In September, the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a final rule to ensure that housing currently receiving Federal assistance and federally owned housing that is to be sold, does not pose lead-based paint hazards to young children. The rule implements sections 1012 and 1013 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. The requirements of this rule are based on the practical experience of cities, and also reflect the results of new scientific and technological research and innovation on the sources, effects, costs, and methods of evaluating and controlling lead hazards. With this action, HUD's lead-based paint requirements for all Federal programs are now consolidated in one part of title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

A Summary of the regulations is as follows:

Effective Dates: Section 35.140 is effective on November 15, 1999. All other provisions of the rule are effective on September 15, 2000.

Lead Poisoning: Childhood lead poisoning causes reduced intelligence, low attention span, reading and learning disabilities, and has been linked to juvenile delinquency, behavioral problems, and many other adverse health effects. Over the past 20 years, the removal of lead from gasoline, food canning and other sources has been successful in reducing population blood lead levels by over 80 percent. Nearly 1 million children, however, still have excessive levels of lead in their blood, making lead poisoning a major childhood environmental disease. Lead-based paint in housing is the major remaining source of exposure and is responsible for most cases of childhood lead poisoning today.

How Many Homes Are Affected?: HUD estimates that over 60 million occupied homes, or approximately 80 percent of all homes built before 1980, have some lead-based paint. Many of those 60 million homes have only small amounts of such paint, however; generally, the older the home, the greater the amount of lead-based paint. The use of lead in paint was highest in housing built before 1960. It was completely banned for residential use in 1978 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Objective/Basis: This final rule also reflects current knowledge of the causes of lead poisoning and current lead-based paint hazard evaluation and reduction technologies and practices. The presence of lead-based paint will be more accurately identified, with fewer false negatives and false positives. Likewise, the existence, nature, severity and location of lead-based paint hazards (in dust, soil and deteriorated paint) will be more accurately identified and reported. By improving lead-based paint hazard evaluation, decisions and hazard reduction activities will be more fully informed, and available resources will be better targeted to reduce exposure to occupants and to the environment.

Related Actions by EPA and HUD:

Title X requires EPA and HUD to take other very important actions that are complementary to and in some cases binding on this final rule. Five such actions are: (1) The HUD-EPA regulation on notification and disclosure during real estate transactions; (2) EPA standards for certification of firms and individuals performing lead-based paint activities, and associated work practices standards; (3) EPA standards for determining hazardous levels of lead in paint, dust and soil; (4) EPA program for the accreditation of laboratories for analysis of lead in paint, dust and soil; and (5) EPA requirements applying to renovation and remodeling activities.

Section 1012 of Title X directs HUD to require that tenants and purchasers of "target housing" receiving Federal assistance be provided the same EPA-approved pamphlet that must be used in compliance with the section 1018 notification and disclosure regulation.

Use of Certified Firms: HUD requires that lead-based paint inspections, risk assessments and abatements done in compliance with its final rule on lead-based paint activities in federally owned and assisted housing be conducted in accordance with the EPA rule implementing TSCA sections 402 and 404, i.e., that individuals and firms be certified and the work be done in accordance with the work practices standards.

EPA Standards for Hazardous Levels of Lead in Paint, Dust and Soil. TSCA section 403 (15 U.S.C. 2683) requires EPA to issue regulations identifying, for the purposes of Title X, levels of lead in paint, dust and soil that are considered hazardous. EPA published a proposed rule on June 3, 1998. When promulgated and effective, the final rule implementing section 403 will contain standards that affect the risk assessments required in this rule. In the meantime, the interim levels of lead in paint, dust and soil set forth in this rule issued by HUD shall be followed in housing covered by the rule.

EPA Laboratory Accreditation Program: In this rule on lead-based paint requirements in housing receiving Federal assistance and federally owned housing, HUD is requiring the use of NLLAP recognized laboratories for laboratory-based analysis of lead in paint, dust and soil samples.

Possible EPA Regulations Pertaining to Renovation and Remodeling: TSCA section 402(c) (15 U.S.C. 2682(c)) requires EPA to study the extent to which various types of renovation activities create a lead-based paint exposure hazard for workers or occupants where the work is being conducted. Until EPA promulgates and makes effective a new regulation under TSCA section 402(c), the requirements in this rule issued by HUD shall be followed in housing covered by the rule.

Final Rule Provisions

This rule implements the requirements of the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (LPPA), as amended by section 1012 and section 1013 of Title X.

Throughout this rule, lead-based paint hazard notification, evaluation, and reduction requirements represent the minimum activities required. Parties may voluntarily undertake more extensive lead-based paint activities if appropriate or permitted under the specific housing program with which the dwelling unit or residential property is associated.

HUD has exempted from the requirements of this final rule residential properties that are found not to contain lead-based paint or that have had all lead-based paint removed. (This exemption is consistent with a similar exemption in the real estate notification and disclosure rule that was issued jointly by HUD and EPA on March 6, 1996.) Thus, in this final rule, dust-lead hazards and soil-lead hazards are required only in properties in which lead-based paint is known or presumed to be present.

