If you are maintaining or renovating a building or structure that was built before 1978, lead-safe work practices are required by the Vermont Lead Law and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This web page assists the public in complying with Vermont state lead-based paint laws for:
- Lead-based paint inspection, risk assessment, and abatement in housing and superstructures
- Vermont Lead Law—Essential Maintenance Practices
- Contractors who perform lead-safe work practices during renovation and repair
Lead-related services can only be provided by a Vermont-licensed contractor or individual.
Find a Lead Consultant or Contractor
You should also know that there is an EPA requirement for specific lead-safe work practices associated with renovation, remodeling, and painting. EPA requirements sometimes overlap with, but do not replace, Vermont-specific requirements.
There are different types of services available related to lead-based paint or lead-contaminated soil. Property owners and homeowners should become familiar with these services when looking for a lead contractor.
Before a property owner or homeowner starts looking for a lead service provider, it is helpful to understand the types of services available:
Lead abatement permanently (20 years or more) controls a lead hazard to limit exposure to harmful levels of lead, and must be completed by a certified Lead Abatement Contractor. Abatement includes strategies such as component replacement, paint removal, encapsulation, or permanently covering bare lead-contaminated soil. After the project is finished, the areas are thoroughly cleaned and go through clearance testing, which is always performed at the end of an abatement project to ensure that dust left behind does not contain excessive levels of lead. A certified Inspector (who cannot be an employee of the abatement contractor) conducts the clearance testing.
Lead consulting services can evaluate if lead is in a structure. Types of lead consulting services include lead inspections and lead risk assessments. These services are done by certified Inspectors and Risk Assessors.
Lead inspection is an evaluation done by a lead Inspector or Risk Assessor to determine if lead-based paint is on painted or coated surfaces.
A lead inspection is a surface-by-surface investigation designed to answer two general questions:
- Is lead-based paint present?
- If present, where is the lead-based paint?
Lead inspections are generally performed using an XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) analyzer, or by collecting paint samples and sending them to an EPA-recognized laboratory for lead analysis. A final inspection report identifies all surfaces with lead-based paint but does not provide the consumer with information about the condition of the paint, the presence of lead contaminated dust or soil, or options for controlling any hazards found.
Lead abatement project design is done by a certified Project Designer and consists of designing lead abatement projects and occupant protection plans, and producing abatement reports.
Lead risk assessment is an evaluation done by a certified Risk Assessor to identify lead hazards from deteriorated (chipping or peeling) paint, dust, and bare soil, and to identify options to control the lead hazards.
Make sure lead-safe work practices are followed. Unsafe work practices that disturb lead-based paint will create hazards (see Section 2.2.28). Creation of lead-based paint hazards in any kind of building or structure will result in compliance and enforcement proceedings and may create the need for an abatement project. See “Planning an Abatement Project” below.
Lead-Safe Certified Renovators who perform renovation or repair work in pre-1978 child care facilities and rental target housing must also be certified to perform Vermont-mandated Essential Maintenance Practices (EMPs). In Vermont, EMPs are required for all pre-1978 child care facilities and rental target housing, as defined in V.S.A. Title 18, Chapter 38, §1751.
EMPs are relatively inexpensive maintenance activities that property owners or property managers must do to reduce lead-based paint hazards and inspect the property for deteriorated (chipping or peeling) lead-based paint. An EMP contractor has taken a four-hour EMP training certification course to learn how to assess and repair lead-based paint safely. The EMP contractor receives a certificate of completion for taking the course.
See Lead Consultants and Contractors (below) for a listing of companies that will conduct lead-related repair, removal, enclosure, and encapsulation activities.
An abatement project may be appropriate if lead-based paint is found during an inspection or risk assessment and is in a condition that poses a hazard. Lead abatement means the removal of lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust, the permanent containment or encapsulation of lead-based paint, the replacement of lead-painted surfaces or fixtures, and the removal or covering of lead-contaminated soil.
Risk Assessors or Project Designers are qualified to design the abatement project specifications that an abatement contractor would follow.
Following abatement, an Inspector or Risk Assessor must conduct the final visual and dust wipe sampling clearance required to determine that the abated areas are ready for re-occupancy.
Lead abatement contractors are licensed by the Health Department to permanently remove lead-based paint, lead-based painted building components, or other means of eliminating lead-based paint hazards. Lead abatement contractors send their workers to a 24- or 32-hour training course to learn how to fix lead problems. The Health Department issues a lead abatement permit before the project starts.
Selecting a Lead Service Provider
Ask the contractor or consultant to provide you with a written proposal. The proposal should include:
- A description of what they will do
- The content of the final report
- A schedule
- A budget
Use our Lead Service Provider Checklist (below) for the kind of information to request.
Obtain at least three bids from consultants and contractors. The Inspector/Risk Assessor can help you with bids and hiring of the abatement contractor. You may choose to have the consultant do all of the coordinating for the project, or do the hiring yourself, which may reduce any conflicts of interest.
Conflicts of Interest
In general, conflicts of interest relate to the potential for self-gain—usually, but not always—financially. A conflict of interest usually happens when a person makes a decision based on their other interests or commitments, especially if they will benefit economically, and if you don’t know about their other interests or commitments.
Questions? We can explain the abatement process and answer any other questions you may have. Call the Asbestos and Lead Regulatory Program at 802-863-7220 or 800-439-8550 (toll free in Vermont).
- Service provider name
- Telephone number
- Certification numbers and copy of lead license
- License expiration date of the listed persons
- References from three recent jobs
- Proof of numbers of years of experience in lead work
- Enforcement history with the Vermont Department of Health*
- Proof of general liability and/or errors-and-omissions insurance, with specific coverage for lead
- The contract should specify whether or not a dust clearance test will be passed
- The contract should specify whether or not the service provider will cover costs associated with failing a clearance test (re-cleaning and retesting)
- Schedule and budget estimate for services
- Sample contract and final inspection, risk assessment, or abatement report
*Health Department staff can provide information regarding the compliance history for lead consultants and contractors. We can also explain the abatement process and answer any other questions you may have. Please call the Asbestos and Lead Regulatory Program for more information.
The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board’s Lead-Based Paint Program provides financial and technical assistance to income-eligible landlords and homeowners to reduce the risk of lead poisoning caused by lead-based paint hazards, call 802-828-5064 or 800-290-0527.
If your property is in Burlington or Winooski, the Burlington Lead Program of the City of Burlington provides similar assistance, call 802-865-LEAD (5323).
Asbestos and Lead Regulatory Program
108 Cherry St., PO Box 70
Burlington, VT 05402
Phone: 802-863-7220 or
800-439-8550 (toll-free within VT)