Since its inception in 2010, the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule has been a point of contention among building and construction professionals, especially those of us in the fenestration industry. Estimates vary on how many potential window replacement projects and other types of renovations have been postponed or abandoned due to the high cost of abiding by the LRRP rule.

While exact numbers are difficult to pinpoint, most of us can agree that it has had a major impact on R&R market recovery and window and door sales.

When the House Bill H.R. 2328 (The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act) was introduced last week, I couldn’t get to computer fast enough to support it. I strongly believe that its success is dependent on immediate action on all our parts. I’ve personally sent emails using the WDMA letters and email auto builder to members of Congress at all 24 of Quanex’s U.S. locations.

If you are unsure whom to contact, access the Senate and House member lookup here.

If you are not a WDMA member, you may want to send emails directly using the letter templates included – but be sure to edit appropriately for your business. Keep in mind that printed letters take a long time to reach members due to high levels of security, and they may even be destroyed by measures used to ensure that harmful substances are destroyed – essentially they bake letters in ovens.

For more context on the bill, The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act …

 

  • Restores the Opt-Out provision removed by the EPA. Originally, the rule allowed homeowners to waive testing and the use of special work practices if there were no pregnant women or children six years of age or younger living in the home. Restoring the opt-out provision will not change the rule’s protections for pregnant women and small children.
  • Suspends LRRP for post-1960 homes without a pregnant woman or small child living there if the EPA cannot approve a test kit that meets the regulation’s requirements. A test kit meeting the EPA’s own standard is not yet on the market despite the EPA stating a commercially available test kit would be on the market when the rule took effect in April 2010;
  • Provides a de minimis exemption for first-time paperwork non-compliance by certified contractors;
  • Provides an exemption to the rule for renovations after a natural disaster.

Currently the bill has been sent to committee before returning to the House floor for a vote.

The View from Here is that this may be our big chance to see some results in Washington to modify the rule while still maintaining the intent of protecting pregnant women and young children. Don’t delay — take action to let our senators and representatives know that this issue is very important to reaching full recovery of the R&R market.

What’s your view? Contact me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

 

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