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  1. #1
    Daniel Cooper's Avatar
    Daniel Cooper Guest

    Default First time here I'm Daniel from N. Ca.

    Hi all, I hope this site is what I'm looking for. I have some pretty basic questions so please bear with me I did check FAQ and searched a couple of places but to no avail. Just a little background first. I retired early and lived in Costa Rica for the last 6 years but my wifes health didn't thrive in the tropics. My pension worked great in Central America, But I've had to re-join the work force and I currently manage apartments . I just completed the Certified Lead Renovator class in an attempt to limit liability for the owner as well as protect the residents.

    The course covered a lot of material in a very short time and generated more questions than it answered. To further complicate matters the owner, who paid for the training, is oblivious to most of the contents but thinks he has a thorough grasp and "there is no need to change the way we do things We wont be inspected " So my first question is Can you point me in the right direction to find articles relating the consequense of will full violations or that document the increased no of inspectors added just to enforce these regulations and the likelyhood of being inspected. Or different scenerios that could bring around an inspector.. He doesn't believe it could happen to him.

    Since i need this job not to mention being individually liable as well as him, it is in my best interest (and the residents) to help him see the light and realize the only good business decission here, is to make compliance a priority.

    If necessary I may need to look into making a living as an inspector, but regardless, this group should be a wealth of information.

    Thanks DC Does spelling count?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: First time here I'm Daniel from N. Ca.

    You may want to change your thread to a title referencing EPA RRP Certification and liability and/or lead abatement.

    You may get a better read response. It may apear that you are just saying hello as a new member of this site.

    Trying to understand your position?
    1) You are employed by the owner of apartments and perform/oversee the repairs of those apartments.
    2) You work for a company that manages apartments (not the owner of apartment) and performs repairs on those apartments.

    Enforcement will be about pushing the paper rather than actually caching the contractor in the act.

    If you hold the certification and are employed by a company as an employee, I would think that it will be the company that will take the hit and not you. The company is the one responsible for maintaining the records, you are just the agent of the company. But, that is not a real legal opinion. What you need is a ruling buy the EPA .

    I do not hold the EPA RRP Certification as of yet (near future). Though I would think that there is some place that you as the person who holds the certification has to sign off on the work being performed to the EPA standards. With your signature on the paperwork you then become complicit in a fraudulent act and possibly personally liable to state,federal and civil actions.

    Here is a question for you to ponder.
    If the EPA comes knocking on you employers door demanding the required records is that employer going to point the finger at you and try to leave you holding the bag (fall guy) to mitigate the employer's exposure?

    You should be answering yes, that blame would be directed at you. Since you have the certification. I would not trust the employer/manager to stand up and take full responsibility.

    You are questioning if the EPA is enforcing the RRP standards, giving fines and actually collecting those fines.
    If you do find the cases that the EPA actually acted on the law will be interesting. I do not know of actual enforcement. All that I have found is about the threat of enforcement. Also, only references to but not identifying the actual cases

    Here are two sites to look at that may give you some further incite and information for you and your employer.

    Blog Entry - The Consultant Who Cried Wolf - Remodeling Magazine

    Shawn's Remodeling Magazine Blogs Related to the EPA RRP

    EPA RRP Enforcement of Contractors in Mass and New Hampshire

    Important News | Segovia Environmental Services

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Chicago IL

    Default Re: First time here I'm Daniel from N. Ca.

    Increased inspectors - probably 0
    Enforcement - minimal
    Likelihood of getting inspected - minimal
    How/why will you get inspected - tenant calls and complains to Muni or EPA
    Fines - as much as they can nail you for
    I love slumlords like him. Makes it so easy to crucify them when they get busted. For ~ $1000 he could have the tools to do the work in compliance.
    As you'll probably read somewhere, lead intake, especially by children isn't nearly as high from eating as urban legend leads to believe. Recent studies have shown that intake is much higher from airborne intake.
    I would recommend documenting discussions with him and sending emails highlighting conversations. This way if he gets busted and tries to throw you under the bus, you'll have info showing his unwillingness to be compliant.
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Columbus GA

    Default Re: First time here I'm Daniel from N. Ca.

    "I just completed the Certified Lead Renovator class in an attempt to limit liability for the owner as well as protect the residents."

    Did you intend to say?
    I just completed the Certified Lead Renovator class to protect the residents and to limit liability for the owner.

    The course taught you what is to be done, do what you were taught.
    You are responsible for the work you do, as well as the work you did not do.

    "If you hold the certification and are employed by a company as an employee, I would think that it will be the company that will take the hit and not you."

    Not true. Each are severally responsible for compliance.
    You because you are certified
    The owner, because he is required to have the work done properly.

    Check out this site - the leading authority on lead safe remediation for certified renovators

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    New Mexico

    Default Re: First time here I'm Daniel from N. Ca.

    I was recently certified for RRP. My instructor told the class that a large fine (over $100K) was levied against a company in Denver, but I can't find any record of this anywhere. She said that the EPA was going to fine three levels of operations in New Mexico in June, so we'll see if she had good information on that in the near future.

    There is a good deal of information at Shawn McCadden Remodeling Industry Specialist, EPA RRP Consultant.

    The whole program is still in the infancy stage. An actual inspection is not likely unless someone calls you in on the tip line. My instructor backed up what Gary said. The fines are going to come from not having the proper paperwork and documentation, most likely well after the project has been completed.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  6. #6
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: First time here I'm Daniel from N. Ca.

    My instructor said what others have said, that enforcement will most likely come from an audit or a tenant/homeowner that complains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Each are severally responsible for compliance.
    Agreed, Passing the RRP class is only the first step, the company/firm must register with the EPA and in some states (like S.C.) there is a separate registration with the state.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: First time here I'm Daniel from N. Ca.

    I would think that a management company of any size will be targeted before a small contractor. If nothing else for the deeper pockets. Also, greater number of jobs completed. Therefore, your employer is at higher risk.

    The system as it stands right now the contractor is responsible for keeping records for 3 yrs, in some locations 5 years. As time goes by I would not be surprised that that time frame will be extended. Why? To allow even more time to go back and add to the level of fines generated.

    Plus, it will not be long before there will be a requirement that a Lead Swab Test be done post completion to verify conditions. More cost to the customer. More paperwork. More forms to keep. More chance for compliance error. More chance for fines.

    Your personal exposure will be tied to what you do.
    If you on on a job site, you will be on the hook.
    If you sign for anything, you are on the hook.
    If your employer finds a way to connect you to any work, you are on the hook.
    If you put your faith and trust in the owner or manager of the business, you are on the hook.

    The money for the EPA to make in the area of enforcement has no ceiling. I could make a fortune as an enforcement officer paid on commission. I would jump at the chance at 2% of judgment.

    To your original question of how to persuade the company to not skirt the requirements is hard if they are willing to take the risks. If all of the work is subbed out your company is still on the hook to verify that it was done correctly or rather the paperwork is done correctly.

    You may best be served to sell the numbers to get the sale. Meaning, demonstrate how one EPA inspector can hit 8 company a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year yielding 2,000 inspections that cover a period of 3 years. Now calculate in a three year range of inspection, you get 6,000 inspections completed. In reality it would be possible to increase those numbers by 400% easily yielding 2,400 inspections of paperwoork per year by one person.

    So, the question is how many companies are doing business in your region?
    If there are 20,000 companies in your region then 20,000comapamies/2,400inspections per year you get a 1 in 8.3 probability of being inspected.
    Then factor in the 3 year holding requirement you go to a 1 in 2.77 probability of being inspected/audited. This is a 30% probability of being audited by the EPA .
    If the number of business goes down then the probability increases.


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