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Lead and Healthy Housing - Compliance and Enforcement Frequently Asked Questions

General   |   Certifications   |   Lead Inspection Requirements

Lead Free   |   Commercial Projects   |   Renovation Projects

Lead Abatement vs Renovation   |   Unit Turnover   |   Clearance Requirements

GENERAL

  • Does the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) have a generic email to which questions about clearance reports can be submitted?
    • No, but questions can always be submitted to individual DDOE staff.
  • Does DDOE plan to develop a lead-free certificate template?
    • Yes. This is under development with DDOE.
  • Does DDOE plan to develop a visual inspection certificate template?
    • Yes. This is under development with DDOE.
  • Where can I find the regulations and when did they become effective?
  • Which properties do the regulations apply to?
    • The regulations primarily apply to residential dwelling units (including those in multifamily properties), to common areas of multifamily properties, and to child-occupied facilities, all built before 1978.  However, please note that pursuant to 20 DCMR § 3302.4 and 20 DCMR § 3304.2, there are standards that apply to work on any type of property in the District.
  • Do the regulations apply to condominiums, and if so, to which areas of the building (e.g. common areas or units that are rented out)?
    • Yes, the regulations apply to condominiums as they are residential dwelling units.
    • The regulations apply to the entire condominium building.
  • Did DDOE intend to exclude “designed to” from the definition of “Abatement” and specifically include “designed to” in the definition of “Interim Controls”?
    • Yes. This is consistent with the statutory definitions of both terms, which may be found at D.C. Official Code § 8-231.01.
  • Does the District prohibit ceramic tile containing a lead glaze during the manufacturing process to be installed in a residential building?
    • Yes,  pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 8-231.02(b), no person shall apply a lead-based paint or glaze to any surface, including the interior and exterior surfaces, of any residential, public, or commercial building, bridge, or other structure or superstructure, or on any paved surface.

 

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Can DDOE explain the requirements for individuals and entities performing the following activities:
    • Lead Abatement
      • 20 DCMR § 3316 – Lead abatement requirements
      • 20 DCMR § 3399.1 – Abatement definition
    • Renovation – A firm and renovator are required to follow several sections of the regulations
      • 20 DCMR §§ 3302.3-4 – Lead Safe Work Practices
      • 20 DCMR § 3304 – Prohibited Work Practices
      • 20 DCMR § 3310 – Renovation Requirements
      • 20 DCMR §§ 3307, 3311, and 3322 – Certification Requirements
      • 20 DCMR § 3315 – Risk Reduction Using Interim Controls  

 

LEAD INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS

  • What are DDOE’s requirements for a lead-based paint inspection?
    • The Act and regulations reference Federal guidelines and regulations that include requirements for lead inspections. 
    • According to 20 DCMR § 3302.4, any owner, individual, firm, or business entity shall: (a) Comply with the following work practice standards, as applicable: (1) Work practice standards in 40 C.F.R. § 745.226 and 40 C.F.R. § 745.227, or any successor regulation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); (3) U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Methods and Standards for Lead-Paint Hazard Evaluation and Hazard Reduction Activities contained in 24 C.F.R. part 35, and any successor regulations
  • Can DDOE clarify the meaning of the term “real property,” as used in the definition of “lead-contaminated soil?”
    • The entire real estate within the property boundaries is considered “real property.”
  • Is DDOE attempting to specifically exclude areas of lead-contaminated soil?
    • No.
  • Is DDOE excluding any play areas within a child’s environment? 
    • No.
  • Can DDOE confirm that a lead-based paint determination must utilize Documented Methodology – Chapter 7 – Lead-based Paint Inspections – HUD Guidelines including the Performance Characteristic Sheet?
    • According to 20 DCMR § 3302.4, any owner, individual, firm, or business entity shall comply with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Methods and Standards for Lead-Paint Hazard Evaluation and Hazard Reduction Activities contained in 24 C.F.R. part 35, and any successor regulations, as applicable.  This would include all requirements for a Performance Characteristic Sheet (PCS).
  • Does DDOE utilize the documented methodology of Chapter 16 in the HUD Guidelines to investigate an elevated blood-lead level? If no, what is DDOE’s documented methodology?
    • DDOE utilizes the methodology developed by our Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention/Healthy Homes and Compliance and Enforcement Branches, reflecting HUD and CDC best practices.

 

LEAD FREE

  • Can DDOE clarify if soil sampling is required in addition to lead-paint determinations to designate a rental community as a “Lead-free property?”
    • Yes, sampling would be required to determine if the property is free of lead-contaminated soil.  According to D.C. Code § 8-231.01(27) “Lead-free property” means a property that contains no lead-contaminated soil, and the interior and exterior surfaces do not contain any lead-based paint or other surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of one milligram per square centimeter (1.0 mg/cm2).
  • Has DDOE approved a standard template for inspection firms to issue for Lead-Free Properties or Lead-Free Units?
    • No.
    • If no, does the firm merely issue a document designed by them?
      • Yes.

