Buildings built before 1978 are likely to have high concentrations of lead. Lead is a harmful substance when inhaled or ingested. It can lead to severe nervous system issues, especially in children and pregnant women. Paint chips and dust containing lead can be disturbed when performing construction or maintenance on a home built before 1978, creating a hazard for both the workers and the occupants of the residence.
In an attempt to improve safety conditions, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule in 2008. The rule requires that all individuals or entities performing any renovation, repair, or painting in buildings built before 1978 that may potentially disturb lead-based paint to be certified through EPA training courses.
Lead prevention in the state of Oregon is governed by the Oregon Health Authority. They oversee the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, adopted in 2010, which is an extension of the RRP Rule passed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Lead Poisoning Prevention Program adheres to the principles laid forth in the EPA RRP Rule; however, the state of Oregon is authorized by the EPA to perform certification.
Do I Need Lead Certification in Oregon?
Only contractors and workers that are licensed under the RRP Rule are allowed to work on residences or child-occupied facilities that were built before 1978. All such facilities are presumed to have lead-based paint unless proven otherwise.
If you are attempting to perform work on the interior of a pre-1978 residence that would disturb six square feet of painted surface (per room), then you are required to obtain a Lead-Based Paint renovation License, at the minimum. If you are working on the exterior of such a home, certification is only required if the work will disturb 20 square feet of a painted surface.
If you are working for a construction or contracting firm, both the individual performing the work and the firm conducting activities that alter or disturb lead-based paint must be certified.
The rules for Lead-Paint Renovators apply to all of the following individuals:
- Home renovations or remodeling services
- Electricians or plumbers
- Interior design involving work on flooring, windows, or counter-tops
- Maintenance workers working on homes or child-occupied facilities
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Not all instances of renovations dealing with lead-based paint or materials are governed under this rule. The following situations are not regulated by the RRP standards:
- Any dwelling without a bedroom designed for the elderly in which no children are expected to reside.
- Individuals performing minor renovation, repair, or painting in which they are the owner of the home.
- Lead abatement projects are managed under different regulation and are not required to be certified under the RRP. All lead abatement projects fall under the Lead-Based Paint Activities regulations.
- Situations in which only minor maintenance or repairs are occurring (disrupting less than six square feet of interior paint per room or 20 square feet of exterior paint).
It is possible that local county or city agencies have adopted additional policies. It is important to know your local ordinances relating to interacting with lead-based paint.
How to Become Certified in Oregon
To become a certified Lead-Based Paint Renovator, you must take certification courses that are approved by either the Oregon Health Authority or the Environmental Protection Agency. These courses will teach you how to adequately deal with lead-based paint and other lead contaminants you may encounter during renovations, remodeling or construction. The course is roughly eight hours long. Also, the certifications expire after five years and must be renewed.
In addition to obtaining certification with the Oregon Health Authority, you must also obtain a license to work with lead-based paint from the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. To become a lead-licensed contractor, you must first be RRP certified. If you are working with a company, at least one owner or employee must be certified. Additionally, you must also have a construction license with which the lead license can be associated.
Can I Take a Refresher Course?
The Lead-based Paint Renovation License is valid for five years. Prior to the expiration of your certification, you are required to take a four-hour refresher course to re-certify. The refresher course must be an approved instructor per the Oregon Health Authority. If you fail to complete the refresher course before the five-year deadline, your license will expire, and you will be required to retake all certification courses.
RRP Rule Enforcement in Oregon
In Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Construction Contractors Board have the authority to enforce RRP procedures. Any individual or agency found to be non-compliant with the regulations of the RRP Rules or the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is subject to civil penalties.
Non-compliance can be punished with up to $5,000 per violation per day. Additionally, the CCB and OHA may suspend or revoke certifications for performing lead-based paint activities or renovations.
Steps to Becoming Lead Certified in Oregon
- Training: The first step to becoming lead certified in Oregon is to complete a training course taught by an organization accredited by the Oregon Health Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA-authorized state agency.
- OHA Certification: To become certified, you must complete an individual certification application. If you are self-employed or are working as an individual, you must also complete the firm certification application as well. If you are employed with a company, then you merely need to make sure that your employer is certified with the Oregon Health Authority and licensed with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.
- CCB Licensing: If you are the owner or manager of a construction or contracting firm, you must also be licensed with Oregon Construction Contractors Board before working on homes that may be contaminated with lead.
Helpful Links for Compliance in Oregon
For more information regarding the effects of lead, lead certification, and lead management in the state of Oregon checks out the links below.
- Environmental Protection Agency – Lead Management
- Environmental Protection Agency Frequently Asked Questions for the RPP Rule
- Oregon Health Authority Lead-Based Paint Program Rules and Regulations
- Oregon Health Authority Approved Lead Training Courses
- National Center for Healthy Housing – List of EPA RRP Authorized States
Still, Have Questions About Lead Certification in Oregon?
If you have any further questions about lead certification requirements or how to become lead certified in Oregon, don’t hesitate to contact us. Just call ZOTA Processional Training at (763)444-5323, and we will be happy to offer additional information.