New EPA regulations take aim at lead paint

by WOHe

November 2010 — Quad Cities — Although the enforcement date for the new {RRP} rules was Oct. 1, penalties are not necessarily the goal at this point, regulators said.

Rita Gergley, chief of the lead poisoning prevention bureau of the Iowa Department of Public Health, said the agency still is trying to get all contractors certified and will hold off on penalties until April.

When her bureau learns of uncertified work – usually on a complaint basis from other contractors or homeowners – it contacts that person, informs them of the law and tracks them to see that they get trained, she said.

The law gives the bureau the ability to fine non-complying contractors up to $5,000 per violation, but the actual amount would be determined on a case-by-case basis, she said.

In Illinois enforcement is still the responsibility of the federal EPA since the state has not adopted the federal rules as its own. Once that happens, the state Environmental Protection Agency or the state Department of Public Health would be in charge of enforcement, said Julie Morris of the U.S. EPA office in Chicago.

Meanwhile, federal enforcement is based on tips, complaints and targeted inspections, and there is the possibility of penalties, up to $37,500 per day per violation, she said.

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