Senator Specter Discusses Lead, Other Issues, with Door and Window Manufacturer Reps

April 14th, 2010 by Editor

Approximately 50 members of the door and window industry, including members of the Northeast Window and Door Association, met with Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) this morning, to discuss issues of importance to them. The top issue on most members’ minds was the looming lead paint regulations, set to take effect on April 22.

Senator Specter listens to a question from Mike Sugrue of Winchester Industries.

Neither Specter nor his staff energy-focused staff member in attendance, James Warner, was aware of the EPA’s lead paint rule and the corresponding effect it could have on the door and window industry. Both Specter and Warner said they definitely will look into the issue.

“Let’s take a look at this and see if there is something else we can do about this legislatively,” said Specter.

Charles Dorsey of Gorell Windows and Doors pointed out that this is not just an issue for the door and window industry, but the entire construction industry. “This will devastate us,” he said.

Another attendee pointed out that if the consumer can’t afford to replace their windows due to the higher costs this could create, then this new rule could backfire on the consumer.

“Let’s organize all of these issues that are giving you heartburn and see if the EPA can make some accommodations,” Specter added.

After many attendees expressed their views on lead paint, Specter joked, “Anyone have an easy question?

Attendees did bring up other issues related to health care, tax credits and ENERGY STAR.

Alan Levin, president of Northeast Building Products, asked about the healthcare legislation and how this will affect his business. He reported that he just received a 41.6 percent increase in his health insurance plan for his employees.

“That’s why we passed comprehensive legislation … ” said Specter. “The Congressional Budget Offices estimates that we will save $135 billion in health care costs but it won’t be an immediate fix.”

Specter also addressed the stimulus package and the economy in general and said, “I think we have turned the corner.”

Daryl Huber of BF Rich Co., president of the Northeast Window and Door Association, thanked the Senator for the passage of the stimulus act.

“While there were differences of opinion, I think if we didn’t pass it we would have slid into a Depression,” said Specter.

Still, Specter recognized that manufacturers are facing a variety of issues.

“You certainly have a cauldron of problems and I’m interested in you being treated in a fair and equitable way,” he said.

Warner had spoken with attendees prior to Spector’s arrival, particularly in regard to energy efficiency.

“The Administration is focusing on energy efficiency in a way that I don’t think any other Administration has,” he said.

Additionally, Specter’s aide, Sylvia Wu, who focuses on tax, trade and general business issues, fielded some questions from attendees.

Levin asked why U.S. products and am emphasis on “buying American” weren’t tied more closely to the stimulus bill. Wu advised that Specter feels strongly about that provision as well.

“He’s afraid it wouldn’t have passed,” she said. “Some Senators on the other side of the aisle aren’t as in favor of ‘Buy American.’”

Levin also asked about the $500 tax credit given to employers who hire new employees.

“We hire when we need to, not because we are getting a credit,” he said.

Talk then turned to extension of the window tax credit, which she reported the office is looking into.

“We would rather see it [the $500 employee tax credit] go to extending the tax credit,” added Levin.

For more photos from today’s meeting check out DWM‘s page on Facebook.

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  1. Can you give me phone numbers or emails of senator to voice my concerns with the upcoming EPA lead abatement law? These new regulations should not apply to the window replacement industry. We do not create dust! If they must, we need a opt out waiver of some kind to provide the home owner, dont you think?

  2. Comment-1. pat easterling.
    On the contrary. Windows and doors, not to mention walls . ceilings, flooring that were painted or varnished with lead containing paints or materials–should and are included and apply to the lead law. To write, “We do not create dust!”. I can say that you do not understand the extremely small amount of lead it takes to cause people to get sick. Seriously! The amount of lead to make you sick is hardly visible by the naked eye. Tell me you still use clothe drop clothes! For sure I will know you do not get it. Take a “Lead Safe Renovator” course. Or just go on-line to the EPA site-its free. Upon completion you will answer your own questions. We are in a new era-get educated and be safe. Safe! O yea-OSHA covers lead safety as well. Get with the program and construct right and safe. Marc

  3. OK most of us agree that lead is a hazard. Lead has been around in homes for a long time, sanding, grinding and everyday use of painted surfaces creates the dust. RRP class will tell you that 5 milligrams will kill you. Amazing that there aren’t dead contractors everywhere as more than this has probably been eaten at the jobsite lunch on more than one occasion. I’m saying: let’s question the accuracy of these supposed facts, are they being skewed to serve a certain political purpose? This law is supposed to help the afflicted and susceptable. If it’s inner city HUD projects it won’t, kids can still eat the windowsills. If it’s the poor, it won’t because they can’t afford to pay a licensed pro to do it the right way. And Joe homeowner is exempt, so to him, his wife and his kids its still just dust. We have been targeted because we can be made to pay and we can be litigated.
    The taught procedures to be followed are for “the job made in heaven”. No shrubs, pipes, trees in front of every window, no kids or other subs trafficking in and out of access barriers. No wind is blowing.The fines are great and the liability is tremendous for not following what are in some cases unacheivable methods. I speculate that no one involved in writing these procedures ever picked up a hammer for a living or have any idea what is involved in the real world application. Can the law be tamed to a sensible level? Can it be somehow redirected to help those most in need without forcing this economic burden on all of us? I certainly hope so.

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