Senate Introduces Legislation to Reform EPA Lead RuleMarch 7th, 2013 by DWM Magazine
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) applauded introduction of legislation last night in the U.S. Senate that would reform the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule. This bill would reduce the burden the rule has placed on dealers in the home retrofit market, and also protect pregnant women and small children from lead hazards, according to the association.
The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2013 (S. 484) was introduced by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and six cosponsors. NLBMDA has sought re-introduction of this reform bill in the Senate following the introduction of a similar Senate bill in 2012 that expired with the last session of Congress.
“Over the last several years of the housing industry downturn, the remodeling and retrofit market has been a key source of business for LBM dealers, either through their installed sales operations, serving remodelers, or both,” says NLBMDA Chairman Chuck Bankston, president of Bankston Lumber in Barnesville, Ga. “While we support the goal of protecting pregnant women and small children from lead hazards, EPA’s effort to expand the lead rule beyond its original intent, its aggressive pursuit of paperwork violations and its failure to approve a lead test kit meeting its own rule has been an extreme burden on a residential market that is just starting to recover from the recession. We commend Sen. Inhofe for his continuing leadership on this issue.”
Among its key provisions, S. 484 would restore the “opt-out” clause, suspend the rule for owner-occupied housing built between 1960 and 1978 when a small child or pregnant woman does not live in the home (if EPA cannot approve a test kit meeting its own standard for false positives), it would prohibit expansion of the rule to commercial buildings until EPA conducts a study demonstrating the need for such action and provide a de minimis exemption for first-time paperwork violations.