Associations Urge Reform of Lead-Paint Rule

September 15th, 2016 by Editor

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended the comment period for a review of the agency’s controversial Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (RRP). That comment period recently ended, and several associations that represent the fenestration industry have weighed in.

The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) submitted extensive comments to the EPA urging fixes to the significant ongoing problems with implementation of the RRP rule that reflect the consensus of other associations.

In the comments, WDMA provides several recommended actions that the association believes will resolve those implementation problems. The recommendations address the continued lack of compliant lead paint test kits required by the RRP Rule, removal of the “opt-out” provision from the original rule, and undue enforcement actions for first-time paperwork violations, among others.

“The recommendations we are making address significant problems with the rule’s implementation that have emerged and persisted, without resolve, since the rule became effective in 2010,” said WDMA senior vice president of advocacy Jeff Inks. “We hope that EPA fully considers WDMA’s recommendations and takes advantage of this RFA review to follow them.”

As part of the RFA review, WDMA was invited by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to represent the door and window industry at a roundtable discussion with EPA, hosted by the SBA. WDMA directed a number of questions to EPA regarding the rule and the RFA review, including the scope of the review and relevant timelines.

In other efforts, WDMA has worked with Congress to introduce legislation to make necessary reforms to the RRP rule’s implementation, as well as successfully advocating for language in congressional appropriations bills requiring EPA to address critical issues, in particular lead paint test kits.

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) also submitted comments about the lead paint rule. They echo many of the same concerns expressed by WDMA, and NLBMDA attended the same August SBA roundtable as WDMA. The lumber association expressed concern about comments made by EPA that it had no plans to re-evaluate the analysis justifying the rule, even though there is now six years of available data to review.

“It’s worth repeating that six years after the rule took effect, and eight years after the rule was finalized, there is still no EPA-approved test kit that meets the agency’s standard for false positives,” NLBMDA says in a release. “That is not only very disappointing given EPA’s assurances in 2008 that a test kit meeting the standard in the rule would be available in 2010, but also a key flaw in the current rule that the agency should feel compelled to address.”

Absent a full reinstatement of the opt-out provision, NLBMDA suggests a practical path forward for allowing home owners living in residences built between 1960 and 1977, and without a pregnant woman or child less than six years of age, to opt-out of RRP requirements. According to EPA, only 24 percent of homes built between 1960 and 1977 contain lead paint, and for residential housing, lead paint was only used for exterior applications for homes built in this same time frame.

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) also supports changes to the opt-out provision and urges EPA to come up with a viable test kit. AAMA also wants EPA to re-classify window repairs (as opposed to replacements) as an activity that would fall outside of the RRP rule.

 

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