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Vermont Lead Laws

The Vermont Lead Law – Essential Maintenance Practices

In 1996, the Vermont State Legislature passed Act 165, a law designed to help prevent childhood lead poisoning in rental housing and child care facilities.

The law was most recently revised in 2008.  Under this law, property owners and child care operators are required to give out information on lead paint health risks, and perform annual “Essential Maintenance Practices” or EMP’s if the unit or property was built before 1978.


The law requires the following activities Unless a Vermont Licensed Lead Inspector has determined that the property or child care facility is free of lead: 

  • Annually submit EMP Compliance Statement(s) to the Vermont Department of Health;
  • Provide tenants with information about lead paint, including completed Compliance Statements;
  • Install special window well inserts if the windows in the unit are not alumium or vinyl replacements;
  • Remove all visible paint chips form the exterior of the property;
  • Post a notice directing tenants to contact the landlord or property manager if deteriorated paint is found
  • Repair deteriorated paint within 30 days using safe practices
  • Use lead safe work practices any time more than 1 square foot of paint is disturbed;
  • Conduct specialized cleaning at unit turnover and after any work

In additional to all of the above, landlords, contractors, and child care facility owners need to be aware of the Federal EPA Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule.  This is a separate, distinct law completely unrelated to the Vermont Law, although there are many items in common.  Compliance to both laws may be required.

The two laws do not mesh well together; there are different amounts of lead paint surface areas that can be disturbed before lead safe work practices are required:

Vermont EMP’s:  One (1) square foot on the interior or one (1) square foot exterior

EPA RRP:              Six (6) square feet PER ROOM interior or twenty (20) square feet exterior

The EPA Lead Renovator Rule  allows contractor to do their own lead swab or paint chip testing.  In Vermont, the absence of lead paint on a surface can only be determined by a Licensed Lead Inspector / Risk Assessor.

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has recently sent notices to landlords who are missing EMP Compliance Statements.

The changes to the law in 2008 included new legal tools that make it easier to enforce this law.  As of January 1, 2010, the Department of Health can issue a ticket for up to $400 for failure to file the EMP Compliance Statement by the due date.  In addition, false statements are actively enforced; fines and penalties associated with non-compliance range from $5,000 – $150,000 dollars. 

EverGreen’s licensed Vermont lead professionals and  EMP certified staff are current with the Federal RRP, Vermont EMP and city-level (Burlington, Vermont) Lead ordinances.

Let us help you determine the best strategy to either meet compliance mandates or remove your property from the EMP list by proving there is no lead paint present.