TITLE 42
State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-128.1
Lead Hazard Mitigation

SECTION 42-128.1-4


§ 42-128.1-4. Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:

(1) "At-risk occupant" means a person under six (6) years of age, or a pregnant woman, who has been a legal inhabitant in a dwelling unit for at least thirty (30) days; provided, however, that a guest of any age shall not be considered an occupant for the purposes of this chapter.

(2) "Designated person" means either: (i) A property owner, or the agent of the property owner, who has completed a housing resources commission-approved awareness seminar on lead hazards and their control; or (ii) A person trained and certified as either a lead-hazard-mitigation inspector, an environmental-lead inspector, or a lead-hazard-inspection technician.

(3) "Dwelling" or "dwelling unit" means an enclosed space used for living and sleeping by human occupants as a place of residence, including, but not limited to: a house, an apartment, or condominium, but, for the purpose of this chapter, shall not include hotels or "temporary housing."

(4) "Elderly housing" means a federal, state, or local program that is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons, sixty-two (62) years of age, or older, as set forth in a regulatory agreement or zoning ordinance.

(5) "Environmental lead-poisoning level" means a confirmed, venous blood lead level as defined pursuant to § 23-24.6-4.

(6) "Lead abated" means a dwelling and premises that are lead free or lead safe, as those terms are defined in chapter 24.6 of title 23.

(7) "Lead Free" means that a dwelling, dwelling unit, or premises contains no lead, or contains lead in amounts less than the maximum-acceptable environmental lead levels established by regulation by the Rhode Island department of health.

(8) "Lead-hazard-mitigation standards" means standards adopted by the housing resources commission for a dwelling unit and associated common areas that provide for:

(i) A continuing and ongoing responsibility for lead-hazard control that includes: (A) Repair of deteriorated paint; (B) Correction of dust-generating conditions, such as friction or impact areas; (C) Provision of cleanable surfaces to eliminate harmful dust loading; (D) Correction of soil lead hazards; (E) Safe work practices;

(ii) At unit turnover: (A) The provision of information on lead hazards and their avoidance and control to tenants; (B) Documentation of lead-hazard-mitigation compliance; (C) An explicit process for notification by tenants to property owners of instances of deterioration in conditions effecting lead hazards; and

(iii) Maintenance of "lead-hazard control." "Lead-hazard control" means those portions of the lead-hazard-mitigation standard pertaining to repair of deteriorating paint; correction of dust-generating conditions; provision of cleanable surfaces; and correction of soil lead hazards that can be identified by visual inspection as provided for in subdivision (9)(ii) or through inspections conducted in accordance with chapter 24.2 of title 45, "Minimum Housing Standards," and chapter 24.3 of title 45, "Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code."

(9) "Lead-hazard-mitigation compliance" means an independent, clearance inspection and certificate, as specified in this subdivision, undertaken to determine whether the lead-hazard-mitigation measures have been completed. Said inspection shall be valid for two (2) years, or until the next turnover of the dwelling unit, whichever period is longer. The requirements for a clearance-review inspection shall be met either by an independent clearance inspection or a visual inspection as set forth in this subdivision:

(i) An "independent clearance inspection" means an inspection performed by a person who is not the property owner or an employee of the property owner and who is authorized by the housing resources commission to conduct independent clearance inspections, which shall include: (A) A visual inspection to determine that the lead-hazard controls have been met, and (B) Dust testing in accordance with rules established by the department of health and consistent with federal standards. A certificate of conformance shall be issued by the person who conducted the inspection on the passage of the visual inspection and the required dust testing. An independent clearance inspection shall be required at unit turnover or once in a twenty-four-month (24) period, whichever period is the longer. If the tenancy of an occupant is two (2) years or greater, the certificate of conformance shall be maintained by a visual inspection as set forth in paragraph (ii) of this subdivision.

(ii) A "visual inspection" means a visual inspection by a property owner or designated person to determine that the lead-hazard controls have been met. If the designated person concluded that the lead-hazard controls specified in this chapter have been met, the designated person may complete an Affidavit of Completion of Visual Inspection. The affidavit shall be valid upon its being notarized within thirty (30) days after the completion of the visual inspection and shall set forth:

(A) The date and location that the designated person took the lead-hazard-control awareness seminar;

(B) The date and findings of the lead-hazard evaluation;

(C) The date and description of the lead-hazard-control measures undertaken;

(D) The date of the visual inspection; and

(E) The name and signature of the designated person and date of the Affidavit of Completion of Visual Inspection.

