The new lead paint rule, which is scheduled to go into effect on April 22, 2010—just about three weeks from now, was a hot topic at this week’s 2010 Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, and the North American Building Material Distribution Association.

A Louisiana Senator criticized the rule, particularly with the burden it could place on the other economic stimulus programs designed to encourage home renovations. (CLICK HERE for more information on the rule.)

(Just before the meeting, the WDMA had joined with several industry associations in protesting the rule via letter to several senators involved with the new lead paint provisions, pointing out a similar concern.) (CLICK HERE for related story.)

“The right hand is doing one thing and the left hand is doing something different,” said Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who addressed the joint meeting on Tuesday, March 16.

He reminded the audience that, with the new EPA rule, 186,811 certified renovators would need to be trained by April 11. “We’re not close,” he said.

Vittler described the EPA rule as an example of “real regulatory overkill.”

Later in the day, Mike O’Brien, executive vice president of the WDMA, prepped attendees for possible meetings with legislators about the rule and other hot topics.

He encouraged attendees to explain to legislators the issues with the lead rule, including the one Vitter brought up.

“There are not enough certified renovators or firms that are going to be needed,” he said.

O’Brien also pointed to a concern about the availability of testing kits for lead paint, saying that there are only two available and they’re not very accurate.

WDMA also advocates the maintenance of the opt-out clause for homes built before 1978 where no children under 6 nor pregnant women live. O’Brien urged members to express these concerns to legislators and to the federal Office of Management and Budget.

“If this passes and the Home Star program passes, I guarantee the federal government will be issuing rebates on projects that are not in compliance,” he said.

O’Brien encouraged attendees to emphasize concerns about implementation of the rule, too, and that the goal isn’t to try to stop it from ever taking effect.

“Be sure to emphasize your concern is not about making this rule go away,” he said. “That’s not going to happen.”

Other issues of concern discussed was the .30/.30 provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for tax credits for energy-efficient doors and windows, though a bill did pass last week that could possibly align the tax credits with the ENERGY STAR® criteria. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

“[.30/.30] is not supported by any data or research,” he said.

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