The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
NAHB has joined with the National Association of Realtors®, Building Owners and Managers Association International and 13 other building industry groups in a petition asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to give stakeholders more time to comment on the agency’s proposal to extend lead-safe work practice regulations to commercial buildings.
The move to regulate retail, office and other commercial properties is one of several changes the EPA has announced to the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, which applies to all homes and childcare centers built before 1978.
“Given the complexity of the issues, the specter of a brand new regulatory program regarding renovation activities in commercial buildings and EPA’s dearth of study in this area to date regarding commercial buildings, an extension to the comment period deadline is warranted and necessary,” the group said in a May 19 letter.
“We submit a 45-day extension is appropriate, with comments due on August 20, 2010,” the letter said.
Specifically, the letter notes that the EPA’s proposal is based on the result of a lawsuit with advocacy groups rather than any study of potential health implications.
Also, providing timely training for another huge sector of the construction industry will likely delay needed energy-efficiency and water-efficiency retrofits, the letter added.
“The EPA’s overwhelming (if not exclusive) focus for almost 20 years has been on lead-based paint hazards posed to children in target housing,” the letter said.
“The agency should afford the commercial real estate sector, contractors and suppliers ample opportunity to sufficiently research and consider the legal and factual bases for the EPA’s unprecedented efforts to regulate renovation and remodeling in commercial buildings and other facilities that are not child-occupied,” it said.
For more information, e-mail Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8132.