Blue Ribbon Kitchens of Craig hosting EPA-certified renovator training class

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If you go

What: Lead-based paint certification class

When: All day Friday

Where: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 in Craig, 419 E. Victory Way

— The cost is $210. To register, call 824-2040 or visit www.safeobjective...

Blue Ribbon Kitchens, a Craig business, will host a training class for area contractors Friday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, 419 E. Victory Way.

The class will cover safe practices for anyone renovating homes with lead paint, and will ensure contractors are complying with a Environmental Protection Agency rule that went into effect earlier this year.

According to the EPA website, “Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips … which can be harmful to adults and children.

“To protect against this risk … EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning.”

The rule, which went into effect April 22, requires contractors gain certification.

Cindy Wright, co-owner of Blue Ribbon Kitchens — a kitchen and cabinet shop — is hosting the class as a service to the many contractors she works with.

“We’re not making a nickel from it,” Wright said. “We’re just sponsoring the class to inform (the contractors). We don’t want anybody to catch a lawsuit, and it’s protection for our own business.”

Although the rule went into effect several months ago, Wright said the EPA has given a grace period to contractors in certain areas of the country.

“April 22 was when (the rule) went into effect, but the law got ahead of the education so they gave everybody an extension to get certified,” Wright said. “If there has been a class in your area, and you have chosen not to attend, you will be fined.

“But if a class hasn’t been in your area, there’s some leeway until the first of next year.”

Fines can be devastating, Wright said.

“Initial fines are over $30,000,” she said. “If a contractor is working on every room in a home with lead-based paint and (the contractor is) not certified, he’ll get fined for each room, and he’ll get fined for each uncertified employee who’s working in that house.

“It can be megabucks. It can bankrupt someone pretty fast.”

Safe Objectives, a Colorado Springs company, will instruct Friday’s class in Craig.

“(Safe Objectives was) the first company in Colorado to be certified by the EPA to teach this program,” Wright said.

If you’re a homeowner and you prefer to do your own work, you are not required to be certified, Wright said.

“If you do your own home repairs, you’re fine.”

The cost of Friday’s class is $210. It lasts throughout the day.

For more information or to register, call Wright at 824-2040 or visit www.safeobjectives.com.

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