NLBMDA Files Comments on Review of EPA Lead Rule

NLBMDA looks for EPA to improve lead paint testing process and to provide opt-outs for homeowners.

[Washington DC] – The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) recently submitted lead-check-testing-kitcomments to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its examination of the Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The rule regulates renovations of homes built before 1978. Its significant economic impact on small businesses requires EPA to review it within ten years of enactment and explore options for reducing compliance costs.

In August, NLBMDA attended an Environmental Roundtable on the rule hosted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, and was concerned about comments made by EPA that it had no plans to reevaluate the analysis justifying the rule, even though there is now six years of available data to review.

Limited data used to justify the rule, removal of the opt-out provision, inaccuracy of lead paint test kits approved by EPA for compliance, and requiring certified contractors to do hands-on training to become recertified were cited by NLBMDA as flaws with the current RRP rule. In its comments, the association encouraged EPA to conduct a thorough review of the rule to verify compliance costs and make improvements. NLBMDA had previously objected to the removal of the opt-out provision as unsubstantiated by EPA and inconsistent with the Agency’s rationale for including the opt-out provision in the initial rule.

NLBMDA continues to call for identifying a lead paint test kit that meets the rule’s requirements and reinstating the opt-out provision-which allowed home owners without a pregnant woman or child under the age of six living in the home to opt-out of the rule’s requirements. As noted in its comments, NLBMDA states:

“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. 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 Section 610 Review conducted by EPA should carefully and fairly evaluate the success and failure of the rule, and seek to reduce regulatory burdens for home owners and remodelers while protecting young children from lead exposure.

To view a copy of NLBMDA’s comments, click here.

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For Immediate Release: September 15, 2016
Contact: Ben Gann – (202) 367-2346
Email: ben@dealer.org

nlbmdalogoThe National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) represents its members in the national public policy arena. Founded in 1917, the association represents over 6,000 member locations operating single or multiple lumber yards and component plants serving homebuilders, subcontractors, general contractors, and consumers in the new construction, repair and remodeling of residential and light commercial. www.dealer.org.