Frequent Questions

Please provide guidance on how the Agency will interpret the term “minor repair and maintenance activities.”

Question (23002-32366)

Please provide guidance on how the Agency will interpret the term “minor repair and maintenance activities.”  Is the replacement of a window measuring less than six square feet considered minor repair and maintenance?  If I use a torch to burn off less than 20 square feet of paint on exterior fixtures, is that considered minor repair and maintenance?  What does EPA mean by demolition?  How is the size of the disrupted surface calculated?  If I sand five square feet of paint on one wall on one day, and five square feet on a different wall in the same room on the next day, are both projects considered minor repair and maintenance? 

Answer

“Minor repair and maintenance” is defined in 40 CFR 745.83 as activities that disrupt less than 6 square feet or less of painted surface per room for interior activities or 20 square feet or less of painted surface for exterior activities where none of the work practices prohibited or restricted by § 745.85(a)(3) are used and where the work does not involve window replacement or demolition of painted surface areas.  Even if an entire window measures less than six square feet, the replacement of any size window is a renovation, not minor repair and maintenance, because it is specifically excluded from the definition of “minor repair and maintenance.”  Similarly, because torch burning is prohibited by 745.85(a)(3), no activity involving torch burning can be considered minor repair and maintenance.  For the purposes of the definition of minor repair and maintenance, EPA considers demolition to be an activity that removes or otherwise disrupts a painted component in a way that destroys or ruins the component.

The definition of “minor repair and maintenance” provides some guidance on how to measure the surface disrupted:  “When removing painted components, or portions of painted components, the entire surface area removed is the amount of painted surface disturbed.”  In other cases, when painted surfaces are being disturbed or disrupted, but not completely removed, the disrupted surface area is the area being actively disturbed.  For example, when spot sanding to prepare a surface for painting, the area of the surface that was actually sanded is the surface area disrupted. 

Finally, the definition of “minor repair and maintenance” states that “jobs, other than emergency renovations, performed in the same room within the same 30 days must be considered the same job for the purpose of determining whether the job is a minor repair and maintenance activity.”  Therefore, sanding five square feet of paint in the same room on two different days within the same 30-day period must be considered the same job, which would be a renovation because it does not meet the definition of “minor repair and maintenance.”

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