HUD interprets the exemptions for elderly and disabled housing to apply only to residential property which is designated exclusively for elderly or disabled use.

The rule provides that housing to be demolished is exempt, provided the housing remains unoccupied until demolition. Owners should be aware, of course, that other local, State and Federal regulations pertaining to environmental protection and occupational safety and health may apply to demolitions.

Nonresidential Property. The final rule also states explicitly that property that is not and will not be used for human habitation is exempt. In the case of a mixed use property, HUD intends that only those parts of the property normally associated with residential use shall be covered by this rule. For example, retail and office establishments in an apartment building would not be covered, but hallways leading to such uses would be covered if the hallways also service dwelling units that are covered by the rule.

The regulations are based on seven lead-based paint management strategies. In order from least to most stringent, the seven strategies are:

(1) Safe work practices during rehabilitation;

(2) Ongoing lead-based paint maintenance practices to assure that paint is maintained so that it remains intact, and that safe work practices are used (similar to the "essential maintenance practices" previously recommended);

(3) Visual assessment and paint stabilization;

(4) Risk assessment and interim controls (with the option of performing specified standard treatments);

(5) Lead-based paint inspection and risk assessment, and interim controls; 

(6) Risk assessment and abatement of lead-based paint hazards; and 

(7) Lead-based paint inspection, and abatement of all lead-based paint. 

These strategies include the following fundamental principles: Whenever hazard reduction methods are employed (except for disturbances of only a small area of paint surface) clearance is required to ensure that the job is done properly. Second, ongoing lead-based paint maintenance practices are required in rental housing whenever HUD has a continuing relationship with the property. Third, to ensure that whenever a risk assessment and interim controls are required and there is a continuing HUD subsidy or ownership of rental housing. Fourth, special procedures are required in programs with a continuing subsidy or HUD ownership of rental housing whenever a child is identified with a blood lead level that calls for environmental assessment and intervention (called an "environmental intervention blood lead level" in the rule). 

The first strategy, safe work practices during rehabilitation, is applied only to rehabilitation assistance of no more than $5,000 per unit. 

The goal of the second strategy, ongoing lead-based paint maintenance only, is to ensure that paint is kept stabilized and that the work is done in a safe manner. Clearance is required only at the worksite. This strategy does not provide full assurance that a property is free of lead-based paint hazards, but it will minimize such hazards over time. It is applied to properties that are subject to an application for multifamily mortgage insurance and were built between 1960 and 1977. These are rental properties with no subsidy and only mortgage insurance, but there is a continuing relationship between the Department, the borrower and the lender through the insurance agreement. These properties were built toward the end of the period when lead-based paint was used in housing and are less likely to have lead-based paint hazards than older housing. This strategy is also applied as a transitional requirement for multifamily properties receiving project-based assistance during the phase-in period before a risk assessment is conducted. 

The third strategy, visual assessment, paint stabilization and clearance, provides assurance that the housing to which it is applied is "lead safe". To provide such assurance, HUD intends that clearance be unit-wide, no just for the worksite. It should be noted that clearance is required only if paint stabilization is performed, so a unit that passes the initial visual assessment (i.e. no deteriorated paint is identified) undergoes no subsequent dust testing. Also, if the housing is in poor physical condition, or if there are high levels of lead in the soil, lead-based paint hazards may reappear. Therefore, ongoing maintenance is required whenever HUD has a continuing relationship with rental property. The final rule applies this strategy to HUD-owned single family housing that is sold with a mortgage insured by HUD; properties with acquisition, leasing, support services, or operation assistance; tenant-based rental assistance programs where a child of less than 6 years of age resides; multifamily housing receiving up to and including $5,000 per unit per year in project-based rental assistance; and single family properties assisted under the project-based certificate or voucher program, the moderate rehabilitation program, or another HUD-funded project-based rental assistance program. 

The fourth strategy, risk assessment and interim controls, (with the option to conduct standard treatments), provides assurance that all lead-based paint hazards have been eliminated. Unit-wide clearance is always required. Ongoing maintenance of painted surfaces is required whenever HUD has a continuing relationship with the property, rental assistance in a multifamily property exceeds $5,000 per unit per year, and in public housing. This strategy is applied to properties that are subject to an application for multifamily mortgage insurance and were built before 1960, housing receiving multifamily project-based assistance of more than $5,000 per unit annually, and housing receiving rehabilitation assistance of $5,000-$25,000 per unit. A risk assessment and interim controls are also required in public housing developments that have common lead-based paint that has not yet been abated. 

The fifth strategy, lead-based paint inspection, risk assessment, and interim controls, is applied only to HUD-owned multifamily housing. It differs from the fourth strategy in that it requires a lead-based paint inspection as well as a risk assessment. Most of these properties are being sold, frequently without HUD mortgage insurance. Therefore, HUD will not have a continuing relationship with them and thus will not be able to ensure that ongoing lead-based paint maintenance practices and reevaluation are practiced. With a lead-based paint inspection, HUD will provide the buyer with information on the location of any remaining lead-based paint on the property that the buyer and later owners can use to avoid generating dust-lead hazards in the future. 

