Thursday, February 25, 2016

Zack Academy Partners With Virginia Highlands Small Business Development Center To Offer EPA Lead RRP Initial and Refresher Courses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, NY (February 25, 2016) - Zack Academy (www.ZackAcademy.com), a leading provider of career-oriented training and certification courses, announced today that it will partner with Virginia Highlands Small Business Development Center to offer EPA Lead RRP Initial and Refresher Courses on March 25 (9am - 5pm), and March 24 (1:00pm - 5:00pm), respectively. 

Venue address:
Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
Virginia Highlands Community College Campus
One Partnership Circle
Abingdon, VA 24210

Through this partnership, Zack Academy will provide a lead certified instructor to the Small Business Development Center in order to better train nearby construction and painting professionals on the harmfulness of lead. 

“This partnership with Virginia Highlands Small Business Development Center allows us to reach even more professionals in need of EPA lead RRP certifications,” said Zachary Rose, Founder and CEO of Zack Academy. “With these two classes we can help ensure that the nearby communities are armed with well-trained and certified professionals.”

Sue Wagner, Certified Business Analyst commented, “The Virginia Highlands SBDC is well-known for its ability to provide a wide array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. This new partnership with Zack Academy allows us to reach many construction and painting professionals that may need new EPA lead RRP certifications.”

About Zack Academy:

Zack Academy, the parent company of Green Education Services, is a leading provider of career-oriented training and certification courses, offering classes and seminars across the United States in areas including software and programming training; construction; contractor licensing and renewal; lead, asbestos and mold certification; LEED exam prep; stormwater and water management; solar training; cleaning/restoration/water damage; business practices; analytics; and more. Zack Academy provides a one-stop shop for career training by serving as a clearinghouse for hundreds of training companies around the United States.

About Virginia Highlands Small Business Development Center:

Virginia Highlands SBDCs provide services such as development of business plans, manufacturing assistance, financial packages, and procurement contracts. Special emphasis areas include international trade and export assistance; e-commerce; technology transfer; assistance for veterans, including reservists, active duty, and disabled personnel returning from deployment; disaster recovery assistance; IRS, EPA, and OSHA regulatory compliance; research and development as well as market research.

Release Contact: 
Peter Sfraga
Marketing Manager
646-564-3792

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New Online Anytime EPA Lead RRP Refresher Course Now Available

The EPA has approved the 4-hour Lead Renovator RRP Refresher Training to be taken fully ONLINE every other renewal period.



IMPORTANT NOTE:
If taken online, the EPA Lead Renovator Refresher course is valid for 3 years, and the next refresher course you take will have to be completed in-person. In-person EPA Lead Refresher classes are valid for 5 years.

If you work in any of the following states, you MUST take the in-person version of this course: AL, DE, GA, IA, KS, MA, MS, NC, OK, OR, RI, UT, WA or WI.

For individuals who have previously completed the 8-hour EPA Lead Renovator Initial Certification course in compliance with the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, this 4-hour RRP Refresher Course is required to renew your Lead-Safe Renovator Certification. This course is now approved by the EPA to be 100% online, so you are allowed to renew your lead-safe certification from the comfort of your own home!

Friday, February 19, 2016

EPA Releases Online Mapping Tool to Help Protect Drinking Water Sources

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released DWMAPS – the Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters. This robust, online mapping tool provides the public, water system operators, state programs, and federal agencies with critical information to help them safeguard the sources of America’s drinking water.

DWMAPS allows users to learn about their watershed and understand more about their water supplier. DWMAPS also lets users see if sources of their drinking water are polluted and if there are possible sources of pollution that could affect their communities’ water supply. DWMAPS can even guide users to ways they can get involved in protecting drinking water sources in their community.

“A key part of having safe drinking water is protecting the sources – the streams, rivers, and lakes where utilities withdraw water,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “DWMAPS is the latest example of how EPA is using technology and digital tools to better protect public health and the environment.

Utilities and state drinking water program managers can also use DWMAPS with their own state and local data. It allows them to identify potential sources of contamination in their locations, find data to support source water assessments and plans to manage potential sources of contamination and evaluate accidental spills and releases. DWMAPS also integrates drinking water protection activities with other environmental programs at the federal, state, and local levels.