 

COMMERCIAL PROJECTS

  • How do the District’s laws impact commercial building renovations/demolitions?
    • Commercial building renovation projects must follow work practice standards, as applicable in 20 DCMR § 3302.4: (a) Comply with the following work practice standards, as applicable: (1) Work practice standards in 40 C.F.R. § 745.226 and 40 C.F.R.§ 745.227, or any successor regulation of EPA;(2) U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards relating to lead, including those standards found at 29 C.F.R. § 1926.62 and 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1025, and any successor regulations; (3) U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Methods and Standards for Lead-Paint Hazard Evaluation and Hazard Reduction Activities contained in 24 C.F.R. part 35, and any successor regulations; and (4) Any other standards required under Chapter 33.
    • The Act and regulations impact demolition projects when the following occurs:
      • 20 DCMR § 3316.3,  the raze or the demolition of a pre-1978 building involving painted surfaces within or on the property shall be subject to the following requirements: (a) All painted components either shall be presumed to be painted with lead-based paint, or shall be tested by a lead-based paint inspector or risk assessor to determine whether or not lead-based paint is present; (b) Provided the building is structurally sound, lead-safe work practices shall be used in conformance with § 3302, and all components containing presumed or identified lead-based paint shall be disposed of in a manner consistent with the disposal of lead-contaminated waste; and (c) The prohibited practices enumerated in § 3304 shall not be used.
      • 20 DCMR § 3316.4,  the raze or the demolition of a pre-1978 building, involving presumed or identified lead-based paint within or on the property, shall only be undertaken after a lead abatement permit is issued for such activity by DDOE, if the property in question is within one hundred feet (100 ft.) of a child-occupied facility, or, in the case of a demolition that is limited to one or several units within a multifamily property, if one or more of those units is on a floor that also contains an occupied unit. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSEE) has a record of licensed child development homes and centers.
  • How does one deal with lead-based paint as it relates to properties transitioning from commercial to residential & vice versa?
    • The Act and regulations cover the present use of the property not the future usage.  That said, DDOE recommends a clearance examination before occupancy of the residential dwelling units. 

 

RENOVATION PROJECTS:

For more information regarding EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, please review the frequently asked questions at, epa.gov/lead , click on “Read Frequent Questions About Lead”.

According to 20 DCMR § 3310.3, a renovation permit shall not be required for renovations in residential housing or child-occupied facilities built prior to 1978, in which:

  • A written determination has been made by a certified lead-based paint inspector or a certified risk assessor that the components affected by the renovation are free of paint or other surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of one milligram per square centimeter (1.0 mg/ cm2) or one half percent (0.5%) by weight, where the firm performing the renovation has obtained a copy of the determination; or
  • A certified renovator, using an EPA-recognized test kit as defined in 40 C.F.R. § 745.83 and following the kit manufacturer’s instructions, has tested each component affected by the renovation and determined that the components are free of paint or other surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of one milligram per square centimeter (1.0 mg/ cm2) or one half percent (0.5%) by weight, with the understanding that if the components make up an integrated whole, such as the individual stair treads and risers of a single staircase, the renovator is required to test only one of the individual components, unless the individual components appear to have been repainted or refinished separately; or
  • A certified renovator has collected a paint chip sample from each painted component affected by the renovation and a laboratory recognized by EPA pursuant to Section 405(b) of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, effective October 11, 1976, as amended (Pub. L. 94-469, 90 Stat. 2003; 15 USC 2685(b)), as being capable of performing analyses for lead compounds in paint chip samples has determined that the samples are free of paint or other surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of one milligram per square centimeter (1.0 mg/ cm2) or one half percent (0.5%) by weight, with the understanding that if the components make up an integrated whole, such as the individual stair treads and risers of a single staircase, the renovator is required to test only one of the individual components, unless the individual components appear to have been repainted or refinished separately.

According to 20 DCMR § 3310.9, except as provided in § 3310.10, all work that constitutes renovation work pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 745.80 et seq. and that does not trigger a permit requirement under these regulations shall be conducted in accordance with the rules promulgated by EPA under 40 C.F.R. § 745.85(a) and shall be followed by cleaning verification or a clearance examination in accordance with the rules promulgated by EPA under 40 C.F.R. § 745.85(b).

  • Do routine renovations that enclose or replace lead-based painted surfaces or fixtures qualify as “abatement?”
    • This would depend on the property structure type and condition of the lead-based paint surfaces. Under District law, if an individual wants to enclose or replace non-intact lead-based paint, an abatement permit would be required regardless of whether or not the activity was intended to be part of a renovation. 
    • Routine renovation projects would follow the renovation requirements within the regulations. 
  • Are there requirements to report renovation projects?
    • There are no requirements to report renovation projects to DDOE.  However, according to 20 DCMR § 3310.13 renovation firms shall comply with all recordkeeping and reporting requirements contained in 40 C.F.R. § 745.86.
  • Is notification required for Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) projects?
    • Currently, the District of Columbia is not an authorized state or jurisdiction for RRP.  However, according to 20 DCMR § 3310.11, except as provided in § 3310.12, prior to any renovation activity occurring for compensation in a residential property or in a child-occupied facility where the structure was built prior to 1978, pre-renovation education and documentation to the tenants thereof shall occur, in accordance with the relevant requirements mandated by 40 C.F.R. § 745.84.
    • Under 20 DCMR § 3310.12, the information distribution requirements in § 3310.11 do not apply to emergency renovations, which are:  (a) renovation activities that were not planned but result from a sudden, unexpected event, such as non-routine failures of equipment, that, if not immediately attended to, presents a safety or public health hazard, or threatens equipment and/or property with significant damage; and (b) interim controls performed in response to an elevated blood lead level in a resident child.
    • There are no requirements to report renovation projects to DDOE.  However, according to 20 DCMR § 3310.13 renovation firms shall comply with all recordkeeping and reporting requirements contained in 40 CFR § 745.86.
  • Is re-painting on existing LBP considered LBP abatement or RRP work?
    • Re-painting on existing lead-based paint could be considered lead abatement work depending on the methods used for the re-painting.  For instance, if the method is paint stabilization, this is considered interim controls.  If re-painting includes a heat gun (which must always be operated below 1100°F and must not char the paint), this would be considered lead abatement.
    • Re-painting on existing lead-based paint is considered RRP work if it meets the requirements under the RRP Rule.  Go to epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program for more information. 

LEAD ABATEMENT PROJECTS

  • Is there a waiver possibility for LBP exterior abatement ordered in the winter?
    • At this time, the Act and regulations do not specifically include a winter waiver for lead-based paint exterior lead abatement projects.  According to 20 DCMR § 3318.9, the deadline specified in §§ 3318.5 and 3318.6 may be extended by DDOE, in increments of a maximum of thirty (30) days, provided the owner: (a) requests in writing an extension from DDOE and submits such written request no fewer than five (5) calendar days prior to the existing deadline for compliance; (b) explains in the written deadline extension request the reason why more time is needed; and (c) provides in the written deadline extension request a summary of steps taken to date, sufficient to demonstrate to the satisfaction of DDOE that: (1) the owner intends in good faith to comply with the Order; and  (2) providing more time to the owner to comply with the Order is not likely to endanger the health and safety of any occupants of the property subject to said Order.
    • If the project is not subject to an Order, but an abatement permit has been issued for the project, the contractor or owner should notify DDOE of any delay, on a DDOE-issued lead-based paint activity abatement-renovation activity revision form.

 

LEAD ABATEMENT VS RENOVATION

  • Can DDOE provide examples or guidance as to how property owners need to process their routine activity as “abatement” versus “renovation?”
  • A lead abatement permit is required for the following activities (20 DCMR § 3316.4):
    • Elimination of LBP hazards (deteriorated lead-based paint, lead-based paint, lead contaminated soil) at a pre-1978 residential or child-occupied facility
    • Raze or Demolition Projects on a pre-1978 building if the property is within 100 ft. of a child-occupied facility, or, in the case of a demolition that is limited to one or several units within a multifamily property, if one or more of those units is on a floor that also contains an occupied unit
  • The following activities do not require a permit (20 DCMR § 3316.2):
    • Door replacement (provided ancillary door components are not also being replaced);
    • Covering of any lead-contaminated soil less than 1,000 ppm of lead; and
    • Abatement of deteriorated paint < 2 ft2 per room of deteriorated paint on an interior surface, or < 20 ft2 on the exterior surface.

Renovation Permit (20 DCMR § 3310)

