50-State Construction Licensing Compliance Guide
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Guide Contents

Lead Abatement Company License

Lead removal is highly regulated because of the associated health risks. If you are looking to start a lead abatement company or expand into new states, you must meet federal and state requirements. Learn more about the industry and the registration process.

What Is Lead Abatement?

Lead abatement involves inspecting, assessing, and removing lead-based paint hazards from all types of facilities. While every removal job is different, there are certain abatement techniques that are popular.

  • Encapsulation. All lead-contaminated surfaces are coated with a special coating that provides a long-lasting and effective barrier to prevent lead dust particles from being released.
  • Removal. Lead removal involves scraping, stripping, vacuuming, and blasting lead-based paint from contaminated surfaces.
  • Enclosure. All lead-contaminated objects are covered with solid, dust-tight barriers. This is not a permanent solution but an effective technique to prevent lead exposure before total abatement.
  • Replacement. This simple removal process is only used for objects contaminated with lead, like doors and windows.

Because working with lead poses health risks, abatement workers, supervisors, inspectors, and others must comply with regulations regarding removal and obtain a lead abatement company license. In certain circumstances, like when lead is being removed from a home environment or child-occupied facilities, training and certification is required. All removal must be completed in accordance with safe work practices as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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Starting a Lead Abatement Company

Lead abatement needs to be taken seriously by contractors and property owners. To start a lead removal company, you need to be fully committed to safely removing and disposing of hazardous materials.

As with any other construction company license, you start by choosing your business name and structure and registering your business with the state in which you plan to operate. After that, it is important to check local laws to determine the certifications or licenses you may need in order to perform work.

In addition to licensing, lead abatement companies need insurance, as the work is inherently risky. While some protocols and procedures can reduce the likelihood of a health safety event or environmental pollution, a general business liability policy that includes hazardous material coverage is often the best protection for your business.

If you are concerned about managing the business registration process on your own, you can seek guidance from the business licensing experts at Harbor Compliance. With our professional licensing services, you will understand all of the stages of corporate compliance and have access to full-service support and expert software insights.

Your abatement license is just one step. Most companies doing business also need to register their entity with the secretary of state and appoint a registered agent. We make preparing and filing applications easy and we handle communication with government agencies on your behalf. With our proprietary compliance software, you can track your registration status, license numbers, filing history, fees, and renewals 24/7.

EPA Lead Abatement Program

Lead abatement activities are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) . Laws and policies are enforced by the EPA, local government, and state government.

Abatement Certification vs. Renovation (RRP) Certification

Abatement certification, also known as Lead-Based Paint Activities certification, is a specialized type of certification for companies that specifically work with lead-based paint. This includes lead abatement firms, lead risk assessor firms, and lead inspection firms. Abatement refers to the intentional and permanent elimination of lead-based paint and its associated hazards.

Renovation (RRP) certification is needed for businesses who disturb paint in pre-1978 residences and child-occupied facilities as a consequence of doing other work. Types of firms include renovators, painters, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and more. It is important to note that those businesses do not need an abatement certification.

Registering and Maintaining Your Lead Abatement License

The EPA provides lead-based paint abatement training. Any individual or business conducting lead abatement, risk assessment, or inspection must be licensed appropriately to ensure all activities are conducted safely and effectively. Most states have EPA-authorized programs that individuals and firms can register for and complete in order to have the proper certification to remove lead-based paint.

While the EPA certification is accepted in most states, it does not apply in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

If you wish to operate a lead abatement company in one of those states, you must apply directly to the applicable program.

In addition to becoming a Lead-Safe EPA Certified Firm, you also need to ensure all of your employees are adequately trained as certified renovators. Most states have different occupation certifications and licenses that need to be applied for and renewed annually. Examples include:

  • Contractor certification
  • Inspector certification
  • Project design certification
  • Risk assessor certification
  • Supervisor certification
  • Worker certification

To renew a license, business owners and employees need to contact the state, provide a copy of their most recent EPA or state-approved certification for a lead abatement training course, and pay any applicable renewal fees.

Keeping on track with your business's license renewals can be complicated, especially as a growing company. At Harbor Compliance, our License Manager software helps firms ensure accurate due date tracking and on-time compliance filings. This way, your business will continue to be compliant with state and local requirements, and you will have the time you need to continue working and expanding your clientele.

Explore Licensing by State

Click on a link below to view licensing information in your state.

Meeting the lead abatement license requirements is not always an easy process. Fortunately, Harbor Compliance License Manager helps construction professionals maintain their licenses by automating repetitive tasks such as tracking renewals. Through License Manager, you can also access Compliance Core™ - our extensive, proprietary database of nationwide licensing information - to research the requirements for the states in which you work. These tools reduce the time you spend researching state requirements and prepare your organization for success. Contact our licensing experts today to learn more.

Associated General Contractors of America
Professional association providing advocacy and organization for construction firms and workers.

National Association of Home Builders
National association for the promotion of the housing industry.

National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies
National organization that represents and promotes the interests of state level contractor licensing agencies.