pregnant women because our work is minimal in a public or commercial building.  I even stated that the disturbance of door surfaces being removed is probably less substantial then the regular operation of the door.

Having the opportunity to do so, I called attention to the fact that a garage door has both an interior and exterior side.  I emphasized the need for the EPA to clarify how our product should be recognized and reported that we as an industry have yet to receive clarification regarding the residential-oriented RRP.

The majority of my comments were based on input from IDA members who took time to respond to a survey a few months ago.  As your president, I want to thank those who participated in the survey, and assure you that your voice was heard in Washington on the 26th of June.  For those of you who didn’t participate, I would encourage you to do so when given the opportunity again in the future.

IDA is working for its membership, and I am proud to be placed in my position of leadership and be able to share your message among these critically important decision makers.



The presence of lead in the home can be very dangerous, especially to children under six years of age.  Lead can cause health and developmental problems, and can even be passed from pregnant women to their fetus.  Lead can get into the body from swallowing or inhalation.  Lead dust or fumes can be released if lead-based paint is disturbed.

Because of the risks stemming from the use of lead-based paint until the late 1970’s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promulgated its Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (“RRP”) regarding construction firms who work on residential and other child-occupied buildings which may have lead-based paint.  As of April 22, 2010, those rules have been in effect.

Under the RRP regulations, all contractors performing work that disturbs lead-based paint in housing, childcare facilities, and schools built before 1978 must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.  Those practices include posting warning signs for occupants and visitors, using disposable plastic drop cloths, and cleaning the work area with HEPA vacuuming and wet washing.  Most importantly, the rules require that contractors be certified in lead removal through a training course.

The International Door Association and its members support the life safety purpose behind the new rules, and IDA has strongly encouraged its members to obtain Certified Renovator status so that they can fully comply with the rules.  IDA also encourages consumers to confirm that their home improvement professionals – especially including overhead door installers – are properly trained and certified to comply with the rules.

Each IDA member who has obtained certification will have documentation issued by the EPA or other authorized state certification program.  Those members will also have the information pamphlet – the "Renovate Right" pamphlet published by EPA – which is required to be distributed prior to work on any property which may have lead-based paint.

IDA also recommends that members observe the following three threshold items before working on a property:

    1. Is the property a targeted property?  Was it constructed prior to 1978, or using pre-1978 materials that may have contained lead-based paint?  If so, is it residential housing or a child-occupied facility?

    2. If it is a targeted property, then testing should be performed prior to any work if lead-based paint may be a concern.  If no testing is performed, the member should assume the presence of LBP as a prophylactic measure.

    3. The rules only apply (as to external work) if 20 square feet of paint may be disturbed.  Because EPA has not conclusively stated otherwise, IDA presently recommends that members assume that if a panel of a door needs to be removed, and that panel has lead-based paint, then the RRP lead-safe work practices should be followed.

The safe work practices identified under the rules and commentary include properly containing the work area, minimizing dust, and then thoroughly cleaning up the area after completion of the project.  The certified contractor must utilize appropriate equipment, including warning signs, plastic drop cloths and heavy tape, HEPA vacuums, and wet mops for clean-up.  The work must also be performed in order to generate as little dust as possible, and must avoid using prohibited methods such as open-flame burning or torching of painted surfaces, operating a heat gun at temperatures above 1100 degrees Fahrenheit, or using high-speed machines (such as sanders, grinders, power planers, needle guns, or sand blasters) unless they are equipped with containment systems and HEPA vacuum attachments.

If you are going to perform work on an affected property, and the work would be subject to the rules, certification and compliance is essential for avoiding serious liability.  The rules provide for penalties of up to $32,500 per violation per day, so the cost of evading the new rules is very steep.

Whether or not you plan to work on EPA-targeted properties, the following are additional important practices under the new rules:

  • When handing a service calls it is a good idea to add the age of the structure to a customer information sheet as a tip off to the potential of lead based paint. This information may determine to the need for a certified technician from your company.

