The Opt Out
There has been some recent movement on the EPA’s LRRP rules regarding lead paint with the introduction of bill H.R. 5911, The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012. This has been something many of us have been extremely passionate about (myself included). It would seem that common sense could finally prevail and the “opt out” has a chance to be inserted back into the LRRP rules where it was originally intended to be.
But how does that old saying go …. “The horse is already out of the barn.” As much as I would like to see the H.R. 5911 approved, and I will be supporting it 100 percent, what happens to the states that have already adopted and taken over their own LRRP programs? Is it too little too late? And what about the jobs that have already been eliminated because of the LRRP rules?
I don’t want to send mixed signals here. I believe the opt out should be part of the LRRP rules. In my opinion, it just seems logical. Having the opt out will do a lot of good, and it would help restore some normalcy to our industry.
I have called on many dealers that just won’t run a lead on a pre-1978 home because of the liability involved with lead safe work practices. There are also savvy homeowners that know how to work around the LRRP rules and regulations as well as contractors that just ignore the rules. These, among many other things, are all items we explained to our politicians that would happen if the opt out was eliminated. Unfortunately, we were proven right as the opt out has had a significant negative impact on our business.
We really need to have all our industry organizations join together and get the opt out reinserted in the LRRP regulations. If we don’t, I have a concern that the pendulum will swing back to pushing for independent third-party verifications and even tighter controls on our businesses. I encourage everyone to call on the industry organizations, WDDA, AAMA, WDMA, NWDA, etc., and make sure we do everything we can to show a united front on the opt out.