The sixth strategy involves risk assessment and abatement of lead-based paint hazards. This strategy is used when Federal rehabilitation assistance is greater than $25,000 per unit. When Federal funds are used to make such a substantial investment in a property, it is logical that long-term hazard control measures be implemented at a time when substantial concurrent rehabilitation is being done. Paint testing of surfaces to be disturbed during rehabilitation is called for to ensure that new lead-based paint hazards are not inadvertently created, but that the designated party has the option to presume the presence of lead-based paint on such surfaces. 

The objective of the seventh strategy, lead-based paint inspection and abatement of lead-based paint, is abatement of all lead-based paint. This strategy applies to public housing and to properties that are being converted from nonresidential to residential use or are subject to major rehabilitation, and are being financed with HUD/FHA multifamily mortgage insurance. This is not a new requirement for public housing. Current public housing regulations require a lead-based paint inspection, at the time of modernization, subsequent abatement of all lead-based paint. However, because complete modernization (and therefore complete abatement) may not occur for many years in some housing developments, and because modernization can occur on a piecemeal basis (e.g., kitchens one year, bathrooms another), the final rule, like the proposed rule, adds the requirements of strategy four (risk assessment and interim controls) during the period prior to completion of abatement to assure that all public housing occupied by families will be free of lead-based paint hazards. However, the requirement for conversions and major rehabilitations financed with multifamily mortgage insurance is new. HUD believes that such properties, after undergoing such substantial renovation, should be as free as reasonably possible of any future lead-based paint hazards. 

The exception to the 12-month phase-in policy, is for prohibited practices. These are already well known; many are in HUD's current regulations and guidance and are prohibited by the EPA final rule on training and certification, which was published on August 29, 1996. Many states already prohibit these practices, and other safer paint removal methods are well known. 

The Department continues to believe that a "lead hazard control plan" would be a useful document for property managers, especially those with responsibility for large multifamily developments, and encourages owners to develop such plans. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959) has developed a Standard Guide for Evaluation, Management, and Control of Lead Hazards in Facilities, and is developing an accompanying user guidebook. These materials can provide the basis for developing a lead hazard control plan. They are particularly appropriate for owners of multifamily dwellings. 

Blood Lead Levels - HUD has consulted with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and has concluded, as it did prior to issuance of the proposed rule, that CDC did not and does not intend to recommend a full home inspection or assessment in response to blood lead levels below 15 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL). CDC advises that a blood lead level of 10-14 ug/dL should trigger monitoring, certain parental actions, and perhaps community-wide education, but not hazard control in an individual child's home. CDC recommends follow-up blood lead testing of such children in about 3 months, the provision of information to parents on lead hazards, nutrition, and housekeeping, if appropriate and the completion of an individual environmental history to try to identify an obvious source of lead exposure (CDC 1997). 

Training - In the final rule, HUD is requiring that persons performing interim controls, including paint stabilization, be trained in lead hazards in accordance with OSHA regulations at 29 CFR 1926.59 and either be supervised by a certified abatement supervisor (the requirement of the proposed rule) or successfully complete one of the following training courses: (1) An accredited abatement supervisor course; (2) an accredited lead-based paint worker course; (3) the Lead-Based Paint Maintenance Training Program, developed by the National Environmental Training Association for EPA and HUD; (4) the Remodeler's and Renovator's Lead-Based Paint Training Program, prepared by HUD and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI); or (5) another course approved for this purpose by HUD after consultation with EPA. 

Paint Stabilization - The Department has eliminated "paint repair" throughout the final rule, and instead is requiring "paint stabilization", which calls for the repair of any physical defect in the substrate of a painted surface or component that is causing deterioration of the surface or component renovation, the repair assures that the integrity of the repainting will survive for a reasonable period of time. Also, if a substrate is being damaged because of a water leak, repair of the leak would be necessary in any case to meet housing or building codes. In situations in which a costly repair may be necessary to stabilize a damaged substrate, designated parties should always determine through paint testing whether or not the surface has lead-based paint. Frequently, the paint will not be leaded at the Federal standard of 1.0 mg/, so paint stabilization will not be required under this rule. If the deteriorated paint is lead-based paint, the designated party may consider alternative methods for controlling the hazard, such as enclosure/encapsulation of the surface. 

Prohibited Practices - The final rule includes the prohibited practices, as in the proposed rule. These include open flame burning, machine sanding without HEPA exhaust control, abrasive blasting without HEPA local exhaust control, heat guns operating above 1100 degrees Fahrenheit, dry scraping or sanding except in certain situation), plus one addition: paint stripping using a hazardous volatile substance in a poorly ventilated space. OSHA says that adults exposed to methylene chloride "are at increased risk of developing cancer, adverse effects on the heart, central nervous system and liver, and skin or eye irritation." 

Records- HUD has retained a record keeping requirement in this final rule for designated parties conducting lead-based paint activities. The Department strongly recommends that designated parties keep for the life of the property: (1) a copy of each notice to occupants of the results of evaluation and hazard reduction (including clearance) and (2) each report from a certified individual or firm performing lead-based paint inspections, risk assessments, abatement, or clearance. 

