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Contractors in Maine had complained that their efforts to comply with the rules were thwarted by a lack of certified trainers.

Small contractors concerned about meeting the deadline for new U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency rules regarding lead paint abatement will now have more time to comply. In response to requests from several lawmakers, including Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the EPA has agreed to extend the deadline.

Collins says contractors will now have until September 30 to enroll in training classes, and until December 31 to complete the training.


Contractors who fail to comply will face fines of up to $37,000 per violation per day.


The rule, called "Lead: Renovation, Repair and Paint Rule," went into effect in April. It’s intended to ensure that contractors handle lead paint properly so that children are not exposed.


"Maine children are at particularly high risk for lead poisoning because more than 60 percent of our state’s homes were built before lead-based paint was banned in 1978," Collins says in a statement. "I appreciate that the EPA recognizes that it must boost the number of certified trainers in each state and that small contractors need more time to comply with EPA’s rule."


For more information on Rule, please go to www.epa.gov/lead.