Environmental Regulation Changes in 2010

By: Courtney James

This year has brought about two changes in environmental regulation that are sure to effect owners of older homes.

Underground Oil Tanks:

As of July 1, 2010, all property owners with leaking home heating oil tanks are now eligible for 100% reimbursement of cleanup costs from the Leaking Petroleum UST Cleanup Funds.  Prior to the change, property owners had to prove tank ownership; otherwise, a $5,000 deductible and 10% co-payment were required.  Now all property owners are elgible for 100% reimbursement of necessary and reasonable cleanup costs.

Lead Based Paint:

Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.

To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

EPA requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. Individuals can become certified renovators by taking an eight-hour training course from an EPA-approved training provider. Learn how to become an EPA certified firm and where to take a training course near you.

Contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures:

Contain the work area.

Minimize dust.

Clean up thoroughly.


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