Do Rules on Disturbing Lead Paint Apply to a Detached Garage?comments (10) August 23rd, 2011 in Blogs
In federal rules that took effect last April, contractors who disturb lead paint in homes built before 1978 must be certified, and they must adhere to certain work practices designed to prevent the spread of lead dust and chips.
The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection offers a detailed explanation of the so-called RRP rules (for renovation, repair and painting) on its web site. The issue also has been covered at both Fine Homebuilding and Green Building Advisor.
But exactly how the regulations are to be applied is not always perfectly clear.
That’s the case in this Breaktime post by Bryan Klakamp. Bryan writes that a neighbor hired someone to clean and paint an old, detached garage on is property.
“He used a high pressure sprayer to blow the paint off of the garage, and he used no tarps, so paint chips are everywhere,” Bryan writes.
“The neighbors garage is less than 20 feet from my house, and we will end up tracking lead paint chips into our house. My question is: Does the RRP Rule apply to garages and other outbuildings? Is there a minimum distance away from a residence?
The instructor at Bryan’s RRP class said barns were excluded from the rules, but wasn’t specific about detached garages. What’s the deal?
Lead Paint Remodeling Center
Rules are long and complex
Some of the replies suggest that if the intent of the regulations is to prevent lead contamination of areas where people work and live, it would make sense to include a detached garage.
“You can bet if it doesn't cover it, it sure as hell should,” Calvin writes. “That is if the direction of the laws are toward real protection of inhabitants of dwellings and to those neighbors surrounding said dwelling.”
“If that happened in RI, one phone call to the state would have an enforcement officer there in 15 minutes,” MikeSmith adds.
Yet tracking down this nuance could be a formidable job. Zipwall provides a link to the EPA rules as explained in the Federal Register in 2008. The answer to Bryan’s question may be here somewhere, but the document is 79 pages of dense text that looks like something out of a textbook for third-year law students.
Piffin, in fact, attempted a keyword search of the document, hunting for “garage,” “detached,” and “separate,” and came up empty.
In the absence of any definite ruling, DanH doesn’t think the exclusion for barns would apply here. “My gut feel is that the exemption for barns is a general exemption for ‘agricultural buildings,’” he writes. “Ag buildings are routinely exempted from many building and safety regs for several reasons, good and bad. A garage would only earn an exemption if you kept a horse in it.”
posted in: Blogs, remodeling, safety, painting