Hurricane Sandy left much of the New York and New Jersey area in ruins. However, many structures that weathered the storm also sustained significant damage. A substantial number of homes and businesses were left with mold damage following the storm’s massive destruction.
Unfortunately, this is still a major health concern, as many of the contractors making building repairs were not qualified to do so. As a result, mold is growing back in many newly rebuilt homes. Many homeowners have been forced to take legal action against negligent contractors, as they didn’t perform the services promised.
New York lawmakers recently passed a bill requiring mold inspectors, assessors and remediation specialists to become licensed. Currently, this is not a requirement. The bill is designed to ensure that only properly trained specialists are able to conduct mold assessments, abatements and remediation services.
New Mold Legislation Requires Certification
“Several months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of New York with massive flooding, there is an increasing public health risk associated with mold growth in residential and commercial buildings,” states the bill. “Mold exposure causes respiratory health problems and people (especially children) with asthma are particularly vulnerable to illnesses from mold exposure. Mold can also sometimes cause even more serious health problems.”
“Many people do not fully understand mold problems, the causes of mold in buildings, and the proper assessment and/or remediation when a mold problem exists,” continues the bill. “As a result, it is in the interest of the public safety and welfare to prevent future damage to real and personal property, minimize the public health risks posed by mold in public and private buildings, and avert economic injury to NYS residents by regulating persons and companies that hold themselves out to the public as qualified to perform mold-related services.”
“This bill will ensure that the public is protected from unscrupulous contractors offering mold assessment and/or remediation, and that licensed persons and/or businesses engaged in mold assessment and/or remediation will be properly trained,” the bill concludes.
If the new bill is signed into law, applicants will be required to successfully complete state-approved courses to become certified. They will need to maintain their certification by participating in ongoing continuing education courses. Additionally, mold remediation companies will be forced to maintain workers compensation and liability insurance requirements of at least $50,000.
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