DWMAPS can provide users with information to update source water assessments and prioritize source water protection in any location or watershed in the country. Specifically, DWMAPS helps users to:
  • Identify potential sources of contamination in locations defined by users;
  • Find data to support source water assessments and plans to manage potential sources of contamination;
  • Evaluate accidental spills and releases, identifying where emergency response resources for accidental releases must be readily available; and
  • Promote integration of drinking water protection activities with other environmental programs at the EPA, state, and local levels.
The mapping system will not display the locations of Public Water System facility intakes, but it does contain a wide variety of data useful to the protection of drinking water sources. EPA developed DWMAPS in consultation with EPA regional drinking water programs, state drinking water regulators, and public water systems.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

EPA Removes Multiple Jurisdiction Certifications and Fees For Those Performing Lead-Based Paint Activities

The EPA recently announced that it is removing the addition registration and fee requirements for contractors and individuals who perform lead based paint (LBP) activities, such as lead abatement and lead inspection, when working in states where the EPA administers the program.

Previously, multiple jurisdictions existed which required contractors to register and pay additional fees for each state or jurisdiction that they worked in. Now with the revised ruling, they will be able to work in any EPA-regulated region under a single certification and fee. EPA currently regulates LBP activities in the following states: AK, AZ, FL, ID, MT, NV, NM, NY, SC, SD or WY.

More from the EPA's final ruling, published February 17, 2016:
On June 9, 1999, 40 CFR part 745, subpart L, was amended to include a fee schedule for training programs seeking EPA accreditation and for individuals and firms seeking EPA certification (Ref. 5). These fees were established as directed by TSCA section 402(a)(3), which requires EPA to recover the cost of administering and enforcing the LBP Activities requirements in States without authorized programs. 
The fee schedule created a multi-jurisdiction registration fee which applies to individuals, firms and training programs that provide training or perform lead-based paint activities in more than one State administered by the EPA program. This fee is applied per discipline for each additional EPA-administered State in which the applicant seeks certification/recertification or accreditation/reaccreditation. An EPA-administered jurisdiction is either an individual State without an authorized program or all Tribes without authorized programs in a given EPA Region.

The multi-state jurisdiction fee of $35 was based on the estimated burdens required for Agency clerical, technical, and managerial staff to perform tasks associated with adding jurisdictions to a certification or accreditation. Tasks include entering the information into a database, approving or disapproving the application and generating and mailing a certificate to the applicant. 
After years of implementing the LBP Activities Program, the Agency believes that separate certifications for each EPA-administered State jurisdiction are not necessary. In particular, EPA does not believe it is necessary for the Agency to certify or accredit the same applicant multiple times; certification in one EPA-administered State jurisdiction should be sufficient to perform work in any other EPA-administered State. Accordingly, the Agency is eliminating the requirement for separate certifications in each EPA-administered State jurisdiction in the LBP Activities Program. 
Regulated entities will no longer have to send an application and fees to EPA for the purpose of adding additional EPA-administered State jurisdictions to their certification or accreditation. Now when a regulated entity applies to EPA and receives certification in the LBP Activities Program, they will be able to work in any EPA-administered State.

EPA received many comments on its proposal to remove jurisdictions from the LBP Activities Program. Most comments were in support of eliminating jurisdictions. Commenters who opposed the proposed removal were confused about what EPA was proposing, believing that the Agency was going to change the requirements for States to become authorized to implement the LBP Activities Program. The Agency is not changing the State authorization requirements, nor did it propose to do so. EPA is promulgating the revisions as proposed by eliminating jurisdictions in the LBP Activities Program administered by EPA.

Now that jurisdictions in EPA's LBP Activities Program have been removed, firms, individuals and training providers will receive one certificate that will allow them to work in all EPA-administered States instead of one certificate per State. Certificates issued before this final rule are still valid until their expiration and regulated entities will not need their certificates replaced because of this rule. In addition, a previous certification in a single EPA-administered jurisdiction allows firms, individuals and training providers to perform lead-based paint activities in all EPA-administered jurisdictions until the expiration of that certification.

You can view the full EPA final ruling at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0304-0162


Useful links:

Lead-Based Paint Activities - Training
Lead Abatement vs. Lead Renovations

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

EPA Approves Online Refresher Course for the Lead Renovator (RRP) Certification

On February 17, 2016 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final ruling which revised its 2010 Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, including approval for online refresher training for Certified Renovator renewals.

