Understanding The Mold Standard
The NYS Mold Program legislation took effect on January 1, 2016. Here’s a quick overview from the NYSDOL website.
“The Department’s new Mold Program, which is responsible for enforcing Article 32 of the New York State Labor Law, establishes licensing requirements and minimum work standards for professionals engaged in mold assessment and remediation. There are three main components to the new law:
- Training: The Mold Program will protect consumers by requiring contractors to obtain appropriate training prior to being licensed to perform mold assessment, remediation or abatement services.
- Licensing: Contractors will not be allowed to advertise or perform covered work without the required license, with limited exceptions such as home or business owners performing work on their own properties.
- Minimum Work Standards: The Mold Program also establishes new minimum work standards for mold assessments and remediation activities by licensed professionals, including:
- Protection against fraud by prohibiting the performance of both the assessment and remediation on the same property by the same individual;
- Protection against fraud by requiring an independent mold assessment to define the scope of the remediation work;
- Identification of disinfectant products, consistent with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards;
- Provision of personal protection equipment to employees, as necessary;
- Posted notice of the project and the contractor’s licenses; and
- Completion of a post-remediation assessment.”
EEA was the first training provider accredited under the program, back in September ’15 and we’ve trained a couple hundred folks since. Here’s a few critical terms and understandings…
Licensing – It’s unlawful for any assessor, contractor or worker to engage in mold assessment, remediation or abatement on a project, or to advertise or hold themselves out as a mold assessor, remediation contractor or abatement worker unless they have a valid license issued by the NYSDOL. That’s pretty straightforward as far as remediation and abatement is concerning, notwithstanding the following definition…
Project means mold remediation, mold assessment, or mold abatement, of areas greater than ten square feet, but does not include (a)routine cleaning or (b) construction, maintenance, repair or demolition of buildings, structures or fixtures undertaken for purposes other than mold remediation or abatement. An assessor can’t engage in remediation or abatement on the same property and visa versa.
Exemptions: The following persons shall not be required to obtain a license to perform mold assessment, remediation, or abatement:
- Residential property owner who performs mold inspection, assessment or remediation, or abatement on his or her own property;
- a non-residential property owner, or the employee of such owner, who performs mold assessment or, remediation, or abatement on an apartment building owned by that person that has not more than four dwelling units; [and]
- an owner or a managing agent or a full-time employee of an owner or managing agent who performs mold assessment or, remediation, or abatement on commercial property or a residential apartment building of more than four dwelling units owned by the owner provided, however, that this shall not apply if the managing agent or employee engages in the business of performing mold assessment or, remediation, or abatement for the public; and
- Federal, state or local governmental units or public authorities and employees thereof that perform mold assessment, remediation, or abatement on any property owned, managed or remediated by such governmental unit or authority.
Mold Assessors complete assessments of properties for purposes of mold remediation. Individuals and organizations who provide mold “inspection or assessment of real property that is designed to discover mold, conditions that facilitate mold, indication of conditions that are likely to facilitate mold, or any combination thereof” are required to obtain a mold assessor’s license, and comply with the minimum work standards for the conduct of mold assessments. This includes, among other things, the preparation of a mold remediation plan. Logically, a mold remediation plan must be prepared if mold has been identified.
Remediation Plans are specific to each remediation project and must be provided to the client before the remediation begins. The mold remediation plan must specify:
- the rooms or areas where the work will be performed;
- the estimated quantities of materials to be cleaned or removed;
- the methods to be used for each type of remediation in each type of area;
- the personal protection equipment (PPE) to be supplied by licensed remediators for use by licensed abaters;
- the proposed clearance procedures and criteria for each type of remediation in each type of area;
- when the project is a building that is currently occupied, how to properly notify such occupants of such projects taking into consideration proper health concerns; the plan must also provide recommendations for notice and posting requirements that are appropriate for the project size, duration and points of entry;
- an estimate of cost and an estimated time frame for completion;
- when possible, the underlying sources of moisture that may be causing the mold and a recommendation as to the type of contractor who would remedy the source of such moisture.
- the remediation plan may require containment, as appropriate, to prevent the spread of mold to areas of the building outside the containment under normal conditions of use.
Remediation Work Plan is prepared by a remediation contractor prepares a remediation work plan that is specific to each project, fulfills all the requirements of the mold remediation plan developed by the mold assessor and provides specific instructions and/or standard operating procedures for how a mold remediation project will be performed. The work plan must be provided to the client before site preparation work begins. Here’s more…
- If a mold assessment licensee specifies in the mold remediation plan that personal protection equipment (PPE) is required for the project, the contractor shall provide the specified PPE to all employees who engage in remediation activities and who will, or are anticipated to, disturb or remove mold contamination.
- The containment, when constructed as described in the remediation work plan and under normal conditions of use, must prevent the spread of mold to areas outside the containment.
- Signs advising that a mold remediation project is in progress shall be displayed at all accessible entrances to remediation areas.
- No person shall remove or dismantle any containment structures or materials from a project site prior to receipt by the contractor a notice from a mold assessor that the project has achieved clearance.
Post-remediation Assessment shall determine that the underlying cause of the mold has been remediated so that it is reasonably certain that the mold will not return from that remediated area. If it has been determined that the underlying cause of the mold has not been remediated, the assessor shall make a recommendation to the client as to the type of contractor who could remedy the source of the mold or the moisture causing the mold. A mold assessor who determines that remediation has been successful shall issue a written passed clearance report to the client at the conclusion of each mold remediation project.
The issue that comes up most in our classes is the need for a remediation plan. The legislation is pretty clear in stating that a remediation plan is required when mold remediation will occur. We’ve had attendees upset that the need for the mold remediation plan is unnecessary, especially when the owner starts with the remediation contractor. Contractors need to explain that an mold remediation plan must be completed if the activity meets the definition of “project”. Like it or not…
The EEA training staff is excited to support State efforts to create a stable mold program that benefits property owners , contractors and those who value healthy indoor environments. We’ve scheduled mold sessions across the State to provide New Yorkers and those engaged in mold projects in New York with affordable, high quality training. Here are a few upcoming dates:
Mold Remediation Contractor
Rochester, New York – February 22-24
Elmsford, New York – February 22-24
Utica, New York – March 1-3
Ronkonkoma, New York – March 7-9
Buffalo, New York, March 14-16
Latham, New York – March 21-23
Give us a call if you don’t see something nearby or at a time that’s convenient to you. We’ll come to you!