Abatement and RRP activities may sometimes look similar, but they are not!

Abatement is a specialized activity designed to address lead in the home or building, typically removal of all leaded surfaces.  RRP activities (including most home contracting work) disturb paint as a consequence of the activity, but they are often undertaken for reasons unrelated to lead issues.

Lead-Based Paint Activities (Abatement)

  • Lead-Based Paint Activities include lead-based paint inspections, risk assessments, and abatements (lead-based paint removal).
  • Lead abatement projects are designed to permanently eliminate existing lead-based paint hazards.  They may be ordered by a state or local government in response to a lead-poisoned child or other reason or may be undertaken voluntarily at any time.
  • Lead risk assessments are designed to identify lead hazards and management strategies, and lead inspections are designed to locate all lead-based paint in a home.
  • Individuals must be trained and certified to conduct lead-based paint activities, and firms must be certified. After certification in Illinois, a license is required for contractors, workers, supervisors, inspectors, and risk assessors.
  • Lead-based activities are regulated differently than renovation, repair, and painting jobs, even though, in some cases, the activities are similar.

Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP)

  • RRP projects are typically performed at the option of the property owner for aesthetic or other reasons, or as an interim control to minimize lead hazards. It is NOT designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards.
  • Since RRP projects can disturb lead-based paint in homes and buildings built before 1978, thus creating new lead hazards, individual renovators must be trained and certified lead-safe RRP practices, and firms must be certified.
  • No license is required for Renovation, Repair, and Painting contractors or workers in Illinois, only training and certification by an accredited training provider.

Lead Abatement Activities versus RRP Projects

Lead abatement activities and RRP projects may sometimes look similar, but they are two separate programs that require different certifications and are regulated differently by EPA. The similarities and differences between the two are shown in the table below.

  Lead Abatement Activities Similar or Different RRP Projects
  • Permanently eliminate existing lead-based paint hazards
  • Conduct renovations, repairs, or painting to reduce lead-based paint hazards 
Initiated By
  • Tribal, state or local government or
  • Voluntary request by the property owner
  • Voluntary request for painting or renovation by the property owner
  • Individuals must be  trained and certified in lead abatement activities 
  • Firms must be certified to conduct lead abatement activities
  • Individuals must be trained and certified in RRP activities 
  • Firms must be certified to conduct RRP activities
Occupant Protection
  • Firms are required to  make sure occupants are out of the home, child care facility, or preschool
  • Firms are not required to make sure occupants are out of the Target Housing or Child Occupied Facility.

Renovation or Painting Firms must distribute EPA’s The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right before starting renovation work, and failure to do so, or any other violation of the RRP rules can result in a fine of $37,500 per violation. Willful violations (for those who have RRP certifications but do not follow Lead Safe Work Practices) are an additional $37,500 fine, imprisonment, or both. Distribution of the Renovate Right pamphlet is intended to educate the owner/occupant of a building being renovated on the proper procedures that the contractor is required to follow. Therefore, it is a means by which the owner/occupant can inform USEPA of violations by the contractor if improper work practices are observed.

Illinois Environmental Contractors Association Resources

For more information on finding a local contractor, check the resources below:

If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our associates to find an answer to your situation. With more than 40 Illinois-licensed companies represented by IECA members, we believe that collective action through association is the most effective way to deal with the changing demands of doing business.

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