Per the final ruling:
On January 15, 2015, EPA proposed to eliminate the hands-on requirement in the renovator refresher course. Over 140 comments on its proposal were received. Comments both supported and opposed the proposed change. After carefully weighing the issues at stake and considering the concerns raised by commenters, the Agency is promulgating a modified version of the proposal. 
Specifically, EPA will allow renovators to take a refresher course without hands-on training once every other certification. Once a renovator takes the refresher course without the hands-on training, their next refresher training must include hands-on training. The certification from the refresher course without hands-on training will last for 3 years. 
Taking the course without hands-on training is optional but once a renovator takes the course, their next refresher course must include hands-on training and be taken within 3 years of their previous certification. The certification from taking a course with hands-on training will last for 5 years.
This update modifies the previous version of the rule which required hands-on training to be conducted for refresher training, however it was not approved without stipulations. In summary:

  • Certified Renovators can now take an online refresher course every other renewal period
  • Online refresher courses will only be valid for 3 years, versus 5 years with in-person training
Zack Academy is currently offering both training options for RRP renewal:
While many contractors are relieved to have this convenient online option available, many are still sticking with the in-person renewal course for this first renewal period. This may be due to their hesitation with using an online learning format, or concerns of the availability and convenience of in-person classes in three years from now, when there may not be as many training providers left in the business. Cost is also a factor, as some in-person classes are actually cheaper than the online option, and yet valid for two additional years.


In another argument for the value of the hands-on version of the course, we have also received feedback from several students who forgot many of the requirements and techniques they learned in their initial Lead Renovator course five years ago, who found the in-person hands-on RRP refresher training invaluable. With the EPA stepping up their enforcement of the rule, forgetting important paperwork or worksite requirements can be very costly.

Excluded States

EPA-Authorized states that operate their own lead painting programs do not currently accept the online refresher option. This includes: AL, DE, GA, IA, KS, MA, MS, NC, OK, OR, RI, UT, WA and WI.


Learn more about the online refresher option at Zack Academy.com!

Job Post: Environmental Health and Safety Professional 2


Posting: 05783
Classification: C3902
Department: Environmental Health & Safety
Opens: 2016-02-16
Closes: 2016-03-02
Salary: $19.51 - $29.82 Per Hour
Location: Eugene

The University of Oregon and the Office of Environmental Health & Safety invites applications for a full-time Building Sciences Technician (Environmental Health and Safety Professional 2). This position may work a flexible schedule and will be required to work various shifts and/or hours, including weekends and holidays.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is within Safety and Risk Services and promotes and helps to maintain a healthy and safe environment for the University of Oregon students, faculty, staff, and, visitors. Additionally, EHS provides these services to the University’s satellite locations in Portland, Charleston and Bend.

This is a classified position represented by SEIU local 503, Oregon Public Employees Union.
University of Oregon positions that are at least half-time are eligible for excellent benefits, including health and dental, employer-paid retirement, and tuition benefits for employee or an eligible dependent, sick and vacation leave.

This recruitment is open to any applicant who meets the qualifications listed below.

TO QUALIFY YOU MUST HAVE:

... bachelor's degree with primary focus (45 quarter hours or 32 semester hours) in the physical sciences; AND
... two years of related professional experience in environmental, health, or safety; OR
... a satisfactory equivalent combination of education, experience, and/or professional certifications.

Graduate level courses in the subject areas may be substituted, on a credit-hour basis, for a portion of the required experience.

All coursework must be from an accredited college or university. Transcripts must be submitted for all required and/or related courses.

Successfully pass a criminal background check.

Other Required Qualifications:

Two years of related professional experience working in an environmental or building science program. A degree in a related field or professional certification(s) may substitute to up to one year of work experience.

Possession of a valid Oregon Drivers’ License (or the ability to obtain one within the prescribed time frame) and to successfully apply for and receive a University of Oregon Drivers Certification card. The ability to receive a University of Oregon Drivers’ Certification card is dependent upon an investigation of one’s driving record/history. Such license may be denied by the University of Oregon Department of Parking and Transportation in the event that the investigation is not successful. It is required that this license be maintained throughout employment within this position with the University.

Asbestos inspector certification is required for this position. A candidate must currently have this certification or be able to obtain the certification within six (6) months of hire.

Professional Competencies:

Must be able to climb stairs, ladders, crawl in tunnels and vaults, walk over one mile per day, and work in confined areas. This position must be available to respond to emergency situations on weekends and before and after regular work hours.

This position requires use of personal protective equipment and clothing, including but not limited to respiratory protection and eye protection.

Must operate equipment such as, but not limited to, industrial hygiene monitoring equipment, infrared imaging, sampling equipment, and vehicles.

The incumbent in this position must be able to communicate clearly to faculty, students and staff, using both verbal and written skills.

This position requires a commitment to the university’s affirmative action and equal opportunity goals and the diversity plans of the university.

This position requires a commitment to maintain the highest ethical standards within the department and university.

