Tag Archives: Lead: Renovation Repair and Painting Rule

EPA Underestimates Costs and Overestimates Benefit of Lead Rule

From our friends at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), some recent news about the ongoing battle for legislation to restore the homeowners’ right to opt out of costly lead based paint removal protocols:

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General reported on the findings of an investigation into the agency’s economic analysis of the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule. Not surprisingly, that report determined that the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) underestimated the rule’s cost and overestimated its benefits.

Moreover, the EPA Inspector General found that the training manual and subsequent “certified renovator” training failed to clearly delineate which lead-safe work practices are mandated and which are simply recommendations.

For more information about what the NAHB is doing to improve the effectiveness and reduce the cost of this rule, check out this recent article on Housing Zone by Professional Remodeler.

LEAD legislation needs your support!

Our friends at NAHB Remodelers, our national affiliate, have provided a simple and convenient way to show your support for  the newly proposed S. 2148, the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012

On March 1, 2012 Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced S. 2148, the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012.  This piece of legislation improves the Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule (RRP) which has hampered the home building industry with burdensome compliance costs. 

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the RRP rule establishing new requirements for contractors and remodelers working in homes built before 1978.  The rule prescribes a series of work practices and contractor certification requirements as a way to address impacts associated with the disturbance of lead-painted surfaces in older housing.  Specifically designed to address potential lead exposures to children under six years of age and pregnant women, the RRP rule requires contractors and remodelers working in older homes to obtain certification from the EPA. 

This legislation will restore the “Opt-Out Provision” from the RRP rule which allowed homeowners without children under six or pregnant women residing in the home to allow their contractor to forego the use of lead-safe work practices.  By restoring the “opt-out provision”, it will eliminate unnecessary regulations and compliance costs estimated at $508 million a year.

Read more here.

Urge your Senators to support this legislation here.

NAHB Endorsed Legislation Introduced to Reduce Lead Regulatory Burden

This just in from the National Association of Home Builders in Washington D.C.:

Responding to concerns from NAHB Remodelers and affiliated trade groups, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on March 1 introduced S. 2148, the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012,  to improve the lead paint rule for remodelers who must comply with the costly work practices and record keeping requirements of the rule.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s  Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting (LRRP) rule, which took effect on April 22, 2010, requires that remodelers and contractors working in homes built before 1978 be trained and certified by the EPA on lead-safe work practices before they can legally work in those homes.

The bill was introduced with five original co-sponsors: Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), David Vitter (R-La.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.).

NAHB is urging its members to contact their senators and call on them to co-sponsor the Inhofe bill. The association is also seeking the introduction of companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012 would:

  • Reinstate the opt-out provision to allow home owners without small children or pregnant women residing in them to decide whether to require LRRP compliance, not the government.
  • Suspend the LRRP if EPA does not approve a commercially available test kit that meets the regulation’s requirements.
  • Allow remodelers the “right to cure” paperwork errors found during an inspection.
  • Eliminate the “hands on” recertification training requirements.
  • Prohibit EPA from expanding the LRRP to commercial and public buildings until at least one year after the agency conducts a study demonstrating the need for such an action.
  • Clarify the definition of “abatement” to specifically exclude remodeling and renovation activities.
  • Provide an exemption to the regulation for emergency renovations

Read the full story here.

EPA RRP Enforcement Wake Up Call

On May 26th, the Professional Remodelers Organization welcomed nearly double the number of remodelers than normal for our 7:30am Remodelers’ Round Table discussion.  What topic would bring out so many people for what is generally billed as an informal gathering of professionals for open format discussion on topics ranging from contracts or insurance to finding good employees?

One word… Lead.

The PRO arranged for an OSHA inspector to participate and help demystify some of the angst and confusion surrounding lead based paint rules in Oregon.

There were a lot of questions and hopefully some good answers, but it seems like this recent blog post by Jonathan Sweet from HousingZone.com sheds a little light on why there is so much momentum around this subject right now…

All the remodelers out there who thought that the EPA RRP lead paint rules weren’t going to be enforced may want to think again. 

The EPA announced in May it would be pursuing action against a Rockland, Maine, remodeler for alleged violation of the RRP rules. The EPA has said that Colin Wentworth is facing fines of at least $150,000 for multiple violations.

It’s the first punitive action the EPA has taken for violation of the new rules, although the agency has cited several companies for failing to provide the “Renovate Right” pamphlet to owners of pre-1978 homes. That has been required of remodelers for years, but many have ignored it.

The relatively lax enforcement of that rule has probably been what led many remodelers to think this would be no big deal.

Read the rest of the article to see what has changed… and keep an eye out in late July for our next Remodelers’ Round Table.

Department of Human Services may soon regulate lead-based paint activities

From the Home Building News by Scott Barrie, OHBA

The Oregon Department Human Services (DHS) plans to introduce a bill in 2009 that would move certification and enforcement authority for lead-based paint activity from the Construction Contractors Board (CCB) to, you guessed it, the DHS. They believe this transfer of authority is necessary due to the increase in the number of contractors who will be required to be certified to do lead-based paint work under new rules adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Currently contractors engaged in lead-based paint activities must be certified by DHS and licensed by the CCB. Under new renovation, repair and painting regulations from the federal EPA, the agency may begin administering programs for the new regulations as early as April 2009 in states that are not applying for a state-run program. In addition, new training standards must be approved and accredited by the EPA for state run programs by April of 2010. Contractors and training providers must also be certified and accredited by April of 2010.

OHBA is working with the DHS to come up with a training program that makes sense for contractors while protecting the consumer. However, we would like to see any potential education approved by DHS received by the CCB like all of the other continuing education requirements that begin in 2010.

In addition, the DHS would like to administer an enforcement program around unauthorized lead based paint activities. As the new rules from the EPA add certain renovation, remodeling and painting tasks, DHS sees its potential new role in enforcement increasing dramatically.

OHBA is concerned that DHS enforcement authority just adds one more group of folks to the already crowded field on potential inspections and work stoppage issues on a jobsite. It may make more sense to train local building departments or CCB enforcement individuals who already visit the jobsite rather than a whole new group of inspectors.

What we do know is that there will be changes coming in the area of renovation, repair and painting of residential and commercial structures built before 1978 in the next year and a half. We will do our best to keep you informed as the issue moves forward.

If you missed the NAHB Audio Seminar on Oct 28th in regards to the EPA’s new Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule information can be found here.