  • A renovation permit is required for the removal, repair, or paint stripping of presumed or identified LBP (intact or deteriorated), in a pre-1978 residential or a child-occupied facility, if > 500 ft2 OR ≥ $20,000 (20 DCMR §§ 3310.1(a) and (b)):
  • A renovation permit is not required if:
    • A written determination has been made by a certified lead-based paint inspector or a certified risk assessor and has been obtained by the firm performing the renovation, that the renovation surfaces are free of paint or other surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 mg/cm2 or 0.5% by weight (20 DCMR § 3310.3(a));
    • A certified renovator, using an EPA-recognized test kit as defined in 40 CFR § 745.83 has tested each renovation component and determined that the components are free of paint or other surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 mg/cm2 or 0.5% by weight; (20 DCMR § 3310.3(b));and
    • A certified renovator collected a paint chip sample from each painted component, submitted them to an approved laboratory, which determines that the paint chip samples are free of paint or other surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 mg/cm2 or 0.5% by weight (20 DCMR § 3310.3(c));
  • Please note: According to 20 DCMR § 3310.9, except as provided in § 3310.10 (emergency renovation projects), all work that constitutes renovation work pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 745.80 et seq. and that does not trigger a permit requirement under these regulations shall be conducted in accordance with the rules promulgated by EPA under 40 C.F.R. § 745.85(a) and shall be followed by cleaning verification or a clearance examination in accordance with the rules promulgated by EPA under 40 C.F.R. § 745.85(b).
  • Does a complete gut job require a permit?
    • The Act and regulations impact interior demolition (“gut”) projects as follows:
      • Pursuant to 20 DCMR § 3310.2, the raze or demolition of a building that is subject to § 3316.4 shall not trigger a requirement for a DDOE-issued renovation permit.
      • Pursuant to 20 DCMR § 3316.3,  the raze or the demolition of a pre-1978 building involving painted surfaces within or on the property shall be subject to the following requirements: (a) all painted components either shall be presumed to be painted with lead-based paint, or shall be tested by a lead-based paint inspector or risk assessor to determine whether or not lead-based paint is present; (b) provided the building is structurally sound, lead-safe work practices shall be used in conformance with § 3302, and all components containing presumed or identified lead-based paint shall be disposed of in a manner consistent with the disposal of lead-contaminated waste; and (c) the prohibited practices enumerated in § 3304 shall not be used.
      • Pursuant to 20 DCMR § 3316.4,  the raze or the demolition of a pre-1978 building, involving presumed or identified lead-based paint within or on the property, shall only be undertaken after a lead abatement permit is issued for such activity by DDOE, if the property in question is within 100 ft. of a child-occupied facility, or, in the case of a demolition that is limited to one or several units within a multifamily property, if one or more of those units is on a floor that also contains an occupied unit.

 

UNIT TURNOVER

  • What are the requirements related to apartment turnover-related painting and renovation?
    • According to 20 DCMR § 3314.1,  before a change in the occupancy of a residential rental unit and before the execution of a lease, where a prospective occupant household informs the property owner (in writing) that the household includes a pregnant individual or a child under six (6) years of age, the owner of the unit shall: (a) provide the prospective tenant with a clearance report issued not more than twelve (12) months before the change in occupancy;  (b) give the prospective tenant an acknowledgment form issued by DDOE to sign and date as confirmation of receipt of the passing clearance report; and (c) retain a copy of the acknowledgement form for at least six (6) years, which shall be readily accessible to DDOE during that period.
    • Pursuant to 20 DCMR § 3314.3, the clearance report required by this section may be issued by a District of Columbia certified dust sampling technician, lead-based paint inspector, or risk assessor.

 

CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS

  • Does the clearance examination report have to include information that is on the lead permit?
    • Yes, this requirement can only be changed through a regulatory amendment. 
  • What are the criteria for clearance wipes?
    • Clearance examination requirements are covered within the HUD Methods and Standards for Lead-Paint Hazard Evaluation and Hazard Reduction Activities contained in 24 C.F.R. part 35, and any successor regulations and the Act and regulations
    • Clearance examination requirements within 20 DCMR Chapter 33 are located at:
      • 20 DCMR § 3310 – Renovation Permit
      • 20 DCMR § 3314 – Change in Occupancy
      • 20 DCMR § 3315 – Interim Controls
      • 20 DCMR § 3316 – Abatement
      • 20 DCMR § 3318 – Notice of Violation, Order to Eliminate Lead-Based Paint Hazards, Notice of Infraction, Compliance Order, etc.
      • 20 DCMR § 3319 – Relocation
  • Does DDOE intend to limit the risk assessor’s visual assessment to “lead-based paint” versus deteriorated “paint” during a clearance examination? The definition indicates lead-based paint and not the broader “paint.”
    • The definition of a clearance examination includes deteriorated paint. D.C. Official Code§ 8-231.01(5) defines “clearance examination” as an evaluation of a property to determine whether the property is free of any deteriorated lead-based paint and underlying condition, or any lead-based paint hazard, underlying condition, lead-contaminated dust, and lead-contaminated soil hazards, that is conducted by a certified risk assessor, a lead-based paint inspector, or in accordance with limitations specified by statute or by rule, a dust sampling technician.
      • According to D.C. Code § 8-231.01(22), a lead-based paint hazard means any condition that causes exposure to lead from lead-contaminated dust, lead-contaminated soil, deteriorated lead-based paint or presumed lead-based paint, or lead-based paint or presumed lead-based paint that is disturbed without containment.
  • Will DDOE send out laminated copies of the clearance requirements?
    • This is an ongoing project.  DDOE will distribute the laminated copies once they are developed and approved.
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