Preferred Qualifications:

Preference may be given to candidate with a Bachelor of Science in a science or engineering program and/or current AHERA Asbestos Inspector, Management Planner, or Project Designer certifications, Oregon Health Division Lead Inspector / Risk Assessor, a CIH, CSP, REHS, CHMM, 40 Hour Hazwoper or similar professional environmental health and/or safety certification.

Position is subject to criminal background check.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

The purpose of this job/position is to support and work in collaboration with the EHS Building Science team to support the asbestos, lead, indoor air quality, and loss prevention programs. The position uses knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through on-the-job work experience and/or through academic coursework. The position is informed by the regulatory requirements of OSHA, OR OSHA, EPA, OR DEQ and LRAPA regulatory requirements. Duties include:

...Inspecting and evaluating potential asbestos impacts associated with construction projects, including assisting with the development of scopes of work and entering of construction sites to interact with contractors; performing building inspections; periodic surveillance; collecting, documenting and shipping of bulk samples for asbestos analysis; preparing associated reports; data collection; record keeping; and data management; coordinating and working with University project managers, zone maintenance managers, abatement contractors, consultants, and others associated with asbestos-related work; supporting and assisting with development of an enterprise-wide asbestos data base; providing training, general asbestos consultation, and guidance as directed.

...Lead Program: assisting with program development and management of the University Lead Program; providing training and general consultation as directed; completing inspections and hazard assessments; collecting bulk samples, preparating associated reports, data collection, record keeping, and data management.

...Indoor Air Quality, Mold, & Water Intrusion: assisting with investigations, analysis, testing, investigations, collecting samples, preparing associated reports, data collection using direct read and data logging instrumentation, record keeping, and data management; providing general consultation as directed; assisting with program development and maintenance.

...Investigating and assessing reported incidents, loss or damage; assisting with recommendations and resolution of property damage claims; assisting with large property loss mitigation project oversight; assisting with building inspections and data collection required for property insurance.

WORKING CONDITIONS:

Office, laboratory, classroom, construction sites, industrial and outdoor environment where temperatures, lighting, noise level, air quality, etc., will vary. Employee will perform duties within department and/or OR-OSHA guidelines and training stipulations.

Occasional potential for exposure to chemicals or other hazards are part of performing duties.

SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS:

To assist us in making the selection for this position, please respond to the following questions on a separate sheet(s) of paper. Number your responses to correspond to the questions and describe experience and training related to each question. Make sure that any experience or training described in your responses are included on your application.

Describe your experience with buildings and building systems. Highlight specific examples where your experience involved an environmental issue.

Provide an example where you required corrective action of another party regarding an environmental issue. Describe your methods for achieving compliance.

Applicants will need to provide a cover letter, resume and three professional references.

Zack Academy Partners With Emergency Mitigation Technician Academy To Offer IICRC Courses

For Immediate Release

New York, NY (February 17, 2016) - Zack Academy (www.ZackAcademy.com), a leading provider of career-oriented training and certification courses, announced today that it will include courses offered by Emergency Mitigation Technician Academy (EMTA) in its catalog of class listings.

Through this partnership, Zack Academy will promote EMTA’s IICRC courses offered in Marietta, Georgia. Courses offered include: IICRC Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT), IICRC Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT), IICRC Odor Control Technician (OCT), and IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT).

“We are excited to add another fantastic course provider to our ever-growing list,” said Zachary Rose, Founder and CEO of Zack Academy. “Lead by Mark Cornelius, Emergency Mitigation Technician Academy fits perfectly with our group of well-respected providers. We are excited to help their business continue to grow.”

Mark Cornelius, Founder of EMTA commented, “While EMTA is still a young company, we have garnered a 100% success rating from our previous students. This new partnership with Zack Academy allows us to reach many more potential students to better educate the workforce around Marietta, Georgia.”

About Zack Academy:
Zack Academy, the parent company of Green Education Services, is a leading provider of career-oriented training and certification courses, offering classes and seminars across the United States in areas including software and programming training; construction; contractor licensing and renewal; lead, asbestos and mold certification; LEED exam prep; stormwater and water management; solar training; cleaning/restoration/water damage; business practices; analytics; and more. Zack Academy provides a one-stop shop for career training by serving as a clearinghouse for hundreds of training companies around the United States.

About Emergency Mitigation Technician Academy:
Emergency Mitigation Technician Academy was founded with the belief that everyone wins with education. Technicians, Business owners, Home owners, Insurance companies. EMTA offers courses in Water Restoration, Fire and Smoke Restoration, Odor Control, Carpet Cleaning and OSHA 10 & 30 hour General Safety.

