The View From Here
by Ric Jackson
April 30th, 2018

LRRP: The Political Hot Potato Hits the Ground

Last September, I wrote a cautiously optimistic blog about the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP). In it, I expressed my enthusiasm that our industry was working hard to make our voice heard on the issue and that the government was undergoing a mandatory Section 610 Review of the policy. After the headlines last week – EPA Recommends No Changes to Lead-Based Paint Rule – my tone has changed.

The general purpose of a Section 610 review is to determine whether the rule is needed, evaluation of public concerns and complaints, whether it conflicts with other federal rules and so on. With the number of people opposed to the rule and a lack of a cost-effective and accurate test method, we had reason to be optimistic that the rule would be overturned – or at least improved.

In the end, the rule stands because of its noble goal to protect pregnant women and younger children from the effects of lead exposure. I’ll say again what I have said many times:Everyone in our industry – at least I hope – supports this base case.

However, The View from Here is that it is irresponsible to justify the rule on costs that cannot be achieved and test kits that cannot be provided. Somehow the system seems to have failed to work here. Politically, LRRP has been like a hot potato in Congress before ending up on 610 review, and now it hits the ground with its faults still intact.

I will finish by saying there are two upsides.

First, most of us in the industry have adapted to this new reality, and at the same time many home improvement shows have educated consumers on the costs of lead and asbestos abatement. We are already working within the provisions and are accustomed to it. Second, I still believe in the progress being made to deregulate and increase transparency in the process. I’m not giving up on trying to make it work, and I hope you don’t, either.

What’s your View? Email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com

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