EPA Seeks Comments on Proposed Lead Regulations

Filed in Codes and Regulations, Environmental by on August 22, 2018 0 Comments

NAHB submitted comments to EPA last week in response to a proposed rule regarding the Review of Dust-Lead Hazard Standards and Definition of Lead-Based Paint. As we previously reported, EPA was ordered by the 9th Circuit to issue a proposed rule concerning the dust-lead hazard standard (DLHS) and definition of lead-based paint (LBP).

Healthy housing groups petitioned EPA to lower the DLHS and revise the definition of lead-based paint so that lower amounts of lead in paint trigger federal regulation.

EPA is now proposing to lower the DLHS from 40 milligrams per square foot (mg/ft2) on floors and 250 mg/fton window sills to 10 mg/ ft2 and 100 mg/ft2, respectively, as some advocacy groups have suggested.

However, EPA is not proposing a change to the current definition of LBP due to its position that insufficient information exists to support such a change.

NAHB agreed that the agency was acting within its statutory authority and in compliance with the court order in deciding not to propose any changes to the current definition to LBP.

NAHB also agreed that the existing data gaps supported the decision not to propose any changes to the standard at this time.

In its comments, NAHB did raise some additional implementation questions for EPA regarding the proposed changes to the DLHS and how the transition period between the current and new standards would be handled. This has particular implications for multifamily properties subject to regulations administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that rely on the DLHS.

It is important to note that EPA articulated in the proposal that the DLHS changes do not directly affect the Renovation, Renovation and Painting (RRP) program because existing RRP regulations do not require dust sampling prior to or at the conclusion of a renovation.

NAHB further reminded EPA that any future review of existing post-abatement clearance levels the agency intends to take should maintain the long-held distinction between RRP and abatement activities.

For more information contact Tamra Spielvogel.

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