July 31, 2011

Changes to lead-paint rules

Heads up to all who own or renovate older homes: The Environmental Protection Agency has revised its lead-paint rules.

Here's how the National Center for Healthy Housing describes the changes:

Renovators must build a containment wall—a barrier consisting of plastic sheeting or other impermeable material over scaffolding or a rigid frame—to enclose an exterior work space and prevent the spread of lead dust outside of the area.

Uncertified workers should be trained by certified renovators in lead-safe work practices.

Certified renovators should ensure their workers maintain containment and do not spread dust or debris.

States may charge higher penalties for non-compliance with the rule.

This is a revision of rules that went into effect last year. Here's a Q&A with the center in 2010 that runs down what those rules mean, and why it matters for homeowners. The rules apply to homes built before 1978, when lead paint was banned.

And here's a recent Q&A with the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, aimed at helping new landlords (including homeowners who are renting because they can't sell) navigate state rules about testing and remediation.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 8:55 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Lead paint

July 11, 2011

Q&A: A lead-paint primer for new (and accidental) landlords




The difficult housing market has turned a lot of homeowners into landlords by necessity. They can't sell, at least not for the price they require, but they still need to move on -- so they're renting out their former homes.

For these "accidental landlords," and really any new landlord with an older home in Baltimore, trying to figure out how to comply with lead-paint rules seems daunting. One reader has a whole host of questions, and I thought a number of you would love to know the answers, too.

Enter Ruth Ann Norton, executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning in Baltimore. She kindly agreed to do a Q&A guest post, with input from other staffers at the nonprofit.

She has run the coalition for 18 years.


Take it away, Ruth Ann:


Question: How does one best go about the process of getting square with the Maryland Department of the Environment lead rules for renting? Do I test the place myself first? Call MDE first? Call an outside contractor first?

Continue reading "Q&A: A lead-paint primer for new (and accidental) landlords" »

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
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