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AAMA supports EPA's consideration of delaying implementation of lead rule

Post Time:Mar 16,2010Classify:Industry NewsView:83

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association,Schaumburg, Ill.,supports a request made to U.S. senators urging for the delayed implementation of Environmental Protection Agency's "Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule," according to a March 15 release. AAMA joins with 12 other industry associations and organizations representing manufacturers, distributors, retailers and installers of new construction materials.

EPA stated that it was considering delaying the effective date, currently scheduled for implementation on April 22, 2010. Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO, will meet with the White House's Office of Management and Budget, and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on March 17 to encourage the EPA's decision in favor of a delayed implementation.

"We support the EPA's efforts to ensure that home renovations in pre-1978 homes are conducted in accordance with the LRRP requirements for lead-based paint renovation, repair and painting, including installation of windows," Walker said in the release. "We also support the spirit of the LRRP to protect the health and safety of pregnant women and small children. However, we must caution Congress and consumers that we do not believe EPA is prepared to adequately implement the LRRP nor to provide enough EPA-certified renovation contractors.

"If this date is not delayed, we predict it will undermine the contractor's ability to deliver jobs and save energy in the oldest, least-efficient housing stock," Walkers said in the release. "There are immediate conflicts between the LRRP's implementation date and the stimulus funding incentivizing energy-efficient home upgrades, as well as planned efforts for a national Home Star residential retrofit program. All of these are targeting the same housing stock – homes built before 1978."

Considering the potential economic impact of EPA's LRRP,"it is imperative, given the already difficult economy, that contractors, manufacturers and consumers are aware of the potential increased expense of this new requirement," walker said in the release. "Hopefully, potential higher fees for window installation will not prohibit consumers from investing in more energy-efficient products"

If implemented as scheduled on April 22, 2010, federal law will require renovation work that disturbs 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.

"Currently, EPA has only 135 accredited trainers and 13,669 certified renovators nationwide, although its own compliance-needs estimates indicate that it needs at least 200,000 or more certified renovators," stated the co-signed letter sent to Congress. "Obviously, these numbers are far too insufficient for the millions of renovations carried out annually, even without a substantial retrofit incentive program like Home Star."

AAMA and others cite a precedent to temporarily alleviate some of these concerns: In September 2000, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development delayed implementation of the "Lead Safe Housing Regulation." The group urges the EPA to take a similar approach and awaits a final decision.

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