For the past year, we at KPH Construction and KPH Environmental have worked with state legislators to clarify rules regarding lead paint while maintaining safety for homeowners. This issue affects all owners, contractors and consultants in Wisconsin that work on properties with where lead paint may be present. In December, Assembly Bill 257 / Senate Bill 178 were signed into law by Governor Scott Walker.
The law was initiated after KPH was wrongly cited for non-compliance during work on General Mitchell Airport’s Noise Management Program. Rather than pay a small $1,500 fine, KPH steadfastly worked to change the law so we and all contractors who work in the State of Wisconsin could continue to follow clear guidelines by the Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) Division of Public Health. The matter now clarifies DHS’s Lead and Asbestos Section to allow a partial inspection not require testing for lead paint when a home is already undergoing lead paint abatement renovation using the highest level of lead safe protocols.
“This is a huge victory for our company, the industry and homeowners alike,” said Keith P. Harenda. “We sought clarity from the DHS during the early stages of the Noise Management Program and at that time the agency specified that if one were to assume all materials were lead containing and work was conducted in a lead safe manner, no testing was required. KPH followed lead safe renovation procedures in all cases, regardless of the whether lead paint was present.”
Because KPH worked throughout the multi-year project to ensure that homeowners were not exposed to hazards, including lead, we vowed to fight the citations and work with members of the Wisconsin legislature to help draft changes to the State of Wisconsin statutes.
“While we could have simply paid a small fine, we chose to protect our good name and reputation and eliminate future confusion in the interest of all contractors that work in the area of environmental testing and abatement,” said Keith.
The public affairs effort was lead by Kert Harenda, Ken Harenda and Dean Jacobsen all of KPH Environmental. Ken added, “As an employer and a trainer in lead safe renovation certifications, KPH is committed to thoroughly understanding and following state and federal laws related to our work in this area. We’re pleased that DHS and our elected officials took the time to understand the need for clarity to change this law.”