The “opt-out provision” in the 2008 Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule, which affects homes built prior to 1978, has been eliminated, according to information posted on the EPA’s website early today. Though that information was posted on the website at least twice and subsequently was removed, sources close to DWM believe it is scheduled to be re-posted at midnight tonight.

According to information posted this morning once the rule becomes effective 60 days after publication, renovation firms will no longer be exempted from the training and work practice requirements of the RRP rule by obtaining certification from the owner of a residence that no child under age six or pregnant woman resides in the home and the home is not a child-occupied facility.

EPA officials have not responded to requests for comment on the rule.

D.S. Berenson, an attorney who specializes in lead issues and is familiar with the rule, advised DWM that the rule cannot be made public until it is published in the Federal Register.

“At this time the change has not been published in the Federal Register, so the legal specifics of this modification are not yet available to us,” says Berenson.

However, he is still hopeful about the final wording of the rule.

“We hope some reasonable time period has been allowed by which the opt-out can be phased out of practice by contractors, perhaps allowing continued use for at least a two- to three-month period. We know we will have at least 60 days from the time the change is listed in the Federal Register before it [becomes] effective,” Berenson adds.

Gorell Windows and Doors, which has been very involved in this issue, has also been monitoring the EPA website and issued the following statement on the removal of the information.

“We are an industry that wants to do the right thing, but again, the communication from the EPA has been very difficult to follow and understand,” says Tyson Schwartz, vice president of sales and marketing for Gorell Windows and Doors. “This posting of the information, then taking it down, then doing it all over again, is just another example of how poor the communication has been by the EPA to our industry.”

Schwartz reiterates that Gorell support the EPA’s efforts in wanting to eliminate lead poisoning in children and pregnant women and supports use of lead safe practices in these instances.

“But if the opt-out provision that allows pre-1978 homeowners without the criteria mentioned is removed, we strongly disagree with this move. We will continue to communicate with our lawmakers to explain why this provision should stay in,” says Schwartz.

DWM has followed this issue closely. For more info on the subject go to the search site archives box on and type in lead paint.

Stay tuned to for the official announcement.



  1. I can tell you that I will NOT be giving any window work to any contractor so long as this ridiculous rule is in effect. I live alone and do not have money to waste on making space cadets out of contractors. This is another invasion of government into our lives which will do nothing but raise the cost of work for those who proceed with window replacement. I will not be one, and I will encourage anyone subject to this to put off window replacement until such time as EPA rescinds this rule.

    Tom Lucy

  2. Responding to Tom Lucy’s comments, his concerns and frustration I am sure are shared by many. Unfortunately the remodelers and contractors will suffer the economic burden as much as homeowners considering home improvements effected by the rule. The EPA has too much power for an government agency. Without checks and balances they persue their agenda with total disregard for the carnage in their wake. As Americans, we must bring this country back to the center from the left with the power of our vote in November. I pray our industry survives until then.

  3. Economic burden? I do not get it. I have been in the specialty trade of glass and glazing for little over 30 years. The lead awareness started around the same time as OSHA back in the mid 70’s. There have been lead paint law suits all over the country. That alone should make real contractors aware and think. Safety should be number one with every contractor. Contractors need to be trained. Really tired of some workers that come out of the tavern of education with a hammer and call themselves contractors. I learned 30 years ago the basics-we had work uniforms that were changed at work and not brought home, clean-up after yourself and leave a work site clean. I could go on. The costs. Simple. Keep the dust down. Use plastic drop clothes. Get yourself a little spray bottle with water as you use your utility knife to score lead paint and avoid chips. Plastic wrap flakey, peeling materials. Do not contaminate and carry debris thru the work area. Damp wipe the are when finished. Last step, HEPA Vac fine dust. What extra cost? This what should be done anyway. Marc

  4. I agree that some caution should be taken when working with lead based paint but I think the epa has taken it a bit to far by there outside of house precautions because we all know there is just as much lead in the soil as what we leave there by proper clean up.(I CALL IT OVERBOARD) And the idea of removing the optout option is far out . I have a lot of customers in there 50s and up without any children ever in there homes .
    If the epa is not concered about disabled and older folks why do we have to go through the pains of all the extra labor and material that is of no value to the home owner except a very clean house and an extra 3-500 dollars

  5. Marc, I’m a house painter in the rural northeast. Almost all of the homes I paint are pre-’78. Most of these homes are not child or pregnant woman occupied. It is not nearly as easy and lost cost as you may think. I currently catch all my paint chips anyway. First during the pressure washing with large sheets of plastic. Do I catch every chip? Water flows off of the plastic into the grass. I can’t contain all of that dust filled water. Next I always catch all of my paint chips with fabric drop cloths. This would not be good enough. Instead I would have to cover 10 feet out from the house with 6mil plastic. I’m sure my customers will love it when all of their grass is dead after a day of baking in the hot sun under plastic.

    And then sometimes I might have to actually hang plastic sheeting and tent the side of a building. Do you realize the amount of additional time to do this. The CUSTOMER who has NO CHILDREN is now not able to opt out of this. That is a huge cost on the costumer because I can assure you that contractors will not eat thousands of dollars in time and materials.

    Working inside is a whole different ballgame. Its not just “use plastic drop cloths”. First you have HEPA vac. Then you have to cover the floor with plastic, taping all the edges. Then gift wrap with plastic all of the furniture. Shut off and seal all vents. Use disposable clothing, etc. etc. It becomes a logistical nightmare. It might be easy for a window guy. Try doing some large projects and just see how well you fair.

  6. As a contractor in vermont I have lost so many projects because of all the extra time and material needed to work lead safe. I agree with under 6 no oppting out and custermer awairness; But I do alot of windows and doors , and 90% of my custermers with old homes that need windows badly are retired people and elderly people and dont have the extra money to be lead safe. a lot of homes only have one window in a room so that the window that wood cost under $100. or less for install now would cost $280 + – for install with no opp out plus the cost of window. I work for and by my self and i need all the projects i can get the cost of materials is so high we need to revise the opp out. Not only for all us little guys trying to survive living from week to week but would help all of those on a fixed income. even sell more windows and doors

  7. I’m contractor in Brooklyn and really agree with Tom Lucy.

  8. Have you ever think of publishing an e-book? I have a website based on the same subject and would like to share some information. I know my subscribers would enjoy your work. If you’re in, feel free to send me an email.

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