The Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule has been one of the most highly debated policies in the building and construction industry for years. We’ve seen it change forms and evolve over time. Most everyone in our industry remembers the about-face that occurred when the EPA withdrew its opt-out clause – and the controversy around the agency’s failure to deliver low-cost test kits as promised.

This is a topic I’ve touched on several times and The View from Here hasn’t changed. The rule itself is noble and important because of its base cause: to protect pregnant women and younger children from the effects of lead exposure. However, the lack of a proper test kit is a fundamental issue with the rule. Additionally, many in our industry, including the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), believe that allowing seniors to opt-out would have been a reasonable compromise.

But as time has passed, I have to ask: Does it really matter at this point?

This politically charged topic has been reduced to a slow boil over the years with relatively few actions and less and less publicity. According to an October 23 news release from the EPA, 117 federal enforcement actions, from October 2018 through September 2019, marked a significant decline with 141 actions reported during the same time frame in the previous year.

Indeed, actions are trending downward, and I believe that’s for good reason.

The View from Here

The current and updated View from Here is that most companies view RRP as a de facto law. Most contractors have accepted the requirements, flaws and all, and better understand the associated costs. In short, it has become common practice.

What’s your View? Email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

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