Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Moving on

We have changed our address so if you are a follower please check out http://promotinghealthyhomes.com  This will be our last post to this site, We look forward to updating you on our new site. See you there.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The NARI Journal

 I was recently contacted by Morgan Zenner who is a writer for the NARI organization, She got word that I was trying to work with the EPA to get lead testing going in our region as Lead Locators a spin off of my remodeling business. There seems to be a rift developing among the nations remodelers that Shawn McCadden was able to help me realize. I have divided them into 3 distinct groups.
         1 Those companies that are incorporating the RRP Rule into their operations through education and are using the rule as a strength that sets them apart from their competition.
         2 Those that got certified, rarely do older home remodels, and make and find the RRP rule onerous but try to comply because it is the law.
         3 Those that don't know and don't want to know about RRP and are in fear of the government ruining their livelihood. One fine could easily do that.

The passions are running high, lets face it the RRP Rule is changing the way we do business. I recently attended a Responsible Person certification class and the excavation community has worked with the EPA for years and gets it. Municipalities have incorporated the Best Management Practices BMP into their operations and everyone is on a level playing field. Our river used to have rats running on the banks and raw sewage pumped into it. Now it is a beautiful place where our green belt is a highlight of the community.

I think the RRP Rule was poorly implemented but understand that it was a 10 year long process that was stuck in committee essentially so rather than postpone it again. They put it out and it is now a work in progress that is evolving into a solid policy. I have my gripes too, my primary one is that as a guideline it would have been easier to work with IE. DO DUSTLESS DEMOLITION AND CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR SELF.  Similar to the Responsible Person requirements contractors would be held responsible to eliminate lead paint dust but would be allowed to experiment with what works best for them. Focusing on results is what I believe BMP is all about. Lets face it, the rule does not take into account all of the types of situations that effect each specialty contractor weather is a prime example. That being said I for one am staying engaged and am trying to be an agent for constructive criticism.

Although I am running my business with the RRP flag attempting to set myself apart, I am understanding of the others.

My concern is that NARI contractors need to make a decision to either follow the rules, or decide not to work on pre-1978 homes.

I was recently asked to do a NARI sponsored presentation. I had it done by one of my fellow lead risk assessors at Lead Locators.

How are we as a group of Professional  Remodelers going to ensure we are keeping lead dust out of our work sites without verification? I urge my fellow NARI members to be vocal, do the best that you can. Test ahead of time or assume it is all leaded and verify your doing it correctly during the project and at the end. Perhaps we need to have an internal Lead Compliance Officer or committee that verifies appearance to the RRP rule. I will make a suggestion next opportunity I get.

I applaud those that are working to solve our problems and confusions between agencies like OSHA.

I am pleased that there is a national discussion going on. I am anxious to see how states that are taking on the rule are adapting it to meet their individual needs.

I thank the Lead Community for being so involved and encourage them to stay vigilant so that the gains that were made are not lost over budget deficits and economic downturns.

Bottom line is that Morgan did a nice job of putting my story together. As a bonus she contacted the EPA and interviewed Laurie Fay to support the article. The implementation of RRP has been rocky to say the least.

I challenge The EPA to quickly get to word out to the public about RRP. I challenge the Remodeling Industry to work with the EPA to improve the nuts and bolts of the RRP program. I also challenge our industry to be leaders and agents for eduction just like the ones that have mentored me while I evolved from a "lemonade stand" into a real business. Cheers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Silver lining to RRP Rule

national just published an article in their journal about Levco Builders and the president Joe Levitch. it explains how Levitch has taken the EPA title X rule for controlling lead based paint hazards. Currently all in pre-1978 homes and child occupied facilities are required to be considered leaded unless tested and proven to not contain lead. The rule goes on to dictate how remodeling and or disturbing lead based paint activities are conducted. The national uproar over unfunded mandates and onerous tasks that are cost prohibited is fueling a pretty ferocious backlash against the EPA. The article explains how Levitch is turning the situation into a positive. Lead Locators, was born out of frustration over expensive XRF testing in an effort to provide the contractors in the region low cost testing, rapid turnaround and education. The article that is due out in a few days will be posted when available. In the mean time Levitch has been asked by a local building official to write Boise mayor David Bieter to add lines in the residential remodeling application for age of home and if pre 1978, then certified firm number. As the turmoil broils Levitch plans to concentrate on discovering a forum to sharing Best Management Practices BMP's for dealing with lead once it is discovered and trying to refocus the national attention on applying the rule to real life situations. Convincing the contractor on the street why eliminating lead paint dust as a result of remodeling is so important. "Cost is what you pay, Value is what you get." Taking care to eliminate lead based paint dust is a very high value to the clients, whether they realize it is another story altogether.