Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. today announced that as part of Oneida County ’s expanded Lead Primary Prevention program, the Oneida County Health Department, in conjunction with the Environmental Education Associates’ Contractor Connections program, is conducting a series of free instructional courses for renovators and remodelers to insure their compliance with new Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

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"Area contractors must educate themselves on the EPA’s regulations which were revised in 2008,” Picente said. He continued, “Remodelers and renovators performing work in pre-1978 homes and found to be in non-compliance with the new regulations could face significant fines if a family member living in the dwelling is lead poisoned as a result of unsafe renovations of lead-based paint."

The free courses will be held at the Neighborhood Center’s Keller Building at 616 Mary Street in Utica on the following dates:

• Thursday, March 5th 8:15 AM – 4:15 PM
• Friday, April 3rd 8:15 AM – 4:15 PM
• Thursday, May 21st 8:15 AM – 4:15 PM
• Tuesday, June 2nd 8:15 AM –  4:15 PM

Contractors should call the Oneida County Health Department at 266-6147 to register for one of the free sessions.

Picente added, “We urge all area contractors to take advantage of these free lead safe work practice training programs. Beginning in the fall, area contractors requiring the training may have to travel outside of Oneida County for this same training at their own expense or face penalties beginning in 2010 if they attempt to work without it.” New EPA regulations require all contractors to complete a minimum of lead abatement instruction.  Contractors who have completed a 32 hour Lead Abatement Supervisor or 16 hour Lead Abatement Worker course are not required to take this course.  

It is also recommended that all contractors including general, renovators, and remodelers, window replacement, HVAC, plumbing, electrical and painters visit our web site at ocgov.net. and click on Lead Recalls and Information.  In the area marked Contractors, download the EPA Compliance Guide and Lead Safety in Renovations booklet. Contractors can copy this important information for their customers and retain the required signed statements that they have provided them in their permanent records.

“Oneida County is doing all that we can to insure that area contractors acquire the necessary skills that will positively impact our aged infrastructure and protect the families who reside there, while saving the contractors costs in both training and possible penalties,” Picente said.