EPA Reportedly to Remove Opt-Out for Lead Safe Work PracticesApril 22nd, 2010 by Editor
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 www.dwmmag.com and type in lead paint.
Stay tuned to www.dwmmag.com for the official announcement.