A new Environmental Protection Agency rule will stall or halt many remodeling projects of all houses built before 1978, which potentially affects scores of projects in The City Sentinel readership area, said a highly regarded home inspector.
Jack Werner said the Renovation, Repair and Painting rule forces all contractors to be take specialized training and obtain Environmental Protection Agency certification before they can work on homes containing lead paint.
The rule is designed to protect children from blood poisoning, according the government agency.
Werner said the training will be too expensive for small contractors and there are not enough sources providing the training for the certification.
So far, only Metro Tech has announced it is accredited to provide the training at one of its campuses for the scores of contractors and homeowners whose work will be delayed by the rule.
Werner holds a Ph.D. in finance and a construction degree from Oklahoma State University. He is is a local real estate investor and operates A to Z Inspections, a company that performs home inspections for home sellers and buyers.
“Another EPA glitch was the failure to publicize the new rule to those affected by it – the small business contractors, painters, remodelers and property owners,” Werner said. “As of April 22, when this rule became effective, their work on older homes was for all practical purposes stopped,” he contends.
Local attorney Robert Elder said Dr. Werner has tried and failed to get through the EPA bureaucracy and obtain more detailed certification information - underscoring the hurdle this rule creates for everyday people working on older homes.
Werner and others in the housing industry are circulating a petition to urge the Oklahoma congressional delegation to act to give relief to affected contractors and homeowners. Werner and Elder urge other affected people in the community to sign the petition.
Metro Tech receives accreditation for lead-based paint renovation rule training
Metro Technology Centers is accredited by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide training for the newly effective Renovation, Repair and Painting rule. Under this national accreditation, Metro Tech is approved to train persons working in pre-1978 housing for their required certification in lead based paint renovations. However, the training will be held only at the Springlake campus, raising the question of whether it will accommodate the scores of people who need it.
Melanie Stinnett, Metro Tech Chief Officer of Environmental Safety and Regulation Affairs, says this accreditation is in addition to the existing accreditation from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
“This allows Metro Tech to provide public outreach training to individuals who are required to comply with the quality for lead-based paint activities,” Stinnett said. Metro Tech has been the only accredited lead based paint inspector, risk assessor, abatement supervisor and abatement worker training center in the state of Oklahoma since 2002.
Metro Tech added the new program training to existing lead-based paint training. All training is provided by EPA and DEQ certified instructors. For certification course information, register on-line www.metrotech.org.
Metro Technology Centers is a career and technology center district with six locations, serving the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. It offers a variety of training and career majors to high school students, adults, and business and industry. The District currently offers 100 full-time career majors, 500 short-term and online classes, as well as customized training for business and industry. Career majors and classes are available days, evenings and weekends.