Florida Mold Licensing Law Update
As the Florida Mold Licensing Law grandfathering phase draws to a close and mold assessors scramble to submit their application for grandfathering our industry once again hit’s the headlines.
February 16, 2011 House Bill 4171 submitted to the Florida House of Representatives, an attempt to repeal the current Florida mold related services legislation.
February 21, 2011 Orlando Mold Remediator Arrested, accused of running fraud scheme.
There is some controversy over the law and whether or not the mold licensing law will actually protect Florida citizens. I believe it’s a good law and I believe it actually provides a means for Florida citizens to ensure that their mold remediator or mold assessor has met the minimum requirements to perform mold related services on their home. In addition it gives the citizens of Florida a means of either reporting or reviewing previously reported complaints regarding the mold remediators or mold assessors that they may hire.
This is the part of the law that is most beneficial to Florida’s citizens. If Floridians file enough complaints against any licensee for either mold remediation or mold assessment the state can revoke the remediators or assessors license. This is how the state actually uses licensing laws to protect the citizens. Clearly just meeting the minimum requirements of any state licensed doesn’t mean that you’re going to be the greatest general contractor, physician, or mold remediator. The ability to revoke a licensees license is the true power in the states licensing program.
This is truly providing Florida citizens protection against widespread scams and fraud perpetrated by mold remediators whom for years have falsified mold testing results in an effort to secure mold remediation jobs.
The issue of regulating the mold assessment and mold remediation industry has been in the headlines since 2007 when Gov. Crist signed Senate Bill 2234 into law. There have been many who have pushed to repeal the law feeling that there is no need to regulate the mold related services industry. I would have to say that the headlines just this week show that we have a substantial need for regulation in the mold related services industry.
Let’s just review what has taken place in the state of Florida in the last seven days.
Wednesday of last week February 16th, just 12 days before the current mold related services licensing law grandfather time period elapsed, Representative James W Grant, District 47, filed HB 4171 in an effort to repeal the current legislation requiring mold remediators and mold assessors to obtain a state license.
Monday of this week February 21st, just seven days before the grandfathering time period elapsed, Senator Bill Norman, District 12, filed SB 2214 a sister bill intended to repeal the current Mold Related Services provision requiring both mold remediators and mold assessors to be licensed by the state.
Monday February 21st, the same day that Senator Norman filed SB 2214, the owner of an Orlando Mold Inspection and Remediation Business was Arrested on charges that he falsified testing records and defrauded customers, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
So the very same day that Sen. Bill Norman filed a bill to repeal the current licensing law the DEP Department of Environmental Protection arrest a mold remediator who was performing his own testing in an effort to secure mold remediation jobs.
This remediator faces charges of grand theft, insurance fraud, and violations of the RICO act.
This Mold Remediator violated the current state legislation stating that he cannot provide mold remediation and assessment on the same job.
I find it hard to imagine that either Representative Grant or Senator Norman couldn’t see the benefit of the current legislation and the overwhelming need to protect Florida citizens from fraudulent remediators who also perform their own assessment.
Maybe Representative Grant and Senator Norman need to review the legislative purpose of the current mold licensing legislation.
The Florida State Mold Law Legislative purpose.–The Legislature finds it necessary in the interest of the public safety and welfare, to prevent damage to real and personal property, to avert economic injury to the residents of this state, and to regulate persons and companies that hold themselves out to the public as qualified to perform mold-related services.
The Orlando mold remediator was arrested on charges that he falsified testing records and defrauded customers in an effort to secure more remediation jobs.
The current legislation would provide Florida citizens a means of reporting any questionable or fraudulent actions by either mold remediators or mold assessors. This provides a means for future citizens to review complaints of any mold remediator or mold assessor they may want to hire.
Furthermore current legislation provides the state the power to revoke the license of any mold remediator or mold assessor based on their history of complaints as investigated and confirmed by the state.
The mold remediator arrested Monday by the DEP had more than 29 filed complaints, 29. Clearly you won’t find any licensed professional in the state of Florida with 29 complaints lodged against them before the state of Florida revokes their license.
The current Florida mold related services legislation provides Florida citizens a means for reporting fraudulent acts committed by mold or mediators and mold assessors protecting their neighbors from fraudulent remediators and assessors.
By requiring mold remediators and mold assessors to obtain a license we have provided a central location for our citizens to report fraudulent cases so they can be investigated by the state just as any other licensed professional the state of Florida. And just as any other licensed professional in the state of Florida that enough complaints are lodged in the state feels it necessary a license can be revoked.
DEP alleges the mold remediator, arrested an Orlando Monday, obtained samples that he told his clients would be tested, however, no testing occurred. Rather the remediator provided fictitious laboratory reports to clients that were extremely technical.
The mold remediator then offered assistance in performing “remediation,” for the mold problems — tearing out walls, carpet, flooring and cabinets — in order to remove the supposed mold.
This is the very reason that we have the current Florida mold related services legislation. The current licensing laws prevent mold remediate it from providing their own testing which prevents the number one scam in the mold related services industry, falsified mold testing.
I challenge both Representative Grant and Senator Norman to reread the following legislation and rethink the need to repeal a law that can have such an immediate affect protecting Florida citizens from unnecessary mold related services scams.
As of July 1, 2010 the state of Florida Prohibits anyone from performing or offering to perform any mold remediation to a structure on which the mold assessor or the mold assessor’s company provided a mold assessment within the last 12 months. Perform or offer to perform any mold remediation unless the remediator has documented training in water, mold, and respiratory protection under s. 468.8414(2). Accept any compensation, inducement, or reward from a mold assessor or mold assessor’s company for the referral of any business from the mold assessor or the mold assessor’s company. Offer any compensation, inducement, or reward to a mold assessor or mold assessor’s company for the referral of any business from the mold assessor or the mold assessor’s company. A mold remediator shall maintain a general liability insurance policy in an amount of not less than $1,000,000 that includes specific coverage for mold-related claims.
Mold Related Services Licensing Law Grandfathering
The requirements for grandfathering as amended by House Bill 713 include submission of an application to the department by March 1, 2011, whether postmarked or delivered by that date. Applicants must meet the following licensure requirements:
HB 4171 – Mold Related Services Filed Wednesday, February 16, 2011 2:41 PM
GENERAL BILL by Grant District 47
Mold-Related Services: Repeals provisions relating to DBPR’s mold-related services licensing program, regulation of mold assessment & mold remediation, examination, licensure, continuing education, & discipline of mold assessors & mold remediators, & certification of corporations & partnerships offering mold assessment or mold remediation to public.
SB 1244: Mold-related Services Filed Monday, February 21, 2011
GENERAL BILL by Norman District 12
Mold-related Services; Repeals provisions relating to the mold-related services licensing program of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the regulation of mold assessment and mold remediation, the examination, licensure, continuing education, and discipline of mold assessors and mold remediators, and the certification of corporations and partnerships offering mold assessment or mold remediation to the public. Conforms provisions.
John P. Lapotaire, CIEC
Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
Microshield Environmental Services, LLC
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