NAHB Efforts Minimize Problems With Lead Paint Rule
As a result of a series of NAHB meetings with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Management and Budget and members of Congress, the EPA’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule released last month recognizes that remodelers cannot be held responsible for pre-existing lead hazards and that professional remodelers make homes safer and cleaner after completing their work.
In direct response to NAHB concerns, the rule includes a statement outlining the difference between lead remediation workers, who work explicitly to remove lead from homes, and remodelers, who are not hired or equipped for lead hazard removal work. Professional remodelers minimize lead hazard exposure through clean work practices.
Remodelers were concerned that the rule would have required them to spend time and money at the end of a job verifying that the area was clear of lead by testing dust either in a lab or on site. Listening to NAHB concerns, the EPA has now instituted a more reasonable process that outlines cleaning steps after a job has been completed.
Also resulting from NAHB advocacy, the rule now recognizes previous training through the Department of Housing and Urban Development on working with lead, which will make it easier for those who hold this certification to receive approval to work in lead-exposed homes under the new rule.
While the specifics are still being developed, HUD-certified remodelers would need to take a four-hour refresher course and pass a test to be certified under the new lead paint rule.
Remodelers estimate that jobs involving lead paint may increase as much as 20% under the regulation, and they remain concerned that there is no requirement for home owners to comply, opening up a major gap in the protection of children.
During the next few months, NAHB will be working to educate its members on the rule and consult with the EPA on rolling out a training program.
For an overview of the regulation, click here to read a recent article in NBN; for more information, e-mail Kelly Mack at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8451.