Lead Safe Renovation, Repair, and Painting

Renovations that disturb lead paint can poison family members, visitors, and neighbors. To keep properties safe from lead hazards, Rhode Island's Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule requires contractors, painters, and other workers doing renovation, repair, or painting on pre-1978 homes or child care facilities (including day cares, preschools, and elementary schools) to work for licensed Lead Renovation Firms.

Regulated People and Activities

Rhode Island's RRP Rule applies to contractors, landlords, property managers, homeowners, and anyone else who disturbs painted surfaces on pre-1978 homes or child care facilities. This includes general contractors as well as special trade contractors, such as painters, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians.

In general, the RRP Rule applies to any renovation, repair, or painting that disturbs six square feet or more of paint per room on the interior or 20 square feet or more of paint on the exterior of a pre-1978 house or child care facility. Examples of regulated activities include window replacement, remodeling, repair/maintenance, electrical work, plumbing, painting, carpentry, and any type of demolition. Not all projects are regulated by the Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule. more

Rhode Island Rule

Rhode Island has been operating a Lead-Safe Remodeler/Renovator Program since 2001 and has licensed over 1,500 Lead-Safe Remodeler/Renovators. In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency created its own Lead-Safe Remodeler/Renovator Program, known as the Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule. Rhode Island was the first New England state granted authority to continue its state Remodeler/Renovator program.


Housing built after 1978 and any housing declared lead-free by a Rhode Island Certified Environmental Lead Inspector is generally exempt from Rhode Island's Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule.

Other exemptions include housing for elderly or disabled persons, studio apartments, and dormitories. These buildings are regulated if a child younger than six years old resides there, or is expected to reside there, for more than two weeks per year.



Contractors, painters, and other workers must complete an eight-hour Lead Renovator training by a licensed training provider.


Once training is complete, an individual is a certified Lead Remodeler. All Rhode Island licensed Lead Remodelers must be affiliated with licensed Lead Hazard Control Firms. Individuals and firms must renew their licenses every five years after completing a four-hour refresher course. more

Start Work & Pre-Renovation Notification

The firm must deliver a copy of the Rhode Island version of the Renovate Right pamphlet to property owners and tenants no more than 60 days and no less than seven days before work begins. The firm must fill out the Pre-Renovation Education form at the back of the pamphlet, have it signed, and keep it for a minimum of three years. At least seven calendar days before beginning a job, the firm must submit a Start Work Notification to the Department of Health.

Lead-Safe Work Practices

While work is being performed, Lead Certified Remodelers and their workers must:

  • Contain the work area to prevent dust and debris from escaping.
  • Refrain from using work methods that generate large amounts of lead-contaminated dust. Dry sweeping, using heat guns at temperatures above 1100°F, open flame burning, and using flammable or methylene chloride paint strippers are prohibited.

When work is complete, Lead Remodelers and their workers must:

  • Clean dust and debris using a HEPA vacuum and wet mops.
  • Have a Certified Environmental Lead Inspector conduct a clearance inspection.
  • Remove containment barriers upon notification that the dust wipes passed clearance.