All Right, Get The Lead Out

by Chuck Rehdorf on 2017-07-12 10:15am

Here in Oregon, the push for lead-based paint safety in home renovation and repair has become more of an issue every year. At the front of that movement are the men and women tasked with renovations and repairs to these structures. In other words, Oregon painting contractors, those with their Oregon General Contractor License and general construction workers are the ones who make worksites or homes safe through lead-based paint renovation or repair. So how do we protect our customers, workers, and ourselves?


As most people employed in the trades know, especially those of us who are painters or have an Oregon Contractor License, organizations like the United States EPA, the Oregon Health Authority, and the CCB all have something to say about the rules surrounding repairs and renovations to structures with lead-based paints, and the red tape is increasing. This is especially true of residential structures, which means it can be a tougher environment in which to do business. But this also means there is a niche for individuals in the trades to assist their communities in becoming safer. Oregon contractors and individuals who are trained and certified, are finding their increased value has benefits to their bottom line. So how do we make ourselves more professionally valuable?

Getting The Information and The Education

For us in the industry, we know it’s relatively easy to get our basic Oregon CCB continuing education online. Becoming certified in areas of renovations and repairs of lead-based paint structures here in Oregon is surprisingly straightforward. Since 2010, Oregon has been one of the leading states in the protection of consumers from the problems associated with lead-based paint. One of the benefits of the state being so proactive in its position is the ease with which contractors and individuals can become certified under the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) and Lead-Based Painting Activities (LBPA) programs. Oregon Contractor continuing education classes on the topic can help you understand the best practices while satisfying your CE requirements all at once!


CCB licensed contractors that perform renovation, repair and painting work on a pre-1978 home or child-occupied facilities where children under age 6 attend must become a Lead-Based Paint Renovation (LBPR) Licensed Contractor. To do that you must complete the following steps to be trained in lead-safe work practices:

  1. Complete an initial 8-hour Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) training from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Oregon Health Authority (OHA) (or other EPA-authorized state or tribe) accredited training provider. Upon completion of the course, you will receive a course completion certificate.

  2. Apply to licensing agency. If you are self-employed, apply to the CCB to receive a "Certified Lead-based Paint Renovation (LBPR) Contractor License". If you are employed by a CCB-licensed business, have your employer apply to the CCB for a "Certified Lead Based Paint Renovation Contractors License". Your employer need only apply one time for all employees. The CCB will need to see your course completion certificate (and those of other contractors who took the training course). Please visit Oregon CCB web site for more information and to receive an application.

  3. Follow requirements for RRP notices, work practices and record-keeping.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, accredited training providers charge $200 - $300 per course. Course certificates expire after 5 years and contractors must take a four-hour RRP refresher course before certification expires.


One provider of the Renovation, Repair and Painting Training is the Oregon Home Builders Association. They offer classes in various levels of Lead-Based Paint renovation and repair, with certification. With this certification, a contractor or employee can provide an added value to their company.


Unlike Oregon CCB continuing education online courses which we can provide for you, all of the lead-based paint renovation and repair related classes require hands on class time. The bigger picture though is that this training can pay for itself in just a few months (or even in just a few jobs). It’s also a valuable service that can be provided to your community.


Contractors and others must remember though, if you are performing actual lead abatement activities, which intends to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards, it requires a separate license. For example, if lead abatement is ordered by a state or local government, it can involve specialized techniques not typical of most residential contractors.


According to the EPA, 24 percent of the homes built in America between 1960 and 1977 were painted with lead-based paint. The percentage is drastically higher for homes painted with lead-based paint if they were built prior to 1960. The situation gets much tougher for homeowners when they want to begin renovating or repairing these affected homes. Imagine a young family that buys a home only to find out that the newly painted interior of their dream home is covering a 50 year-old lead-based paint job. While they might be able to file a claim for damages based on an undisclosed problem like lead-based paint, they will still be out in the cold when it comes time to actually fix the issue. Who can come to the rescue? You got it; a properly trained, certified, and equipped painter or renovator.


When a person makes the decision to go into the trades, it’s often at least partly based on the wish to work independently while still being a part of their community a part of their community. Making yourself more marketable in a way that helps your local area is a great way to achieve both these goals. Here in Oregon, finding CCB continuing education isn’t hard. Going the next step to training in lead-based paint renovation, repair and removal is a great way to do it and just as simple.


So, why not just get the lead out?


Chuck Rehdorf is a researcher and original content writer for At Your Pace Online.  AYPO offers online continuing education & pre-license training for Oregon contractors on