The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have an effective strategy to implement and enforce the lead-based paint rule, an internal audit from the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) determined in a report released Monday.

The EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule was issued in 2008 with the goal of protecting the public, especially children, from lead-based paint hazards occurring during repair or remodeling activities, such as window replacement, in homes and facilities built before 1978.

The report cited several reasons why the EPA has been ineffective in implementing the RRP:

  • The EPA does not have sufficient controls to assess effectiveness and progress.
  • Program staff innovations are not being shared.
  • Program guidance does not sufficiently define RRP program objectives, goals and measurable outcomes to track progress and determine accountability.
  • There is insufficient coordination and communication between the two EPA program offices: The Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) and the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA).

The report was submitted to officials for the OCSPP and OECA with six recommendations to improve on the inefficiencies mentioned above. Recommendations included identifying the regulated universe for the RRP program, updating current program guidance, establishing management oversight controls as well as objectives, goals and measurable outcomes, and establishing a forum to share best practices and innovations.

Both offices responded to the OIG saying they believe “each recommendation identified below has been completed, thereby leaving no additional corrective actions necessary.”

After outlining how each action had been resolved, the OIG found that four out of the six corrective actions proposed did not meet the intent of the recommendation and therefore were not resolved. So far, only two recommendations met OIG intention standards and were considered resolved with corrective actions pending.

To read the full report, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *