Frequently Asked Questions about Rules - Environmental Lead Program
To receive a copy of the Texas Environmental Lead Reduction Rules, visit the ELP Rules page on this site, or call DSHS at 512-231-5792, or 800-293-0753 (toll-free in Texas).
In order to help reduce exposures to lead, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 544 (SB 544) in June of 1995, to ensure that individuals conducting lead-based paint abatements and removals in residential homes and multifamily dwellings are properly trained and certified by the state. As required by this legislation, DSHS has promulgated the Texas Environmental Lead Reduction Rules 25 TAC 295.201-220, which became effective on February 19, 1996. The rules were amended effective May 10, 1998 to include child-occupied facilities such as daycares and preschools, required by House Bill 729 (HB 729) passed by the 75th Legislature, 1997. The rules were amended again effective March 23, 2003, to align state rules with federal rules established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning lead hazard standards. On January 1, 2005, the rules were amended to accommodate the changes required by House Bill 2292, 78th Legislature, 2003, which revised Texas Health and Safety Code (HSC), §§12.0111 and 12.0112, to require two-year licenses effective January 1, 2005; and Senate Bill 1152, 78th Legislature, 2003, which amended Government Code (GC), Chapter 2054, regarding the TexasOnline Authority. These statutes required that two-year certifications and training accreditations (instead of 3-year terms) start being issued to new applicants and existing three-year certifications, and training accreditations had to be converted to two-year terms upon renewal. Language was also added that allows for the collection of annual subscription and convenience fees to recover costs associated with processing fee payments for applications through the Regulatory Services Online Licensing System.
The rules require that persons performing lead-based paint activities such as inspection, risk assessment, project design, or abatement in target housing (which includes most single and multifamily dwellings constructed prior to 1978), and child-occupied facilities (also built before 1978), must be certified by the DSHS after receiving training. Homeowners of target housing who are considering having any of these lead-based paint activities conducted should ask to see the DSHS-issued certification identification (ID) card of any of the persons that they hire. If lead-based paint in target housing is to be abated, the certified firm must submit an abatement notification form to the DSHS prior to the beginning of the job, and a fee will be assessed after receipt of the notification by DSHS.
The DSHS Lead Rules apply to target housing (constructed prior to 1978), which may include single and multi-family residences, and apartment buildings, and child-occupied facilities (also built before 1978), such as preschools, kindergartens, and daycares. The rules DO NOT cover non-residential public and commercial buildings, industrial facilities, bridges, roads, or steel structures or zero-bedroom dwellings such as efficiencies, studio apartments, dormitory housing, military barracks, and rentals of individual rooms in residential dwellings.
To become certified in one of the above-mentioned lead disciplines (excluding lead firm), one must first be trained in that discipline by a DSHS-accredited Lead Training Program Provider, take and pass the appropriate exam, if applicable (required for Lead Inspector, Lead Risk Assessor, and Lead Abatement Supervisor), meet the education/experience requirements as appropriate, and then submit a certification application and appropriate fee to the DSHS. You can download the appropriate application for a certification discipline from this website or call DSHS at 512-834-6600; or toll-free 800-572-5548, to request an application.
DSHS does not certify laboratories, but an EPA-recognized lab must be utilized to analyze any lead samples collected in conjunction with a lead inspection, lead risk assessment, or lead abatement. To inquire about EPA-recognized laboratories, call the National Lead Information Center toll-free at 800-424-LEAD (5323) or click here to view current the list of EPA-recognized laboratories.
You can call the DSHS, Policy, Standards, and Quality Assurance Section (PSQA), Environmental Hazards Unit, at 512-231-5792 or 800-293-0753 (toll-free in Texas).
The TCEQ will be able to assist you with questions about lead waste disposal by calling the Industrial Hazardous Waste program at 512-239-6413 or by calling any of the TCEQ Regional Offices.
DSHS amended the Texas Environmental Lead Reduction Rules (TELRR) on November 9, 2021, to accommodate amendments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dust-lead standards, meet federal deadlines for implementation, and to clarify existing rule language. The EPA amended Title 40 CFR §745.227(h)(3), effective January 6, 2020, and Title 40 CFR §§745.223 and 745.227(e)(8)(viii), effective December 21, 2020, whereby EPA lowered the dust-lead hazard standards and dust-lead clearance standards for lead in dust on floors and window sills from 40 micrograms (µg) of lead in dust per square foot (ft2) on floors and 250 µg of lead in dust per ft2 on interior window sills, to 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2, respectively. The state amendments were necessary to comply with Texas Occupations Code, §1955.051, which requires that the TELRR be consistent with federal standards.