Time Running Out for EPA Lead Paint Rule Change to Make a Difference

Filed in Codes and Standards, Remodeling by on September 20, 2014 2 Comments

paintchipsAs NAHBNow reported in June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule to make it easier for remodelers and other contractors to renew their EPA-required certifications.

But for the 200,000 certified renovators that EPA estimates will need to re-certify by the July 1, 2015 deadline, time is running out for EPA’s rule change to make a difference.

The proposal would remove the current hands-on training requirement that EPA requires of all Certified Renovators to maintain their EPA certifications, making it possible for renovators to complete the entire refresher training course online.

It’s important, however, to note that the hands-on training requirement for newly certified contractors would remain in place: The change would only apply to re-certifications.

Over the summer, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told EPA that the proposed rule will undergo review under Executive Order 12866. While OMB’s review is not expected to result in any significant changes, it is anticipated to add at least six months to the process.

The clock began ticking on Sept. 17, and OMB has up to 90 days to complete its review. For the rule to have any chance of being finalized in time to have the greatest impact on existing Certified Renovators, OMB needs to complete its review as soon as possible. According to a timeline compiled by NAHB staff, if OMB expends the full 90 days for review, the proposal likely won’t take effect until July 2015 – too late for renovators who must complete the refresher training course by July 1.

“Considering that EPA rules limit these in-person classes to about 25 students per class, online classes are the most effective way to ensure remodelers and contractors are re-certified before their five-year EPA certification lapses,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Paul Sullivan. “This proposal is solid public policy that achieves the objectives of the RRP rule, which is a fully trained and Lead-Safe certified workforce.”

NAHB has been an active participant in helping to guide EPA’s lead paint regulation efforts since their inception and has been an advocate and supporter of the required training completion for its members. It continues to press for restoration of the “opt-out” clause, which would allow home owners without children under the age of 6 or who are pregnant to permit contractors to do work without the expensive additional safeguards the law requires.

“The rule change to allow online RRP refresher classes will help thousands of contractors across the country renew their  certification more quickly and at lower cost, and to do so at their convenience,” said Oregon HBA EO Jon Chandler. “We are hopeful that OMB and EPA will move this proposal forward expeditiously so that contractors will have the online option available before the renewal deadline.”

Learn more about the EPA Lead Paint rule at nahb.org/leadpaint, or contact Tamra Spielvogel at 800-368-5242 x8327.

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  1. What is the latest on this issue that NAHB knows of? Will we be able to class the RRP classes online?

    • NAHB Now says:

      Tamra Spielvogel says, “It is still unclear whether or not we’ll be able to get the rule finalized in time. The proposal remains at the Office of Management and Budget for review, so it will be difficult as time starts to run short. We continue to work the issue though and will provide further updates as they become available.”

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