Senate bill would ease EPA paint rule
Builders and remodelers who have been chafing under the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead-paint rules may find some relief in a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate that would restore an opt-out provision the EPA dropped nearly three years ago.
The legislation, called the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2013, was introduced by Sen. Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, and co-sponsored by seven other Republican senators from the Midwest and South.
If it clears Congress, the measure would allow homeowners without small children or pregnant women in the house to opt out of requirements of the EPA’s Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting rules. The rules, which apply to homes built before 1978 when lead paint was common, require renovators to be trained in work practices that minimize exposure to lead.
S. 484 also would allow remodelers to correct errors in paperwork without facing the full penalties of the law and would provide exemptions for emergency renovations, according to the National Association of Home Builders. In addition, NAHB said, the bill would eliminate a requirement that remodelers seeking recertification travel to distant training facilities for hands-on coursework.
NAHB, which supports the bill, said the EPA’s 2010 decision to remove the opt-out clause “more than doubled the number of homes subject to the LRRP rule, adding an estimated $336 million per year in compliance costs to the remodeling community without making young children any safer.”
The bill was referred to committee on March 6.
Editor’s note: Get the information you need to work safely at Finehomebuilding,com’s Lead Paint Remodeling Center.