An Affidavit of Completion of Visual Inspection shall be valid for two (2) years after the date it was notarized, or until unit turnover, whichever time period is the longer, and shall be kept by the property owner for a minimum of five (5) years.

(iii) Presumptive compliance. A property owner of ten (10) or more dwelling units shall be eligible to obtain a certificate of presumptive compliance from the housing resources commission provided that the following conditions are met: (A) The dwelling units were constructed after 1960 or after 1950 on federally owned or leased lands; (B) There are no major, outstanding minimum-housing violations on the premises; (C) The property owner has no history of repeated lead poisonings; and (D) Independent clearance inspections have been conducted on at least five percent (5%) of the dwelling units, not less than two (2) dwelling units and at least ninety percent (90%) of the independent clearance inspections were passed. "Repeated lead poisoning," for purposes of this paragraph, shall mean a lead-poisoning rate of less than one-half percent (.5%) per dwelling-unit year, with dwelling-unit years being calculated by multiplying the number of dwelling units owned by the property owner by the number of years of ownership since 1992. Major minimum housing violations shall be defined by rule by the housing resources commission. The housing resources commission shall not arbitrarily withhold its approval of applications for presumptive compliance. A certificate of presumptive compliance shall be deemed to be satisfactory for purposes of demonstrating compliance with the requirements of this chapter. If a unit qualifies for a presumptive compliance certificate, by itself having passed an independent clearance inspection at least once, that unit's compliance may be maintained by a visual inspection as set forth in this chapter.

(10) "Lead-hazard-mitigation inspector" means either a person approved by the housing resources commission to perform independent clearance inspections under this chapter or inspections required by 24 C.F.R., Part 35, Subpart M [24 C.F.R. § 35.1200 et seq.], or approved by the department of health to conduct inspections pursuant to chapter 24.6 of title 23.

Lead-hazard-mitigation inspectors performing independent clearance inspections shall not have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or employment with regards to:

(a) The dwelling unit that is the subject of an independent clearance inspection; or

(b) The contractor performing lead-hazard-control work in the dwelling unit; or

(c) The laboratory that is used to analyze environmental lead samples for the independent clearance inspection unless the lead-hazard-mitigation inspector discloses his or her relationship with the laboratory to the person requesting the inspection and on the inspection report.

Employees of public agencies and quasi-public agencies that hold a financial interest in the property may perform independent clearance inspections.

(11) "Lead poisoned" means a confirmed venous blood lead level established by the department of health pursuant to § 23-24.6-4(1).

(12) "Lead Safe" means that a dwelling, dwelling unit, or premises has undergone sufficient, lead-hazard reduction to ensure that no significant, environment lead hazard is present and includes, but is not limited to, covering and encapsulation and is evidenced by a lead-safe certificate issued by the department of health.

(13) "Property owner" means any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others:

(i) Shall have legal title to any dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure, with or without accompanying actual possession of it; or

(ii) Shall have charge, care, or control of any dwelling, dwelling unit, or structure as owner or agent of the owner, or an executor, administrator, trustee, or guardian of the estate of the owner. Any person representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter, and of rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, to the same extent as if that person were the owner.

(iii) Notwithstanding the foregoing, no holder of a mortgage or other lien holder who, in enforcing a security interest, acquires title by foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure shall be considered a property owner for purposes of this chapter, if the holder transfers the title within one year after the date the title is acquired; provided, however, if the mortgagee or lien holder, subsequent to acquiring title, is notified of a lead hazard under chapter 24.6 of title 23 or § 42-128.1-8(a)(5), then and in that event, the mortgagee or lien holder shall take any steps to reduce the lead hazard that shall be required under the provisions of chapter 24.6 of title 23 or this chapter, as applicable.

(14) "Temporary housing" means any seasonal place of residence that is rented for no more than one hundred (100) days per calendar year to the same tenant, where no lease renewal or extension can occur, and any emergency shelter intended for night-to-night accommodation.

(15) "Tenant turnover" means the time at which all existing occupants vacate a unit and all new occupants move into the unit.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2002, ch. 187, § 3; P.L. 2002, ch. 188, § 3; P.L. 2005, ch. 142, § 2; P.L. 2005, ch. 143, § 2; P.L. 2016, ch. 302, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 311, § 1.)