HUD Insured Mortgages - In the final rule, the requirements for HUD-owned single family properties being purchased with a mortgage insured by HUD are: a visual assessment to identify deteriorated paint, paint stabilization, and unit-wide clearance. HUD has added the clearance requirement to provide assurance that the work is done properly and that no hazards remain after paint stabilization. Clearance is required only if paint stabilization is conducted. The Department has the option to test deteriorated paint and to confine paint stabilization only to those surfaces with deteriorated lead-based paint. No requirements are established for properties being purchased without a HUD-insured mortgage, except for the requirements of the disclosure rule. Many of the properties purchased without HUD-insured mortgages are in need of major rehabilitation. The cost of paint stabilization and cleanup would be substantial relative to the value of the property, and there is a high likelihood that subsequent rehabilitation would negate the effectiveness of the cleanup in removing dust-lead or lead-dust hazards. HUD will acquaint purchasers of the risks of generating lead-based paint hazards during rehabilitation; this will occur during the notification and disclosure required by subpart A of 24 CFR part 35. Approximately one-half of all HUD-owned single family properties are purchased with HUD-insured mortgages. 

Repair Before Sale or Occupancy? - A major housing industry organization pointed out that it would not be practicable to implement the proposed-rule requirement that deteriorated paint in a multifamily property be repaired "before the issuance of a firm commitment," because it would compel a mortgagor to expend sums on paint repair "based on chance and speculation." Other factors could prevent issuance of the commitment, or market conditions might prevent closing on the commitment's terms. It was suggested that HUD escrow 125-150% of the estimated cost of the repair work, and permit the paint to be repaired within 90 days after closing, using a repair escrow. The Department has addressed this comment by providing for a repair escrow in the final rule. 

Notices and Post-1959 Housing - In the final rule, a multifamily insured property constructed before 1960 must have a risk assessment before the issuance of a firm commitment, and interim controls of identified lead-based paint hazards must be completed before firm commitment, or made a condition of the sale and insurance agreement with sufficient funds escrowed. Also, there must be notices to occupants regarding the results of the evaluation and hazard reduction. The sponsor must also agree to incorporate ongoing lead-based paint maintenance into regular building operations. Ongoing maintenance activities in this final rule are comprised of many of the same elements as the essential maintenance practices recommended by the Task Force. The Department is not requiring reevaluation in housing owned by this subpart, because there is no continuing Federal subsidy. For a multifamily insured property constructed after 1959 and before 1978, no evaluation or hazard reduction is required in the final rule; but for these properties, the sponsor must agree to incorporate ongoing lead-based paint maintenance practices into regular building operations. Due to the limited relationship between the purchaser and the Federal government, HUD deemed it impracticable to include in this subpart requirements for responding to a child with an environmental intervention blood lead level. In cases where multifamily mortgage insurance is combined with another HUD program (i.e., project-based assistance), the environmental intervention blood lead level requirements for that program would apply. 

Housing Rehabilitation - A new section has been added to this subpart of the final rule to clarify Department mortgage insurance policy on lead-based paint in buildings being converted from nonresidential use to multifamily residential use (conversions), and in multifamily residential properties undergoing major rehabilitation. Major rehabilitation is defined as rehabilitation that is estimated to cost more than 50 percent of the estimated replacement cost after rehabilitation. The requirements for both types of property is that all lead-based paint be abated and that the abatement methods be, to the extent practicable, paint removal or component replacement. Enclosure or encapsulation may be used if paint removal or component replacement are not practicable, as for example if they would damage substrate material considered architecturally significant. If the building is an historic property, interim controls can be used at the request of the State Historic Preservation Office (as explained in Section III E.2.b of this preamble, above). 

During the comment process, individuals were able to direct their remarks toward specific HUD programs. The rehabilitation programs drew by far the most attention, largely because compliance was perceived as complex and costly. Some commenters felt that the rule would reduce the impact that rehabilitation assistance funds can have on the community, and would make smaller communities determine that rehabilitation projects are "not worth it." 

In the final rule, HUD has interpreted the statutory requirement of a lead-based paint inspection to apply only to surfaces to be disturbed by rehabilitation. In the proposed rule, this procedure was called a "limited paint inspection." In response to concerns of EPA regarding possible confusion if the word "inspection" is used differently than in EPA regulations, HUD is using the term "paint testing" instead (see Section III.E.2.c. of this preamble, above). Furthermore, HUD provides the option of either conducting paint testing of the painted surfaces to be disturbed or replaced during rehabilitation or presuming that all such painted surfaces are coated with lead-based paint. Paint testing is not necessary if a complete lead-based paint inspection has been conducted of the property. 

For properties receiving more than $5,000 per unit in rehabilitation assistance, the final rule requires, in insular areas, stabilization of all deteriorated paint and paint being disturbed by rehabilitation. These requirements are instead of the normal requirements of a risk assessment and interim controls, or abatement of lead-based paint hazards. (As is always the case, stabilization is not required of paint found by a certified lead-based paint inspector not to be lead-based paint). Safe work practices must be used, including occupant protection, worksite preparation and clearance. HUD believes that clearance is very important and that, if laboratory analysis of dust samples is not available on an island setting, it can be obtained at reasonable cost through air mail of samples and electronic response by the laboratory, as is often the practice elsewhere in the United States. 