  • Notify customers either verbally and/or via a signed notification form that they may be charged a fee for a lead-based paint verification test and/or remediation work if they choose to proceed with the work. Be sure customers understand that any service company must comply with the same procedures to avoid suspicion of overcharges and comply with the law

  • Make it company policy to communicate the dangers associated with lead based paint to all employees. Further, make sure that all employees know and understand the basics of these new regulations regardless of certification status. This could include Toolbox Talks, posters, or employees meetings.


For the full text of the lead-based paint rules, click here.

The EPA regularly updates its website to reflect new developments for the regulations, including when new state or tribal programs come on line.  To find the EPA’s lead site, go to

Door dealers should also keep in mind that their employees must continue to observe safety standards, even if the work does not involve properties where young children may be present.  In particular, companies should make sure their installers are familiar with Section 1926.62 of the federal OSHA regulations, which applies to all construction work where an employee may be exposed to lead.



IDA and Safran Law Offices (“SLO”) have worked together to produce a series of forms and checklists that compiles the information required by the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (“RRP”) regulations.  We have also compiled certain critical materials produced by EPA to give members further guidance regarding their obligations before, during, and after performing work on pre-1978 residences, schools, and child care facilities that have or may have lead-based paint.  The forms and materials are:

 A. EPA Pamphlets

  1. Renovate Right pamphlet – this is the educational brochure that renovators are required to distribute to potential customers not more than 60 days prior to the beginning of renovation work.  At the back of the pamphlet is a form to document receipt by the customer.

  2. Small Entity Compliance Guide – this pamphlet is intended for renovation firms, and lays out information on lead poisoning risks, the educational requirements of RRP, the work practices required by the regulations, and sample forms for meeting the EPA record-keeping requirements.  IDA and SLO have modified these forms, as permitted by EPA, and made the modified forms available to members on the IDA website.

  3. Steps to Lead Safe Renovation, Repair & Paintings – this pamphlet is intended for use by certified renovators as a quick guide for training non-certified workers, as required by the RRP rules.


B. IDA / SLO Work Forms

  1. Thumbnail Compilation of the forms, laid out to help you see and understand the purpose for each of the forms.

  2. Flow Chart of EPA-dictated decision trees for following the RRP protocols.

  3. Checklist of steps and materials needed for complying with the RRP protocols.

  4. Definitions sheet, to assist in understanding the EPA-defined scope of “components” and “Minor repairs,” especially as they relate to garages and garage doors.

  5. Training Log for a non-certified worker.  After you’ve trained a worker for following the lead-safe protocols, you will need to keep a record of that training, and you must be able to provide copies of proof of training to customers, and to the EPA.

  6. Lead Hazard Information Pamphlet receipt – this form is used to obtain confirmation of delivery of the Renovate Right pamphlet.

  7. Renovator Self-Certification Option – this form is used to demonstrate compliance with the obligation to deliver the Renovate Right pamphlet, where a signature from the owner could not be obtained.

  8. Lead Paint Work Practices Determination Worksheet – this form is used by the renovator to document the reason(s) for not using the lead-safe work practices on a property that would otherwise be covered by the RRP requirements.

  9. Record of Tenant Notification Procedures – this form is used to document notification of tenants in multi-unit dwellings.

  10. Notice and Authorization for Lead Paint Testing – this form is used to obtain authorization from property owners for lead paint testing, or to get confirmation that the owner has declined to have the property tested.

  11. Lead Test Kit Documentation Form – this form captures all of the EPA-required details for documenting any lead tests performed for a project.

  12. Renovation Notice – this form provides the EPA-required notice to residents that renovation work disturbing lead-based paint will take place.

  13. Sample warning sign, based on EPA-suggested language.

  14. Post-Renovation Cleaning Verification form – this form tracks EPA’s regulations for the steps required for a certified renovator to perform the cleaning verification after completion of the renovation work.

  15. Renovation Checklist – this form tracks EPA’s sample renovation recordkeeping checklist, while adding in certain information we have obtained in helping members deal with EPA recordkeeping obligation.

These forms are now available on the IDA website, in the Member Downloads section.  These pamphlets and forms are intended to assist members in doing RRP work in a safe, efficient and compliant manner, as well as making the recordkeeping as manageable of a task as possible.  If you have any questions regarding the regulations or the forms, please do not hesitate to send those questions to Chris Long at IDA.