Inform Home Buyers About Lead-Safe Practices

** Contractor to Pay $19,529 Penalty for Failure to Notify Owners, Residents of Lead Risks Before Renovation **

(Kansas City, Kan., March 31, 2011) - Window World of St. Louis, Inc., has agreed to pay a $19,529 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it failed to notify owners and occupants of at least 20 St. Louis area residential properties built before 1978 of lead-based paint risks prior to performing renovation work at those locations.

Contractors are legally required to provide owners and residents of the properties with an EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet before starting renovations at the properties.

** Flyer for homeowners/homebuyers:**

Get trained and help your clients:

Good points Ben,

Many of the investors working on the low-end older homes in my area think they couldn’t care less about their low-wage help and cheap fixes… As most of their help is likely un-licensed anyway, I’m not sure what light that puts them (the investors) under when they are now acting as an employer/contractor. CA has some different laws for folks that are improving/selling homes as a business (investors) than they do for Harry-Homeowner… rightly so by the way. For the most part, when someone is in the business of fixing up homes for a living (renting/selling), their role in these remodels changes considerably and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them looked at as targets for the extrapolation of these new and lofty fines.

For the average do-it-yourselfer, I would guess many probably still have no idea of these new laws, despite some information out there and the handouts at the the home improvement stores paint counters… there is still a ways to go.

Proposal for the EPA

Properly trained property inspectors can act as observers, trained to oversee the lead-safe work practices of contractors.

The homeowner:

  1. hires a contractor; then
  2. schedules and pays for an inspection to oversee the contractor’s work practices.

The inspector would **observe, document and report back to the EPA **any compliance issues observed at the renovation work site. The EPA has developed an inspection checklist for this task.

** What can InterNACHI inspectors do?**

  1. Educate your clients. InterNACHI  certified inspectors sit at the breakfast table with new homebuyers,  eager to start renovation projects.  Educate homebuyers and sellers, and  their real estate agents, about the new federal law that protects not  only small children, but also our environment.  [Right to Renovate PDF](   
  2. Get trained. Take InterNACHI’s EPA-approved course at [](, or watch NACHI.TV’s training video for inspectors at [](  
  3. Keep informed.  Read the latest news release by the EPA, and contact its author, Christopher Whitley at  Inform the EPA that InterNACHI inspectors are willing to be called upon to help educate the American homeowner about lead-safe practices.  Latest news: [](

InterNACHI and the EPA

InterNACHI has submitted a proposal to the EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Office. The EPA Office replied that they would respond within 2-3 days (that was April 4th, 2011; waiting…).

I have a standard narrative concerning this matter, which is included in every report prepared on structures built prior to 1978. Use/modify/ignore it if you’d like;

This residence, or portions of it were constructed prior to 1978, in which case, there may be lead based paint on painted surfaces such as wall and ceilings. We do not test for the presence of lead based paint during our inspection, and specifically disclaim it in our pre-inspection agreement. On April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe work practices aimed at preventing lead poisoning in children. On April 22, 2010, the rule became effective and firms performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 must be certified. Individual renovators must be trained by an EPA-accredited training provider, and the firms and renovators must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Violators of this law may be subject to fines up to $37,500 per day. Lead-based paint affects more than one million children today. Adverse health effects include learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and speech delays. If not done in a lead-safe manner, renovations and repair activities that disturb lead-based paint can expose children, as well as adults, to harmful levels of lead dust. More information about lead poisoning, and how this law may affect you as a home owner can be found at