Clock Still Ticking on EPA Lead Paint Rule Amendment

Filed in Advocacy, Codes and Standards, Remodeling by on November 13, 2014 0 Comments
sullivan, hanbury

NAHB Remodelers Chair Paul Sullivan and former chair Bob Hanbury pause in front of the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. after the Nov. 6 OMB meeting. Oregon EO Jon Chandler also attended by telephone.

As NAHBNow reported in September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal 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 was sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review on Sept. 17.

As OMB review approached the 60-day mark, NAHB members and staff met Nov. 6 with representatives from OMB, EPA, Small Business Administration, and Council on Environmental Quality to urge OMB to move the proposal through the regulatory process without delay.

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.

During the meeting, NAHB emphasized that 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. NAHB has estimated that the value to the remodeling industry of implementing the strictly online version of refresher training before the deadline at $45.92 million.

“Time is of the essence for the hundreds of thousands of remodelers and other contractors who embraced the rule and became certified  before July 2010,” said NAHB Remodelers former chairman Bob Hanbury, who met with OMB last week.

Without approval of the online re-certification, having to take the course all over again would be “a travesty for the good guys who took the classes early,” he said. Online classes also mean “less cost and time off the job for our workers, so that our customers don’t have to overpay for worker certification compliance.”

Hands-on training requirement for newly certified contractors would remain in place: The change would only apply to re-certifications.

lead paint statesFor renovators operating in the 14 states (see map, right) that have taken delegation of the Lead RRP program, there may be additional requirements. State programs changes through legislative or regulatory action may only happen after a final federal rule is issued.

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.

More Fixes Needed

While this amendment is a positive step for EPA and will help make compliance more workable, NAHB remains concerned about the misapplication of the program in situations for which it was never intended because of the lack of a reliable test kit – which was supposed to be released five years ago – coupled with the removal of the opt-out provision.

NAHB 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.

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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