Dear Risk Assessor or Inspector:
On January 7, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule revising the dust-lead post-abatement clearance levels (DLCL) from 40 µg/ft2 to 10 µg/ft2 for floors and from 250 µg/ft2 to 100 µg/ft2 for window sills. EPA is notifying risk assessors and inspectors certified by EPA of the effect of this rule on their work. As a result of this revision, certified risk assessors and inspectors must compare post-abatement dust sampling results for floors and window sills to the new, lower DLCL from this rule. If sampling results are equal to or greater than the corresponding clearance levels, then the abatement fails clearance and those components represented by the sample must be recleaned and retested until clearance can be achieved. However, this revision does not affect the existing dust-lead clearance levels for window troughs, which are set at 400 µg/ft2. The final rule does not change any other abatement requirements, and EPA’s revisions to the DLCL do not retroactively compel actions. EPA encourages certified risk assessors and inspectors to check with their state and local agencies with lead-based paint (LBP) programs as they may require actions based on the revised DLCL. For further information, please see the following URL:
EPA administers the LBP Activities program where states, territories or tribes are not authorized by EPA to operate their own lead abatement programs. If you work in a state, territory or tribe that does not have an authorized LBP Activities program, then EPA’s revised DLCL will take effect on March 8, 2021. These states include Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming. In addition, EPA administers the LBP Activities program in the territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas and Virgin Islands as well as most tribal lands.
In states, territories and tribes with authorized LBP Activities programs, the revised DLCL will take effect when those states, territories and tribes revise their LBP Activities programs to be at least as protective as EPA’s revised DLCL. This must occur no later than March 8, 2023.
Additionally, EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) program, which aims to protect the public from lead-based paint hazards associated with renovation, repair and painting activities, includes optional dust lead clearance testing (see 40 CFR § 745.85(c)). Post-renovation dust wipe sampling for clearance (taken by certified risk assessors, inspectors or dust sampling technicians) may be required by the person contracting for the renovation or by another Federal, state, territorial, tribal, or local law or regulation and must use the revised DLCL. If you work in a state, territory or tribe where EPA administers the RRP program and you perform post-renovation dust-lead clearance testing in compliance with the RRP rule, then as of the effective date of March 8, 2021 any optional clearance testing will utilize the revised DLCL. In states, territories and tribes with authorized RRP programs, certified risk assessors, inspectors or dust sampling technicians must evaluate and adhere to any state and local standards in reference to post-renovation clearance testing.
The URLs below provides a list of the authorized LBP Activities and RRP programs and links to their websites. With this information, one can identify state contacts in order for you to monitor the progress of the state, territory or tribe’s program’s revisions in which you work:
LBP Activities Program: https://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-based-paint-abatement-and-evaluation-program-overview#2
RRP Program: https://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program-firm-certification#1
As a reminder, it is also important to note that on June 21, 2019, EPA finalized a rule revising the dust-lead hazard standards (DLHS) from 40 µg/ft2 for floors and 250 µg/ft2 for window sills, to 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2, respectively. If you work in a state, territory or tribe that does not have an authorized LBP Activities program, then EPA’s revised DLHS became effective on January 6, 2020. In states, territories and tribes with authorized LBP Activities programs, the revised DLHS will take effect when those states, territories and tribes revise their LBP Activities programs to be at least as protective as EPA’s revised DLHS and this must occur no later than January 6, 2022.
EPA will continue to consider the DLCL final rule and the related DLHS as a part of EPA’s broader review of actions, in accordance with the Executive Orders and other direction provided by the Biden-Harris Administration.
If you have any questions regarding these revisions, then please contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD .
Michelle Price, Chief
Risk Management Branch 2
Existing Chemicals Risk Management Division
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics