Texas administers an Environmental Lead Program (ELP) to protect the public, especially young children, from exposure to lead in their environment. The Texas Environmental Lead Program achieves this goal by assuring that persons conducting lead inspections, lead risk assessments, and lead abatement in target housing (built before 1978) and child-occupied facilities (built before 1978) are properly trained and certified and are following minimum standards that protect the health of workers and building occupants.
The Texas Environmental Lead Program administers the Texas Environmental Lead Reduction Rules (TELRR), which require, among other things:
- Certification of persons and companies conducting lead inspections, lead risk assessments, and lead abatement;
- Accreditation of lead training programs;
- Performing inspections of lead abatement projects and other lead-based paint activities to determine compliance with the TELRR; and
- Conducting enforcement-related activities, when necessary, in response to compliance inspections.
The goal of the Texas Environmental Lead Program is to enhance the public’s awareness of lead hazards, and to minimize lead poisoning through informational programs, regulatory means, and home assessments.
Texas Lead-Based Paint Rules
Links to the Texas Environmental Lead Reduction Rules provided by 25 Texas Administrative Code are provided below. A summary of Texas lead-based paint rules is available here.
Comparison with EPA Regulations
The primary difference between the Texas Environmental Lead Reduction Rules (TELRR) and the federal EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Program Rule is that the federal RRP rule regulates renovation, repairs, and painting activities where existing paint may be disturbed while the TELRR regulate lead inspections, lead risk assessments, and lead abatement.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is administering the federal Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Program Rule in Texas. The EPA RRP Rule governs common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition that can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint in pre-1978 construction.
Effective April 22, 2010, renovations in target housing (built prior to 1978) and child-occupied facilities (built prior to 1978) must be conducted by EPA certified (licensed) Renovation Firms using certified (trained by an EPA-accredited trainer) Renovators who must follow the work practice requirements of the rule.
The EPA RRP rule requires these certified Renovators to use certain lead-safety techniques to renovate and/or remodel pre-1978 housing as well as in pre-1978 child-occupied facilities.
The requirements of the RRP rule are triggered when a renovation, repair or a painting job disturbs more than 6 square feet of interior surface space in a room and/or 20 square feet of exterior surface space.
A certified Renovator could be a re-modeler, a carpenter, a multifamily unit maintenance professional, a painter, a window or door replacement professional, or whoever else may disturb paint in pre-1978 construction.
TELRR & EPA Inspection and Testing Requirements
Concerning inspections and testing for lead-based paint in pre-1978 construction, the EPA RRP rule allows a certified Renovator to test each component affected by the renovation, repair, or painting activity (EPA-approved chemical swab kits are allowed to test components affected by these activities).
The TELRR requires a certified Lead Inspector or certified Lead Risk Assessor to conduct a surface-by-surface inspection for lead-based paint on all components with a distinct painting history using an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) detector or collecting of representative paint chip samples of each component and having them analyzed by an EPA-recognized laboratory (chemical swab kits are not allowed for testing paint under the TELRR).
Under either rule, in the absence of any such test or inspection documentation to show the component lead-free, the paint must be assumed lead-containing.
Regulatory Jurisdiction & Contact Information
In Texas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is administering the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Program Rule while the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is administering the program for lead inspections, lead risk assessments, and lead abatement under the Texas Environmental Lead Reduction Rules (TELRR).
If you have questions regarding EPA’s RRP rule, call 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) or the EPA Region 6 office in Dallas at 1-214-665-7577.
For questions related to lead-based paint inspections, risk assessments, or lead abatement regulated through the TELRR, contact the state’s Environmental Lead Program at 1-888-778-9440, ext. 2434 (toll-free in Texas), or 1-512-834-6787, ext. 2434.
Keep in mind that both rules (federal and state) only apply to pre-1978 construction of housing and child-occupied facilities. The rules do not apply to commercial or industrial structures regardless of when they were constructed.
Lead Disclosure Requirements
EPA Section 1018 Disclosure Rule requires the following before signing of a contract for a housing sale or lease:
(1) Sellers and landlords must disclose known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards and provide available written reports to buyers or renters;
(2) Sellers and landlords must give buyers and renters the pamphlet, developed by EPA, HUD, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC), titled “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home”;
(3) Home buyers will get a 10-day period to conduct a lead-based paint inspection or risk assessment at their own expense. The rule gives the two parties flexibility to negotiate key terms of the evaluation;
(4) Notification and disclosure language for the existence of lead paint hazards must be included in sales contracts and leasing agreements. See EPA Rule Disclosure Fact Sheet for more details
Required Lead Inspections
HUD Rules/Section 35.1355(2) requires a visual assessment for deteriorated paint, bare soil, and the failure of any hazard reduction measures be performed at unit turnover and every twelve months.
Texas Landlord and Tenant Act does not reference lead.