In what is likely to quickly prove to be a regrettable action for the remodeling and home improvement industry, says attorney DS Berenson of Johanson Berenson in Great Falls, Va.,  the EPA has announced it is eliminating the "opt-out" provision that currently allows a homeowner to “waive” the use of lead safe work practices by a renovation firm. 

According to Berenson, "As of this morning [April 22] the change has not been published in the Federal Register, so the legal specifics of this modification are not yet available to us. We hope some reasonable time period has been allowed by which the opt-out can be phased out of practice by contractors, perhaps allowing continued use for at least a two- to three-month period. We are awaiting release of the actual regulatory text and should have more information in the immediate future." 

The EPA has announced it will require renovation firms to provide a copy of the records demonstrating compliance with lead safe practices to the owner and, if different, the occupant of the building being renovated.  The EPA has also announced its intention to begin proposing lead safe regulations in regard to renovations on the exteriors of public and commercial buildings.