Comments Sought on Proposed Changes to EPA Lead Paint Rule
NAHB remodelers are urged to comment on a recent proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would add more requirements and costs — and subject the remodeling and renovation of an estimated 40 million additional homes — to the lead paint regulations that will go into effect in April 2010.
The EPA comments are due Nov. 27.
The proposal, a result of the EPA’s recent settlement with environmental advocates, would remove the “opt-out” provision in the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule governing remodeling activities in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978 that are more likely to contain lead.
Members who wish to send comments to the EPA can download and complete a letter template created by NAHB. The link is available to NAHB members only.
Members who have noticed an impact on their business from the new lead paint regulation and wish to submit information for the NAHB comment letter are urged to e-mail Matt Watkins at NAHB with details; or call him at 800-368-5242 x8327
By April 2010, remodelers and other contractors doing work in homes affected by the new rule must pay a $300 fee to certify their firms, have a trained and certified lead renovator on staff, educate home owners, contain and clean up dust, conduct a final dust wipe to confirm cleaning, and maintain records of all the work done.
The rule also currently allows an “opt-out” provision for homes without children under six and pregnant women as residents. If the proposal to remove the provision is accepted, all pre-1978 homes will be subject to the rule.
The EPA is seeking alternatives to a complete removal of the opt-out provision, such as not requiring it for exterior renovations; allowing it as long as prohibited practices are not used (such as using heat to melt paint or high-speed grinders); or allowing home owners to opt out after the home is tested.
The EPA is also collecting cost estimates on how the rule will affect remodelers, including specific examples and suggestions for reducing the costs of the rule.
Additional proposed changes to the rule include a requirement for remodelers to give the home owner a compliance checklist document to add to their home records that can be passed on to future owners. The checklist would describe the sections of the home renovated and details on rule compliance.
The EPA is also proposing to make July 15, 2015 the initial training expiration date for all certified renovators who obtain training prior to July 2010, removing the current disincentive to get trained early.
Also, the EPA suggests making becoming a certified trainer easier by reducing required lead paint training for primary instructors from 16 to eight hours.
The full proposed amendment was published in the Federal Register and can be downloaded in PDF format.
For more information on the current rule, including obtaining training and certification, visit www.nahb.org/leadpaint.