Release Contact:
Peter Sfraga
Marketing Manager
646-564-3792

Monday, February 15, 2016

EPA Urges Caution with Flood Renovation Activities Involving Lead Paint

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 711201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, KS 66101

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nine Tribal Nations

Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., January 22, 2016) - As communities across Missouri continue to recover from recent flooding, EPA Region 7 recommends children and pregnant women keep away from work that could disturb lead-based paint. The agency also urges persons working on construction surfaces that may contain lead-based paint to take precautions to prevent the spread of lead-contaminated dust, which is the most significant source of lead exposure for children.

Lead dust may pose hazards to children and pregnant women during cleanup and repair work that typically follows natural disasters such as floods. Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips, which can be harmful to adults and children. Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978. In young children, lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and behavioral problems.

The federal Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule requires that contractors, property managers and others working for compensation, in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978, to be trained and use lead-safe work practices. They also must provide a copy of the brochure, “Renovate Right; Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools,” to owners and occupants before starting renovation work. The brochure is available at http://www.epa.gov/lead/renovate-right-important-lead-hazard-information-families-child-care-providers-and-schools

EPA emphasizes that because of the nature of the recovery work going on in flood-affected portions of Missouri, certain emergency provisions of the RRP Rule may apply. Work covered under the rule’s provision for flood-damaged housing does not require advance notice or trained renovators to remove materials, including debris, from damaged homes. Also, emergency renovation activities are exempt from the rule’s warning sign, containment, waste-handling, training, and certification requirements – but only to the extent necessary to respond to the emergency. Cleaning, cleaning verification and recordkeeping requirements still apply to emergency renovations. Other non-emergency renovation activities remain subject to the rule’s requirements including the posting of signs and containment.

Volunteers who do not receive compensation for work are not required to be trained and certified, under the rule. However, volunteers are strongly advised to educate themselves about lead-safe work practices to avoid causing health or safety hazards for themselves or others.

Homeowners doing their own renovations should take steps to protect themselves and their families from exposure to lead dust. Those steps include:
  • Containing the work area so that dust does not escape from the area. Cover floors and furniture that cannot be moved with heavy duty plastic and tape, and seal off doors and heating and cooling system vents; 
  • Keeping children, pregnant women, and pets out of the work area at all times; 
  • Minimizing dust during the project by using techniques that generate less dust, such as wet sanding or scraping, or using sanders or grinders that have HEPA vacuum attachments which capture the dust that is generated; and 
  • Cleaning up thoroughly by using a HEPA vacuum and wet wiping to clean up dust and debris on surfaces. Mop floors with plenty of rinse water before removing plastic containment from doors, windows, and vents. 
EPA Region 7 has prepared a fact sheet to help answer questions about the RRP Rule and the emergency exemptions. The fact sheet is available online at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/296300831/FLOOD-RECOVERY-HOME-RENOVATIONS-AND-LEAD-BASED-PAINT

Additional information on EPA’s lead program, and ways to protect against hazards associated with lead-based paint, is available online at www.epa.gov/lead, or by contacting the National Lead Information Center, 1-800-424-5323.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Zack Academy Partners With Delphinus Engineering To Offer OSHA 10-Hour Maritime Training Courses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, NY (February 10, 2016) - Zack Academy (www.ZackAcademy.com), a leading provider of career-oriented training and certification courses, announced today that it will include courses offered by Delphinus Engineering in its catalog of class listings.

Through this partnership, Zack Academy will promote Delphinus Engineering’s OSHA 10-Hour Maritime Industry Training Courses that are offered in Bremerton, Washington. These courses provide training for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces in the maritime industry

“We are excited to add another high-quality provider into our extensive listing of training companies,” said Zachary Rose, Founder and CEO of Zack Academy. “Delphinus Engineering is a premier maritime engineering company, and we are happy that our thousands of customers will have one more great training option available to them.”

Michael Potter, an Environmental, Health & Safety Specialist at Delphinus Engineering commented, “By partnering with Zack Academy, we are able to greatly expand our reach and grow our brand. This added exposure will help us in our efforts to reach a wider audience.”

About Zack Academy:
Zack Academy, the parent company of Green Education Services, is a leading provider of career-oriented training and certification courses, offering classes and seminars across the United States in areas including software and programming training; construction; contractor licensing and renewal; lead, asbestos and mold certification; LEED exam prep; stormwater and water management; solar training; cleaning/restoration/water damage; business practices; analytics; and more. Zack Academy provides a one-stop shop for career training by serving as a clearinghouse for hundreds of training companies around the United States.

About Delphinus Engineering:
Delphinus Engineering is a leading provider of expert services in our core competencies of Information Technology, Marine Engineering, Marine Services, Facilities Operations & Maintenance and Business Management. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it has primary offices in Norfolk, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; San Diego, California; and Bremerton, Washington, with a satellite office in Huntsville, Alabama. Delphinus is ISO-9001:2000 registered.

Release Contact:
Peter Sfraga
Marketing Manager
646-564-3792

Monday, February 8, 2016

5 Tips on What to do if You Think you Have Lead Paint in Your Home

What is Lead-Based Paint and why is it Dangerous?
In the past, most individuals used lead-based paint in their homes to create an attractive decor. If your home or apartment was built before 1978, there’s a good chance that it has lead-based paint. Most lead chemicals used in paint was designed to add color to walls or furniture. The most popular paint colors that had lead-based pigments were white, yellow and red. Today, several countries have outlawed the manufacture and use of paints that contain lead to avoid contamination that causes health problems, but many buildings still have old layers of lead-based paint on ceilings, walls and window frames.

Health Problems Caused by Lead-Based Paint
When these old paint layers begin to degrade, the powdery substance is breathed into the lungs or absorbed by the skin. In some cases, children will accidentally ingest lead paint particles, causing an elevated lead content in their bloodstream. Scientists researching a variety of illnesses in the 1970s determined that the lead particles in lead-based paint were detrimental to human health. Some of the dangers from the lead in paint include:
  • Reproductive problems
  • Delayed development for children
  • Kidney damage
  • Stunted growth
  • Nervous system damage
  • Greater incidences of cancer
If you think that a home has lead-based paint on surfaces, then you must take action to meet federal government guidelines along with protecting your health.

Lead Paint Tip One: Have a Home Tested for Lead Paint Contamination
Before investing in professional testing for lead either with a paint inspection or risk assessment, you can buy inexpensive kits that are simple to use at local hardware stores. If one of these paint sample tests is positive, then it is time to have a knowledgeable abatement contractor test additional paint scrapings and dust with specialized equipment. It is possible to have lead paint that is on certain areas of a home, including windowsills, doorframes or a ceiling in one room rather than an entire house. After learning exactly where lead-based paint is located inside or outside a building, you are able to make an effective plan to follow government guidelines along with preventing additional contamination to other areas of your home.

Lead Paint Tip Two: Hire a Licensed Abatement Contractor to Create a Plan
A licensed and certified abatement contractor understands the intricacies of the federal government agency’s regulations concerning lead-based paint that is on the interior or exterior of a home. It is not always necessary to remove all of the lead-based paint, and in some cases, attempting to remove the substance makes contamination from dust and particles easier. Instead of having all of the paint scraped from surfaces, you may have the option to cover it with other materials such as new layers of approved paint on walls also known as encapsulation or strips of metal (aluminum or vinyl cladding) on window frames and new drywall also known as enclosure. An abatement contractor can provide advice about coping with lead-based paint regulations along with helping to determine the cost of each remediation option.

Lead Paint Tip Three: Understand the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Paint Safety Regulations
While an abatement professional can help you determine if there is lead-based paint on a property and offer advice about the substance’s encapsulation, homeowners are responsible for following the regulations. You can obtain a copy of the lead-based paint regulations at federal or state government websites. It is important to understand that failing to follow appropriate lead-based encapsulation guidelines can cause health problems for people living in or visiting a contaminated building. In addition, the government can force you and remodeling contractors to pay expensive fines for failing to remediate a property’s lead-based paint contamination. If there is lead-paint contamination, you can reduce your contact by cleaning up paint chips immediately, cleaning floors, window frames and sills, and other surfaces with warm water and an all-purpose cleaner, washing children’s hands frequently, especially before meals, naps, or bedtime, and removing shoes before entering the home to avoid tracking lead-contaminated soil inside. These are temporary measures until a more permanent solution is instituted.

Lead Paint Tip Four: Request Blood Serum Lead Testing for Children
If you suspect a child has ingested lead-based paint chips or has lead poisoning from dermal contact or breathing lead particles, then request blood serum tests from a physician or medical clinic. Your child under age 6 is most at risk for lead poisoning at home. The symptoms of exposure to lead for children and adults include:
  • Anemia
  • Impaired vitamin D absorption
  • Colic
  • Hypertension
  • Delayed sexual maturation
  • Neurological delay
When an adult or child has a high-level of lead in their bloodstream, it is time to take action to determine where the contamination in a home is located and encapsulate it according to EPA standards.

