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AAMA, Northeast manufacturers call for support of delay on EPA's lead rule

Post Time:May 26,2010Classify:Industry NewsView:133

Rich Walker, president and CEO, American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Schaumburg, Ill., met with the staff of Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, and other government and industry leaders urging them to support a one-year delay in implementing the EPA's Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, according to a May 25 release. In addition to AAMA, those present included the Northeast Window and Door Association, as well as several Delaware window manufacturers and dealers. The May 20 meeting with Carper occurred nearly a month after the LRRP Rule took effect and six months after a letter from the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy called into question the science and data on which EPA based many of the regulatory decisions. The SBA Advocacy letter to the EPA raised concerns about neglected legal procedures; questioned the validity of studies used by EPA in their decision making; and strongly discouraged the exclusion of the "opt-out" provision, according to the release. The opt-out provision would have allowed those homeowners without children under 6 or a pregnant woman living in the home to opt out of compliance with these regulations for their home renovations or repairs. Eliminating this clause was a major change in the regulation, decided only days after the LRRP rule's April 22 implementation. "While AAMA and its members want to protect those most vulnerable to lead poisoning, the EPA's representatives were not able to address questions regarding how the elimination of the opt-out is to be implemented, nor has the EPA provided adequate time or training to allow for compliance,Walker said in the release. "By its own admission, the EPA is 'not where they need to be,' and has a 'backlog' in the area of training and certification."The industry believes that EPA has singled out the window industry as subject to these regulations and then ignored our legitimate concerns. Under such conditions, we have no choice but to appeal to our elected representatives and ask them to help move our request to the policy level within the EPA," Walker added.On behalf of AAMA, Walker requested that Carper and all of the U.S. Congress:* support legislation introduced April 29 that would postpone implementation until accreditation classes are held for a period of at least one year* consider holding hearings to review the concerns expressed by the SBA Advocacy and by the window industry as a whole* consider the negative, economic impact to homeowners, contractors and manufacturers.Walker and colleagues presented data showing the EPA's cost estimates of compliance for window installation to be "severely understated" and "that adverse market reaction to the regulations and the resulting increased costs is already being felt. Contractors, including one at the meeting, are avoiding window sales opportunities, and new window orders at the manufacturing level are now tracking some 20 percentbelow trend," according to the release."The premature implementation of the LRRP undermines the 2009 and 2010 federal energy-efficient tax credits and remodeling programs that encourage energy-efficient improvements, such as Home Star and Building Star," Walker said in the release.For more information, visit AAMA's EPA Lead Requirements page.

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