These separate requirements for rehabilitation assistance of more than $5,000 per unit in insular areas are protective of children and other occupants. They are the same as those in the final rule for units receiving tenant-based rental assistance (subpart M), assistance for acquisition, leasing, support services or operation (subpart K), and HUD-owned single family properties at disposition (subpart F). However, when undertaking Federally-funded rehabilitation, the Department encouragers insular areas to use, to the maximum extent feasible and in consultation with their respective Field Office, the more rigorous and thorough methods and procedures required of other grantees and participating jurisdiction in subpart J. 

In the final rule, as in the proposed rule, HUD has set requirements for this subpart that are the same in most aspects as those for tenant-based assistance, which is covered by subpart M. The basic strategy set forth in the final rule consists of a visual assessment to identify deteriorated paint, stabilization of deteriorated paint, clearance of the dwelling unit, and where there is a continuing and active financial relationship with the property, ongoing lead-based paint maintenance. This procedure is the minimum needed to assure that the housing is lead-safe. Many of the households inhabiting residential properties assisted through programs covered by subpart K include young children. Many of the assisted households are homeless. A basic level of protection against exposure to lead-based paint hazards is essential. 

In the final rule, HUD has changed the proposed rule's requirement of paint repair to paint stabilization, as it has throughout the final rule. This is explained above in Section III.D.9 of this preamble. Also, the dust testing requirement in pre-1950 housing has been eliminated, and in its place the Department has required clearance of the dwelling unit, as it has for all other HUD-assisted and HUD-owned housing. Clearance is required, however, only if paint stabilization is required. Also, the final rule eliminates the proposed rule's distinction between pre-1950 and post-1949 housing. In the interest of regulatory streamlining, a single set of requirements applies to all pre-1978 housing. As in the proposed rule, the grantee or participating jurisdiction must provide the lead hazard information pamphlet to all occupants except those who have received the pamphlet under the disclosure rule. Also, each grantee or participating jurisdiction must provide a notice to occupant's describing the results of the clearance examination. The notice requirement does not apply to the visual assessment but does apply to clearance results after paint stabilization, because the clearance report provides known information about the presence or absence of lead-based paint hazards. Finally, the final rule requires that ongoing maintenance of painted surfaces and safe work practices be incorporated into regular building operations, where appropriate under HUD-administered programs. 

The final rule sets no limits to the surfaces covered by the requirement, saying only that the designated party shall conduct a visual assessment of "all painted surfaces." It is HUD's intent that such surfaces shall include all surfaces within the dwelling unit, all surfaces on the exterior of the structure within the dwelling unit. The definition of "common area" in the rule includes all areas on the property available for use by occupants of more than one unit, including outbuildings such as garages. 

The final rule requires "paint stabilization," which is the same as paint repair except that it includes the additional requirement that any physical defect in the substrate that is causing deterioration be repaired. Such defects include dry-rot, rust, moisture, crumbling plaster, and missing siding or other components that are not securely fastened. As discussed above in Section III.D.9 of this preamble, HUD is uniformly requiring paint stabilization across this final rule, because the treatment of the deteriorated paint will otherwise be ineffective. 

The standard for treating deteriorated paint is the requirement in the final rule that there be clearance of the dwelling unit if paint stabilization is conducted. As explained above, this is also a uniform requirement across this rule whenever hazard reduction is conducted. HUD believes unit-wide clearance is an essential factor in establishing that a dwelling unit is lead safe, and therefore is requiring that clearance tests be conducted by certified risk assessors or certified lead-based paint inspectors. The final rule eliminates the dust testing requirement for pre-1950 housing that was in the proposed rule and the distinction between pre-1950 and post 1949 housing. In the interest of regulatory streamlining, a single set of requirements applies to all pre-1978 housing. 

Standards. Although HUD defers to a large extent to methods and standards set by States, Indian tribes or EPA for lead-based paint inspections, risk assessments, lead-hazard screens and abatements, the Department is requiring that Federal standards for lead-based paint, dust-lead hazards and soil-lead hazards be used when conducting evaluations and hazard reductions in housing covered by this final rule unless a State, tribal or local government requirement is more protective. 

In the final rule, the interim dust-lead standard for risk assessments and reevaluations is 40 micrograms per square foot (µg/ft2) for interior floors (both hard and carpeted) and 250 µg/ft2 for interior window sills. Risk assessments and reevaluations do not have a standard for window troughs. Standards for clearance and lead hazard screens are also provided. Exterior floors, such as unenclosed porches, and patios, do not have a standard; the floor standard applies to enclosed porches. 

HUD is including in the final rule an interim standard for dust lead in carpeting using a wipe sampling method, pending the issuance by EPA of a health-based standard pursuant to TSCA section 433. 

