EPA postpones LRRP for commercial work

On August 24, 2009, EPA entered into a settlement agreement with several litigants that challenged the 2008 Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule. Under this agreement, EPA agreed
to sign a proposal to regulate renovations of public and commercial buildings by September 14, 2012) and to take final action by February 15, 2014.

On September 7, 2012, EPA and the litigants revised the previous agreement and set a deadline of July 1, 2015, to issue a proposal, unless EPA determines that such renovations do not create a lead-based paint hazard, and to take final action in January 2017.

NARI’s testimony before the House Small Business Committee was instrumental in the EPA’s decision. Watch NARI Government Affairs Chairman David Merrick, MCR, UDCP’s, testimony (19 minutes in) on YouTube.

NARI sent the letter below to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in support of this decision.

September 21, 2012

The Honorable Lisa Jackson
Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Jackson,

On behalf of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), I am writing to applaud your decision to properly assess the potential lead paint risks from construction at public and commercial buildings before adopting new Lead Renovation Repair and Painting (LRRP) rules.

NARI is a non-profit trade association based in Des Plaines, Illinois.  We have 58 Chapters in major metro areas nationwide and our membership of 7,000 companies is comprised of remodeling contractors, local suppliers, and national suppliers.  Eighty-three percent of NARI members have fewer than 20 employees and many are 1 or 2 man operations.  NARI’s core purpose is to advance and promote the remodeling industry’s professionalism, product and vital public purpose.  NARI members voluntarily subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics which NARI rigorously enforces.

We consider ourselves partners with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in trying to prevent lead poisoning because of our concern for the safety and comfort of our customers’ families and for our employees.  NARI takes its responsibility as a professional organization very seriously, and we are proud of our history of educating remodelers on lead paint hazards.  In fact, NARI worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) to run a lead paint training program in 1998.  Curriculum NARI developed for that program continues to be used today and NARI remains dedicated to training remodelers in how to ensure their customers and their employees are not harmed from lead paint.

NARI believes that the best way for EPA to address lead paint hazards from construction activities is for the agency to focus on situations that present the greatest risk.  That is why we have continually pressed for stricter enforcement against non-certified remodelers.  We have also encouraged EPA to educate homeowners so they understand the importance of hiring certified remodelers and to discourage do-it-yourselfers from creating lead-paint hazards that could potentially harm themselves and their loved ones.

Issuing new LRRP rules without closely examining whether construction activities at public and commercial buildings pose a risk would drive up construction costs and would over-burden agency resources without necessarily protecting pregnant women and children under six from lead paint hazards.  Your decision to put off imposing new LRRP rules so that EPA can properly assess risks from construction activities in public and commercial buildings is a positive step in re-focusing your limited lead poisoning prevention resources towards the greatest risks.

We will continue to work with your agency to meet our mutual goal of protecting young children and pregnant women from the hazards of lead paint from construction activities.  Thank you for your consideration and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about this letter or about NARI’s position on EPA’s LRRP program.

Sincerely,

Mary Busey Harris, CAE
Executive Vice President

Cc:       The Honorable Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

The Honorable Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

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