Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.
To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
EPA requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. Individuals can become certified renovators by taking an eight-hour training course from an EPA-approved training provider. Learn how to become an EPA certified firm and where to take a training course near you.
- Contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures:
- Contain the work area.
- Minimize dust.
- Clean up thoroughly.
- Read EPA’s Regulations on Residential Property Renovation at 40 CFR 745.80, Subpart E.
- Read about lead-hazard information for renovation, repair and painting activities in the EPA lead hazard information pamphlet Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools (PDF) (11 pp, 1.1MB) | en español (PDF) (20 pp, 3.2MB)
Everyone knows that “groundwater” is water that exists beneath the surface of the Earth in soils, porous geologic materials, and aquifers. What many people are not aware of is the debate that a raged for years within the environmental consulting arena. Finally the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has settled this issue once and for all: groundwater is one word. The official announcment from USGS is presented below:
March 26, 2009
OFFICE OF GROUNDWATER TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM 2009.03
Sunject: GROUNDWATER: Ground water vs. groundwater
It has been a longstanding practice within the USGS to spell ground water as two words and to hyphenate when ground water is used as a modifier (e.g., ground-water hydrology). Ground Water Branch Technical Memorandum 75.03 issued just under 35 years ago specified that the two-word form should be used. (http://water.usgs.gov/admin/memo/GW/gw75.03.html)
Language evolves, and it is clear that the one-word spelling of groundwater has become the preferred usage both nationally and internationally. The one-word spelling has been used by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary since 1998. Most water-resources publications also use the one-word spelling, as do many technical groups, such as the National Research Council. With the emphasis on interdisciplinary science, many USGS scientists who are not specialists in the field commonly use the one-word form, as increasingly do many hydrologists within the Water Resources Discipline.
The term surface water has not seen the same language simplification that has occurred with the term “groundwater”. “Surface water” continues in the English language universally spelled as two words. Use of the two terms together spelled as “groundwater and surface water” has become common usage.
With this memorandum, we are making a transition to the use of groundwater as one word in USGS. Changeover to use of the one-word spelling in our publications and web sites will be accomplished as seamlessly as possible. Reports in preparation should be converted to the one-word spelling where this does not require a special effort. Reports submitted for approval after August 1, 2009, will be expected to use the one-word form. During this transition period, the one-word or two-word spelling should be used consistently throughout a publication.
This memorandum supercedes Ground Water Branch Technical Memorandum No. 75.03
On November 1, 2006 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s much-anticipated “All Appropriate Inquiries” rule establishing mandatory requirements for assessing commercial real estate for environmental contamination became effective. An environmental investigation known as a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is the minimum level environmental “due diligence” for any buyer, investor, or lender of commercial real estate that has the potential to be contaminated by hazardous substances or petroleum products.
The reason for conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is to qualify for cleanup liability protections against the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Under CERCLA an owner of environmentally impaired commercial real estate can be held financially liable for all cleanup costs at the property even if they did not know of, cause or contribute to the contamination. Cleanup costs associated with contaminated real property often exceed the value of the property. Many property owners, faced with the extremely high cleanup costs at these sites, default on their loans. A properly conducted pre-acquisition Phase I Environmental Site Assessment provides a significant degree of protection from CERCLA liability for lenders, prospective purchasers of the property, and investors.
The “All Appropriate Inquiries” rule was mandated by the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2002 (Brownfields Amendments). Congress recognized a need to protect businesses involved in real property acquisitions from CERCLA liability. The Brownfields Amendments added two new cleanup liability protections to CERCLA; the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser and Contiguous Property Owner protections. An Innocent Landowner liability defense already existed in the CERCLA statute. Congress required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish “standards and practices for the purpose of satisfying the requirement to carry out all appropriate inquires into the previous ownership and uses of the property consistent with good commercial or customary practice”.
The EPA rule allows lenders, borrowers, investors, and others to secure cleanup liability protection if they conduct a pre-acquisition Phase I Environmental Site Assessment that follows the All Appropriate Inquires rule or the American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM E 1527-05 standard. Purchasers of commercial real estate can no longer establish protection against CERCLA cleanup liability by conducting the ASTM Transaction Screen (checklist) analysis (ASTM E 1528-06).
All Appropriate Inquiries and ASTM E 1527-05 Environmental Professional Requirements
Under both the All Appropriate Inquiry rule and the ASTM Phase I standard, only an environmental professional (EP) meeting stringent requirements for education, experience, and registration/certification can conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment/All Appropriate Inquiries investigation. EPA requires that environmental professionals are competent environmental consultants who have a sufficient degree of expertise to render opinions and conclusions regarding “releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances” or about the potential for contaminants migrating from neighboring properties.
Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Liability Protection
The CERCLA rule also provides liability protection for business entities and persons that qualify as Bona Fide Prospective Purchasers. Rather than acquiring direct cleanup liability costs for environmentally impaired real estate, EPA can only impose a windfall lien on the contaminated property for the increase in fair market value that results from any site cleanup conducted at EPA’s expense at the property.
For the first time, a person or business entity qualifying as a Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser may acquire commercial real estate with knowledge of contamination after conducting a pre-acquisition Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and not incur CERCLA liability for cleanup costs.
Contiguous Property Owner Liability Protection
CERCLA provides protection for businesses and persons that qualify as Contiguous Property Owners. A Contiguous Property Owner is “A person that owns real property that is contiguous to or similarly situated with respect to, and that is or may be contaminated by a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance from, real property that is not owned by that person shall not be considered to be liable under CERCLA for cleanup of the owned property”.
A requirement for a Contiguous Property Owner to secure protection from CERCLA liability is that “at the time the person acquired the property, the person…conducted All Appropriate Inquiry…and did not know or have reason to know that the property was or could be contaminated by a release or threatened release of one or more hazardous substances from other real property not owned or operated by the person”.
If you would like more information regarding All Appropriate Inquires and the new ASTM E 1527-05 please contact: Will Davis, REA, Davis Environmental at 707.367-0398 or Email email@example.com.
Welcome to our website. Many of you may be unfamiliar with Davis Environmental Sciences so please allow me to introduce myself and Davis Environmental Sciences.
My name is Will Davis, I am the principal scientist with Davis Environmental Sciences. I have almost twenty years of expertise in environmental and occupational safety management.
Davis Environmental Services is an environmental consulting company based in Sonoma County, California. We specialize in providing high quality Phase I Environmental Site Assessments in addition to a number of other environmental services including industrial hygiene surveys, employee environmental and safety training, environmental and safety program development and implementation, hazardous materials management, environmental and Cal/OSHA compliance audits, environmental monitoring, and indoor air quality investigations.
Davis Environmental Sciences team of environmental professionals includes Registered Environmental Property Assessors (REPAs), Board-Certified Indoor Environmental Consultants (CIECs), Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs), geologists, safety professionals, environmental risk managers, and trained environmental auditors.
Our clients include Federal, state, and local government agencies, international development companies, realtors, business owners, schools, land developers, non-profit organizations, and cities.
We are proud to offer professional services that can reduce your liability, minimize costs, and successfully resolve your environmental challenges.
If you would like further information regarding our environmental and safety services, and how we can assist you in meeting your environmental and safety challenges, please contact Davis Environmental Sciences by clicking on the “contact” button on the left of the screen.