Environmental Lead Program

Update on Hurricane Harvey Waivers for DSHS License Holders

On August 23, 2017, the Office of the Governor issued a disaster proclamation in response to Hurricane Harvey and temporarily suspended the statutes and rules pertaining to professional and business licenses or certification renewal applications. During the suspension, DSHS extended license expiration dates for professionals and businesses in the affected counties and waived the late fees for those who submitted renewal applications.

On December 17, 2018, the Office of the Governor terminated the suspension of the DSHS statutes and rules related to the Hurricane Harvey disaster.

Effective March 1, 2019, DSHS will no longer extend license expiration dates or waive late fees for any licensed professionals or businesses in the following counties: 

Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kerr, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Madison, Matagorda, Milam, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Trinity, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Willacy, and Wilson.

What this Means for License Holders in these counties:

To avoid a late fee, you will need to submit your license or certification renewal application with the required fees along with any required supplemental documentation, in accordance with the applicable requirements for your license or certification type by February 28, 2019.  

Late fees will be assessed on applications postmarked on or after March 1, 2019.


The mission of the Environmental Lead Program is to protect the public, especially young children, from exposure to lead in their environment through assuring that persons conducting lead inspections, lead risk assessments, and lead abatements in target housing (built before 1978) and child-occupied facilities (built before 1978) are properly trained and certified and are following minimum standards that protect the health of workers and building occupants.

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Applicability of Texas Lead Regulations

EPA Lead Free Kids Logo

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned lead-based paint for residential use beginning on January 1, 1978. As a result, the Texas Environmental Lead Reduction Rules (TELRR) were promulgated which apply to housing (also known as "target housing" by the TELRR) and child-occupied facilities (i.e., daycare centers and kindergartens) built before this date. In order to do any lead-based paint activity in these structures, such as lead inspections, lead risk assessments, lead hazard screens, or lead abatements, the individuals and firms conducting this work must be certified (licensed) by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Environmental Lead Program. In the absence of testing documentation to show that no lead-based paint is present, homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978 must be assumed to contain lead-based paint. Commercial and industrial buildings/structures that are not homes or child-occupied facilities are currently not covered by these regulations.

Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Regulations

EPA Renovate Right

Please be aware that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2008 Renovation, Repair and Painting Program (RRP) Rule regulates renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) activities in pre-1978 constructed housing and child-occupied facilities. The rule became fully effective April 22, 2010, and is being administered by the EPA in Texas. This federal rule states among other things that these activities must be conducted by an EPA-certified Renovation Firm (licensed by EPA) using a certified Renovator and follow the lead-safe work practice requirements of the rule. Before any of this work begins, the hiring party should verify that the contractor is indeed a certified Renovator by asking for a copy of their certified Renovator training certificate, issued by an EPA-accredited trainer, and is also working for an EPA-certified Renovation Firm. You can search and verify EPA certified Renovation Firms here. If you have questions regarding the U.S. EPA's RRP Program rule, check out the EPA RRP Program website or you can call the EPA Lead Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) or the EPA Region 6 office in Dallas at (214) 665-6711

Last updated January 16, 2019