The HUD interim standard for clearance in the final rule is the same as for risk assessments on floors and interior window sills, but a clearance standard of 800 µg/ft2 is added for window troughs. The Department's intent in setting a clearance standard for window troughs is to encourage their cleaning. It is not unusual for window troughs to have very high loadings of lead in dust, perhaps because they are perceived as an exterior surface and are rarely cleaned, and contributes to the dust lead loading in the trough. 

In the final rule HUD has included an option to conduct a lead hazard screen, and as in the HUD Guidelines, the dust-lead standard is set at approximately one-half the risk assessment standard: 25 µg/ft2 for floors and 125 µg/ft2 for interior window sills. The floor standard for the lead hazard screen was set at 25 µg/ft2 instead of 20, reflecting practical laboratory detection limits. 

The standard for soil-lead hazards (400 ppm) addresses bare soil in play areas frequented by children under 6 years of age. HUD intends that these play areas include those intended for these children's routine use, as demonstrated by such evidence as the presence of play equipment or similar attractions, collections of toys or other children's possessions, or observations of children's play patterns. 

EPA questioned the basis for the proposed rule standard of no more than 200 mg/kg for material used to cover soil-lead hazards. While conclusive scientific data on which to base the standard are not available, HUD believes that a standard is needed and that making it one-half of the level considered to be a soil-lead hazard in children's play area is reasonable. 

For reasons of feasibility, HUD is setting an interim dust-lead standard for floors of 40 µg/ft2. 

HUD is setting an interim dust lead standard for carpeted floors that is the same as that for hard floors. 

It is feasible to reach and maintain a floor dust-lead standard of 40 µg/ft2. 

Nearly all pre-1978 dwellings have very high window trough dust-lead levels. For example, data from HUD's Evaluation Study indicate that the media window trough work is more than 11,500 µg/ft2. 

Because window trough lead dust does appear to contribute to children's exposure, HUD has reestablished a window trough clearance standard of 800 µg/ft2 in the final rule. HUD believes it is not feasible to establish a window trough dust-lead standard for risk assessment and reevaluation purposes at this time. Therefore, the window trough dust standard of 800 µg/ft2 is used for clearance purposes only. To meet this clearance requirement, window troughs should be cleaned as a routine part of all lead hazard control work. 

Lead hazard screens are a form of risk assessment applied to housing in good condition where lead-based paint hazards are unlikely to be present. The protocol for a lead hazard screen referenced in the HUD Guidelines involves (among other things) collection of two composite dust samples: one from floors and a second from window troughs. Each composite sample consists of 4 individual samples collected from a like surface. If a level found in the screen is more than one half of the applicable risk assessment dust-lead standard, then a full risk assessment is to be conducted to determine if lead-based paint hazards are actually present. 

In this final regulation, HUD has modified slightly the lead hazard screen protocol of the HUD Guidelines regarding dust. In the final rule, interior window sills are sampled instead of window troughs. 

Similarly, HUD is noting that single-wipe samples may be used instead of composite samples as part of the lead hazard screen. When two or more single-wipe samples are used for a single building component type (such as two or more interior window sills), the dust loadings for that component type are averaged to give the equivalent composite sample result. 

If less than 125 µg/ft2(half of 250 µg/ft2) of lead dust is detected on the composite interior window sill sample, and the composite floor sample shows that less than 25 µg/ft2 is present, the screen shows that lead-based paint hazards are not present. In this case, a full risk assessment is not needed. Conversely, if a lead hazard screen shows that dust-lead is present at level equal to or greater than 125 µg/ft2 on interior window sills or equal to or greater than 25 µg/ft2 on floors, a lead-based paint hazard may be present and a full risk assessment should be conducted to confirm or reject the results of the screen. 

The dust-lead standards in this rule are interim standards until EPA promulgates and makes effective dust-lead hazard standards under TSCA section 403. 

HUD has enumerated explicit factors that must be present for interim controls to be required under this rule for friction, impact and chewable surfaces. HUD developed these factors in response to comments that greater specificity is needed to prevent unnecessary, ineffective and wasteful hazard reduction actions. Friction surfaces are required to be treated only if: (1) Dust-lead levels on the nearest horizontal surface (i.e., the surface on which the dust settles that is nearest to the friction surface) are greater than the risk assessment dust-lead standards; (2) there is evidence that the surface is subject to abrasion; and (3) lead-based paint is known or presumed to be present on the surface. Impact surfaces are required to be treated only if: (1) Paint on the surface is damaged; (2) the damaged paint is caused by impact from a related building component (such as a door knob that knocks into a wall, or a door that knocks against its door frame); and (3) lead-based paint is known or presumed to be present on the surface. HUD intends that impact as a result of misuse by occupants is not necessarily an acceptable basis for requiring treatment. Chewable surfaces are required to be treated only if: (1) There is evidence that a child of less than 6 years of age has chewed on the surface; and (2) lead-based paint is known or presumed to be present on the surface. 