Lead Paint Tip Five: Avoid Removing Lead Paint Unless it is Required
The regulations for lead-based paint may suggest doing nothing if the surface is not damaged and has a low chance of causing contamination to people. The main danger from the lead in paint is caused from lead dust, peeling strips or chips of paint that can contaminate other surfaces. In buildings where there are children, parents must make sure that a child is not able to pick up the degraded paint flakes because the lead particles are absorbed into the skin. Toddlers may put these paint chips into their mouths, causing significant health concerns. Unfortunately, lead-based paint has a sweet flavor that often attracts children, causing lead poisoning to occur.

The older the home or apartment building is, the more likely it has lead-based paint. The EPA estimates that 87% of homes before the 1940 used lead paint, 69% between 1940 and 1959, and 24% between 1960 and 1977. It is important to identify and remedy any traces of lead in paint to prevent health complications. By hiring a professional abatement contractor and following common sense procedures, you are making your home safe for your family. While it may cost a pretty penny to tackle lead- based paint in your home, the peace of mind is priceless.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Econoheat., the world’s #1 leading manufacturer of the largest waste oil burning product line.

Friday, February 5, 2016

EPA Inspection Reveals Violations of Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule by Home Renovation Company of Joplin, Mo.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7 
11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS 66219
Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nine Tribal Nations
Contact Information: Angela Brees, 913-551-7940 brees.angela@epa.gov
Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., February 4, 2016) – EPA Region 7 conducted a recordkeeping inspection in response to a tip and complaint regarding Home Pro in Joplin, Mo., that revealed violations of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule. As part of a settlement with EPA filed in Lenexa, Kan., the company has agreed to pay a $5,978 penalty to the United States.

The Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule seeks to reduce lead exposure from toxic lead dust that can be disturbed during renovations and repairs. The rule regulates lead-based paint activities, including renovation of residences built prior to 1978, and the certification of individuals and firms who are involved in these activities.

The recordkeeping inspection conducted in October 2014 at Home Pro, a home renovation company, revealed that the company failed to obtain written acknowledgement from homeowners that they received a Renovate Right pamphlet prior to renovations, and to retain records documenting lead safe work practices.

Lead exposure can cause a range of adverse health effects, from behavioral disorders and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children at the greatest risk because their nervous systems are still developing. A national survey of lead and allergens in housing conducted by HUD estimates that 38 million occupied housing units (about 40 percent of all housing units) in the United States contain some lead-based paint.

There are approximately 500,000 U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the reference level at which the Centers for Disease Control recommends public health actions be initiated.

If you suspect the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule has been violated at a recently completed or ongoing renovation project, EPA encourages you to contact Region 7 at 1-800-223-0425 or by using the electronic form available at http://www.epa.gov/ks/forms/region-7-contact-us-about-lead-tips-and-complaints.

Avoid EPA Fines - Order Renovator Right Pamphlets at shop.greenedu.com!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Zack Academy Partners With Juneau Property Maintenance To Offer Asbestos Certification Classes in Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, NY (February 04, 2016) - Zack Academy (www.ZackAcademy.com), a leading provider of career-oriented training and certification courses, announced today that it has partnered with Juneau Property Maintenance to offer in-person asbestos certification classes in Michigan through its catalog of in-person class listings.

Through this partnership, Zack Academy will promote Juneau Property Maintenance’s Asbestos Contractor/Supervisor and Asbestos Supervisor Refresher courses in Lincoln Park, MI, minutes from downtown Detroit.

The Asbestos Contractor/Supervisor course is essential for any individual who performs supervision of persons permitted to enter the restricted and regulated asbestos abatement work area, and is required under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA). The Asbestos Supervisor Refresher course recertifies individuals to prevent their license from expiring.

“Once again, we have identified another high-quality provider we can add to our extensive listing of training partners,” said Zachary Rose, Founder and CEO of Zack Academy. “Juneau Property Maintenance provides essential training in the Detroit area. The work they provide is important to the health and continued revitalization of the community and we are proud to support their efforts.”

Jim Watts, Founder and CEO of Juneau Property Maintenance, commented, “We are very excited to partner with Zack Academy. It will enable us to reach a much wider audience as we look to better serve our community.”

About Zack Academy:
Zack Academy, the parent company of Green Education Services, is a leading provider of career-oriented training and certification courses, offering classes and seminars across the United States in areas including software and programming training; construction; contractor licensing and renewal; lead, asbestos and mold certification; LEED exam prep; stormwater and water management; solar training; cleaning/restoration/water damage; business practices; analytics; and more. Zack Academy provides a one-stop shop for career training by serving as a clearinghouse for hundreds of training companies around the United States.

