Then change is inevitable, sometimes the best defense is a good offense. This is true for lead abatement activities. EPA has issued the Requirements for Lead-Based Paint Activities in Target Housing and Child-Occupied Facilities Final Rule. After March1, 1999, you will need to adopt new procedures when working on buildings where lead-based paint is present. New Jersey has already developed a program in line with these regulations and Pennsylvania and Philadelphia are expected to develop one shortly. Other states are expected to adopt and implement the program over the next several years. 

Your best strategy is to plan ahead. If you own a property that requires lead abatement or are planning to buy such a property, you will want to perform the lead abatement as part of renovations to minimize cost and to disturb as few people as possible. The rules define target housing and a child-occupied facility as follows: 

Target housing is defined as any housing constructed prior to 1978, except housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities, or any O-bedroom dwelling. 

A child-occupied facility is defined as a building or portion of a building constructed prior to 1978, visited by the same child, 6 years of age or younger, on at least two different days within the week, provided that each day's visit lasts at least three hours, the combined weekly visits last at least six hours, and the combined annual visits last at least 60 hours. Child-occupied facilities may include, but are not limited to, day-care centers, preschools and kindergarten classrooms.  

The EPA rule is intended to ensure that individuals conducting lead-based paint inspections, risk assessments, and abatements in target housing and child-occupied facilities are properly trained and certified, and that training programs providing instruction in these activities are accredited. 

In addition to mandating inspector certification, setting standards and defining terms, the rule establishes work practice standards that go into effect March 1, 1999. The rule calls for three related actions that may be performed either as single tasks or as part of an inspection, risk assessment or abatement: (1) a "lead hazard screen." basically a risk-assessment activity with highly sensitive criteria and limited sampling, (2) laboratory analysis, and (3) composite dust sampling. 

In every case, inspections and assessments must only be conducted by EPA trained and qualified personnel, and must be conducted according to established procedures. 

This is a massive program, with far-reaching effects. The first-year costs alone are estimated at $31 million. And the "present-value" costs (1996 dollars) over the 50-year time period are projected at $1,114 billion. 

The RT Review will keep you advised of further developments in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. We have completed several major commercial and industrial lead-paint abatement projects, and have EPA program trained inspectors available now.  

March/April 1997