Interim control methods, when required, must be selected from among those identified as acceptable in a current risk assessment report. (As noted in subpart B, abatement is also acceptable when interim controls are required.) When interim controls are required and no risk assessment has been done or no risk assessment that has been done is current, a new risk assessment must be conducted (except when only paint stabilization of deteriorated paint is required, because the response has been specified in the rule). 

HUD is not requiring clearance after ongoing lead-based paint maintenance activities that are conducted after interim controls and that do not disturb painted surfaces of a total area greater than 20 square feet on exterior surfaces, 2 square feet in any one interior room or space, or 10 percent of the total surface area on an interior or exterior component with a small surface area such as window sills, baseboards and other trim. 

Standard treatments, when used, must include (1) Stabilization of all deteriorated paint, interior and exterior; (2) the provision of smooth and cleanable horizontal hard surfaces; (3) the correction of dust-generating conditions (i.e., conditions causing rubbing, binding, or crushing of surfaces known or presumed to be coated with lead-based paint); and (4) treatment of bare soil to control known or presumed soil-lead hazards. Safe work practices and clearance are required. Individuals performing standard treatments must be trained in how to control lead-based paint hazards. The training requirement is identical to that for interim controls. Methods and standards for clearance in this rule refer to the EPA requirements for clearance after abatement at 40 CFR 745.227(e) but also specify the dust-lead loading levels to be used for clearance. To pass clearance, dust-lead levels, using wipe sampling, must be less than 40 µg/ft2 for interior floors, 250 µg/ft2 for interior window sills, and 800 µg/ft2 for window troughs. The rule also specifies the content of clearance reports that must be prepared for clearances after hazard reduction activities other than abatement. 

After clearance, a report is to be prepared that documents the hazard reduction or maintenance activity as well as the results of the clearance examination. It is the responsibility of the designated party to ensure that this report is prepared, signed, and kept for at least three years. For an abatement activity, the report is an abatement report as described in EPA regulations at 40 CFR 745.227(e) (10). The abatement report includes the results of the clearance examination as well as a detailed written description of the abatement, and its preparation is the responsibility of the abatement supervisor. For another hazard reduction activity requiring a clearance report (including interim controls, paint stabilization, standard treatments, lead-based paint maintenance, or rehabilitation), the EPA rule does not apply; so the final rule provides an outline of the required report that parallels the EPA abatement report outline. However, the designated party must make sure: (1) That a report describing the hazard reduction activity is prepared; and (2) that the clearance examiner provides a signed clearance report with the information required by the rule. 

At rooms where hazard reduction activities are conducted when occupants are present; or buildings from which occupants have been relocated, a warning sign shall be posted at each entry. For exterior hazard reduction activities, the sign placement is based on the HUD Guidelines, chapter 8, but the rule is somewhat more flexible, in that the position of the sign for exterior work is not specified beyond the performance requirement of its being easily read at 20 feet (6 meters) from the edge of the worksite. The wording of the sign is that of the four-line warning sign in the OHSA lead in construction standard (29 CFR 1926.62 (m), "WARNING / LEAD WORK AREA / POISON / NO SMOKING OR EATING." The warning sign is to be provided in the occupants' primary language or in the language of the occupant's lease or contract. 

Ongoing Lead-Based Paint Maintenance and Reevaluation. 

The new schedule calls for reevaluation at intervals of two years, plus or minus 60 days. 

When a risk assessor performing a reevaluation finds deteriorated paint or deteriorated or failed interim controls, encapsulations or enclosures, the designated party shall respond, selecting from among the acceptable options for controlling the hazard identified in the risk assessor's report of the reevaluation. When the risk assessor reports newly-identified lead-based paint hazards, the designated party shall treat each dust-lead hazard by cleaning or hazard reduction measures, and each soil-lead hazard by hazard reduction measures. 

Costs - In the first effective year of the rule, the mean incremental cost of compliance is expected to vary from 1.0 to 6.9 percent of total annual revenues for the insured multifamily stock and housing receiving project-based rental assistance. 

Some properties will not be able to fund lead-based paint compliance out of current income. HUD estimates that no more than half of the housing with project-based assistance will be able to obtain an adjustment in assistance levels to finance the cost of the lead-based paint requirements. For projects that do not qualify for a rent adjustment and do not have sufficient income to cover the cost of compliance with the rule, HUD will work with owners to find funds from other sources. 

Final Rule Requirements Summary - The final rule establishes the following types of lead-based paint requirements: (1) Distribution of a lead hazard information pamphlet; (2) notice to occupants of evaluation and hazard reduction activities; (3) evaluation of lead-based paint hazards; (4) reduction of lead-based paint hazards; (5) ongoing monitoring and reevaluation; (6) response to a child with an elevated blood lead level; and (7) record keeping. 


Lead Hazard Information Pamphlet. The rule, in accordance with the statute, requires the distribution of the EPA pamphlet entitled, "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home" to all existing tenants or owner-occupants who have not already received it in compliance with the lead-based paint disclosure rule. 

Resident Notice. The rule, in accordance with Title X, requires that occupants of rental housing receiving Federal assistance be provided written notice of risk assessments, paint inspections, or hazard reduction activities required by this regulation and undertaken at the property. This is a new requirement in HUD regulations. The required notice following risk assessment or inspection provides information to occupants about the nature, scope, and results of the evaluation and a name and phone number to contact for more information or for access to the actual evaluation reports. Notices to tenants regarding hazard reduction activities must contain information about the treatments performed and the location of any remaining lead-based paint. HUD is providing a sample format for resident notices in the final rule. 

Evaluation. The rule establishes four types of evaluation procedures: (1) A lead-based paint inspection, which is a surface-by-surface investigation to determine the presence of lead-based paint on painted surfaces of a dwelling, typically through the use of a portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer; (2) paint testing, which is a limited form of lead-based paint inspection aimed at determining the lead content of deteriorated paint to be disturbed by rehabilitation; (3) a risk assessment, which is an on-site investigation to determine and report the existence, nature, severity, and location of lead-based paint hazards, which, in accordance with Title X, include dust-lead and soil-lead hazards as well as deteriorated lead-based paint, as well as lead-based paint on friction, impact and chewable surfaces; and (4) clearance, which is an examination conducted after hazard reduction, rehabilitation, or maintenance activities (a) to visually determine that deteriorated surfaces that are known or presumed to be lead-based paint have been controlled or abated and that visible dust, debris, paint chips, or other residue have been cleaned up; and (b) to collect samples of settled dust and test them for lead content to determine ht no dust-lead hazards remain. A risk assessment includes limited dust wipe sampling or other environmental sampling techniques, identification of hazard reduction options, and a report explaining the results of the investigation. In some housing programs, the rule calls for a visual assessment instead of a lead-based paint inspection or risk assessment. A visual assessment does not require environmental sampling but requires the visual examination of interior and exterior painted surfaces for signs of deterioration. The rule requires different types of evaluation for different types of housing assistance programs and different ages of housing. The differences in the requirements largely reflect the extent of Federal involvement in the property or the availability of funding.

Hazard Reduction Activities. Three types of hazard reduction activities are required in the rule: (1) Abatement, which is a set of measures designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards through removal, permanent enclosure or encapsulation, replacement of components, or removal or covering of lead-contaminated soil; (2) interim controls, which are designed to reduce temporarily human exposure to lead-based paint hazards through repairs, maintenance, painting, temporary containment, specialized cleaning, and ongoing monitoring; and (3) paint stabilization, which is the removal of deteriorated paint, repair of any physical defect in the substrate that may be causing paint deterioration, and repainting. Specialized cleanup and clearance are required after all these activities.

As with requirements for evaluation, the final rule requires different types of hazard reduction activities for different types of housing assistance programs and different periods of construction.

Ongoing Lead-Based Paint Maintenance and Reevaluation. If temporary hazard reduction measures are used and there is a continuing financial relationship between HUD and the residential property, the final rule requires that owners conduct an annual check to identify any new deteriorated paint and to ensure that prior hazard reduction treatments are still intact. If there is new deteriorated paint, it is to be repaired; if old treatments are failing, they are to be fixed. For some housing programs, the rule requires that a certified risk assessor conduct a reevaluation of the property a specified intervals to identify any reaccumulation of lead-contaminated dust and any failure of prior hazard reductions.

Response To a Child With an Elevated Blood Lead Level. In some HUD programs, existing regulations use the presence of a child under age seven with an elevated blood lead level (EBL) as a trigger to initiate testing for and abatement of lead-based paint on chewable surfaces. The final rule changes the cutoff age from seven to six, to conform to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC). The rule also changes the response requirement to a risk assessment and interim controls of any identified lead-based paint hazards, and changes the definition of an elevated blood lead level for the purposes of this rule from equal to or exceeding 25 micrograms per deciliter to 20 µg/dL for a single venous test or of 15-19 µg/dL in two tests taken at least 3 months apart. This definitional change was made in consultation with CDC to conform to their existing medical guidelines.

Record Keeping. Grantees, owners, public housing authorities, and other designated parties are responsible for keeping a copy of each notice, evaluation, clearance or hazard reduction report for at least three years. If ongoing lead-based paint maintenance and/or reevaluation is required, such records must be kept and made available for HUD review until at least three years after such ongoing activities are no longer required.

HUD requires in the final rule that all dust and soil testing, as well as lead-based paint inspections, risk assessments, clearances and abatements, be performed or approved by people certified in accordance with EPA regulations or a State or tribal program authorized by EPA. To increase the availability of persons qualified to perform clearance examinations, HUD allows certified clearance technicians to perform clearances; and HUD also allows uncertified but trained technicians to perform clearances, provided the clearance report is signed by a certified lead-based paint inspector or risk assessor.

The proposed rule also requires workers performing interim controls to be supervised by a person who is certified under EPA procedures as an abatement supervisor.

HUD is likely the largest "landlord" for properties with lead-based paint issues to deal with. The final regulations make clear how pre-1978 and pre-housing is to be treated. The "lead screen" protocol and carpet wipe test clarifications are another advancement in the state of the art of lead-based paint testing and abatement. The 400 ppm soil cleanup level is a reasonable level given background concentrations, as well.

- Gary Brown