About Juneau Property Maintenance:
Juneau Property Maintenance is a small business in Lincoln Park, MI offering a wide range of services, from asbestos abatement contracting and training for supervisors and contractors, to janitorial services, seasonal landscaping services, and snow removal.

Media Contact:
Peter Sfraga
Marketing Manager
646-564-3792

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Zack Academy Launches Career-Oriented Training Online Marketplace

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Zack Academy (www.zackacademy.com), a leading provider of certification courses in the architectural and building trades, announced today that it has launched a new website that facilitates the search for training courses to help professionals advance their careers in a wide variety of fields.

Zack Academy (www.zackacademy.com) offers visitors thousands of face-to-face and online courses from a wide variety of third-party instructors and training companies, including: business practices, computer training, construction trade, energy efficiency training, environmental sciences, hazardous materials, cleaning/restoration/water damage, stormwater and water management, and much more. Many of these courses lead to certifications that workers and companies need in order to conduct business.

Zack Academy lists courses offered by many of the United States' leading training providers, including National Seminars Training, specializing in professional development training; Everblue, a leader in sustainability programs; and Green Education Services, a subsidiary of Zack Academy and one of the largest providers of EPA Lead Certification courses. Zack Academy offers certification courses at locations across the United States, as well as providing customized courses offered on-site for corporate clients.

"When Green Education Services was founded in 2009 our services were limited to assisting professionals in the green building industry," said Zachary Rose, Founder and CEO of Zack Academy. "As our partnerships and clientele grew rapidly over the past few years, we felt that a new name, Zack Academy, was needed to better represent our expanding focus, allowing us to reach and serve a larger community of professionals who need training."

"We recognize the importance of professionals acquiring the proper training in order to compete nationally as well as globally," added Mr. Rose. "Zack Academy will be a destination website for anyone who is looking to improve their professional skills and to earn the certifications they need in order to improve their employment qualifications."

About Zack Academy:
Zack Academy, the parent company of Green Education Services, is a leading provider of career-oriented training and certification courses, offering classes and seminars across the United States in areas including software and programming training; construction; contractor licensing and renewal; lead, asbestos and mold certification; LEED exam prep; stormwater and water management; solar training; cleaning/restoration/water damage; business practices; analytics; and more. Zack Academy provides a one-stop shop for career training by serving as a clearinghouse for hundreds of training companies around the United States.

Media Contact:
Peter Sfraga
Marketing Manager
646-564-3792

Monday, February 1, 2016

THD At-Home Services, subsidiary of The Home Depot, to pay $37,065 penalty for lead-based paint violations at Arvada, Colorado home renovation project

Company resolves alleged violations of EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule
Contacts: Kristin Jendrek 303-312-6126, jendrek.kristin@epa.gov; Richard Mylott, 303-312-6654, mylott.richard@epa.gov

(Denver, Colo. – January 27, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a $37,065 settlement with Atlanta, Georgia-based THD At-Home Services following a June 2015 compliance inspection that revealed alleged violations of the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule at a project site in Arvada, Colorado.

THD At-Home Services, a subsidiary of The Home Depot, was the general contractor for the Colorado home renovation project, where prior testing confirmed the presence of lead-based paint. The settlement alleges that the company failed to ensure that waste debris and dust at the project site were properly contained and that the work area was fully cleaned of dust, debris, and residue in accordance with RRP Rule requirements.
“EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule provides important, front-line protection for children and others vulnerable to exposure to lead dust that can cause lead poisoning,” said Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA’s enforcement program in Denver. “EPA will continue to take steps to ensure that contractors comply with the rule’s requirements to contain waste, control dust, and prevent exposure.”

The RRP Rule, issued under the authority of the Toxic Substances Control Act, requires that contractors that work on pre-1978 dwellings and child-occupied facilities are trained and certified in lead-safe work practices and that those work practices are used on jobsites. This ensures that renovation and repair activities that disturb surfaces with lead paint, like sanding or cutting walls or replacing windows, minimize the creation and spread of dangerous lead dust. The rule took effect on June 23, 2008.

The U.S. banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978, however EPA estimates that it is still present in more than 30 million homes across the nation. Lead exposure can cause a range of adverse health effects, from behavioral disorders and learning disabilities to seizures and death, with young children at the greatest risk due to their developing nervous systems.

For more information on the RRP requirements: http://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program