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AAMA encourages Congress to approve one-year delay on EPA's lead rule

Post Time:May 10,2010Classify:Industry NewsView:99

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Schaumburg, Ill.,and its members continue voicing their support to delay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, according to a May 8 release. Although the new rule took effect on April 22, government leaders are reviewing legislation introduced on April 29 that would postpone implementation until accreditation classes are held for a period of at least one year. "It is fair and logical that remodeling contractors need time to gain the proper training and certification, so that they can comply with these new requirements," said Janice Charletta, AAMA association services director, in the release. "The proposed one-year delay also will give the EPA more time to adequately prepare for full implementation and to fully inform U.S. homeowners of the impending requirements."Throughout the EPA's LRRP proposal process, AAMA has contacted and met with members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representations and key government officials. Concurrently, AAMA has advocated for congressional support of remodeling programs that encourage energy-efficient improvements, such as Home Star and BuildingStar."Last week, the U.S. House of Representations took a significant step in passing the Home Star program, Charletta said in the release. "The intended economic and environmental benefits of these programs could be negated if the LRRP requirements are implemented without delay. The severe economic downturn of the past 24 months has had a tremendous and severe impact on workers in all aspects of the homebuilding and remodeling industry. Adding costs to this segment of U.S. small businesses at this time will prove to be an insurmountable burden."According to a field study recently conducted by Architectural Testing Inc., York, Penn., the costs of implementing the LRRP rules was estimated to be $121.50 per window. Failure to comply could result in fines of $37,500 per violation, per day.This industry-changing requirement mandates that renovation work disturbing more than 6 square feet on the interior of a home built before 1978 to follow new Lead Safe Work Practices, supervised by an EPA-certified renovator and performed by an EPA-certified renovation firm, as outlined in 40 CFR § 745.85. To become certified, renovation contractors must submit an application and fee payment to EPA, as well as attend eight hours of training. The EPA says the training class costs about $200 per worker, followed by the EPA registration fee of $300 per company, plus the costs of lead test kits and other supplies, materials and insurance, according to the release. As of April 22, the EPA had certified204 training providers who had conducted more than 6,900 courses. "Clearly, there is a need for more trainers and a faster certification process to educated the estimated 500,000 home remodeling companies that are waiting to renovate the nation's 76.5 million housing units built before 1980," Charletta said in the release. To aid in this effort, ATI, who also administrates AAMA's InstallationMasters program is pursuing trainer credentials for the LRRP program. This would make training available to more than 10,000 residential window and door installers already certified through the InstallationMasters program, according to the release.

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