Industry Praises Legislation to Reform EPA’s Lead RuleJune 8th, 2012 by Editor
Several industry groups have spoken out in support of H.R. 5911, the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012, which was released yesterday by Reps. John Sullivan (R-OK) and Tim Murphy (R-PA). The Sullivan/Murphy bill would provide a legislative fix to the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP). Among the provisions, it would require the EPA to restore the “Opt-Out Provision,” which would allow homeowners without small children or pregnant women residing in the home to decide whether to require LRRP, and it would lower compliance cost with the rule by $336 million. The legislation would also suspend the rule if EPA cannot approve one or more commercially available test kits that meet the regulation’s requirements. Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe previously introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate (S 2148).
The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) is just one of many groups supportive of the new legislation.
“Since the EPA Lead Rule took effect in April 2010, EPA has expanded the rule beyond its original goal of protecting pregnant women and small children while mismanaging the implementation of the rule and failing to meet its own requirements to produce an accurate test kit,” said WDMA president Michael O’Brien. “The Sullivan-Murphy bill is a common-sense response which will refocus efforts on protecting pregnant woman and small children and we applaud Congressmen Sullivan and Murphy for their leadership on this issue.”
O’Brien adds, “The window and door retrofit market has been key to sustaining the industry and preserving jobs during the prolonged housing downturn. EPA’s efforts to expand the Lead Rule beyond its original scope, inaccurate test kits, and enforcement actions targeted mainly at certified renovators has only hindered industry recovery efforts.”
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) also applauded the legislation.
“The NLBMDA and our members have worked tirelessly to reform the misguided EPA lead rule, and the introduction of legislation in the House of Representatives shows that our industry concerns are being heard on Capitol Hill,” says NLBMDA chair Cally Fromme, executive vice president of Zarsky Lumber Company in Victoria, Texas. “We commend Congressmen Sullivan and Murphy and appreciate their leadership on this issue. We will make passage of this bill a top priority.”
Other groups, including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), have also praised the legislation.
“We commend Reps. Sullivan and Murphy for championing this bill that will not only make the EPA’s lead paint rule more workable, but continue to protect pregnant women and small children,” says 2012 NAHB Remodelers chairman George “Geep” Moore Jr., GMB, CAPS, GMR, a remodeler from Elm Grove, La. “This legislation will provide families greater flexibility to decide on their own remodeling activities and give them the peace of mind of knowing sound safeguards remain in place to protect against lead hazards.”
According to reports, both the House and Senate bills would also:
• Reinstate the opt-out provision;
• Suspend the LRRP if EPA does not approve a commercially available test kit that meets the regulation’s requirements;
• Allow remodelers to reduce fines if they correct paperwork errors found during an inspection;
• Eliminate the “hands on” recertification training requirements;
• Prohibit EPA from expanding the LRRP to commercial and public buildings until at least one year after the agency conducts a study demonstrating the need for such an action;
• Clarify the definition of “abatement” to specifically exclude remodeling and renovation activities; and
• Provide an exemption to the regulation for emergency renovations.