Suit Filed Against EPA for Lead Paint Regulation.

20 Jul 2010

Photo credit: Song_sing @ Flickr

Awhile back I blogged about a new federal regulation (Law Affects Remodeling Projects) that took effect on April 22nd which requires contractors be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination when remodeling pre-1978 homes.  Recently the National Association of Home Builders (“NAHB”) filed suit against the EPA for removing the “opt-out” provision of the rule.  The “opt-out” provision, which expired on July 6th, allowed contractors to bypass the requirements in homes where there were no children under 6 or pregnant women (and the homeowner consented), thus avoiding additional costs. 

“Removing the opt-out provision more than doubles the number of homes subject to the regulation,” NAHB chairman Bob Jones, a home builder and developer in Bloomfield Hills, said in a statement on the NAHB’s website, adding it “extends the rule to consumers who need no protection.”  

Contractors estimate that the extra costs for lead-safe practices average $2,400 per job and that window replacement, for example, requires the installation of thick vinyl sheeting around the work area both inside and outside the home, adding $60 to $170 in costs for each window.  In contrast, the EPA estimates these practices could add $8 to $167 to most interior jobs.  

I have to agree with the NAHB.  The rule’s purpose is to protect young children and pregnant women.  If neither is present in a home, I believe it should be up the owner to decide whether to take the risk or pay the extra expense.  Don’t get me wrong, I think exposure to lead is a real and serious health risk; however, I think the “opt-out” provision makes sense.  Homeowners who are not at risk may decide to bypass the myriad of rebates and incentive programs out there to make their homes more energy efficient simply because the savings would be negated by the costs of this rule’s requirements.

Leave a Comment to “Suit Filed Against EPA for Lead Paint Regulation.”

  1. Ralph Alexander 26. Oct, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    To all it this should concern,

    I have been to the EPA/RRP seminar and while lead poisoning is serious the proceedures and requirements taught in the seminar were a joke and extremely unreasonable.

    When the questions reguarding who will absorb the extra costs the instructor’s repeated conclusion was that the home owner would get bill any additional costs including sending a neighbor to Disney or a hotel for a week while working on the exterior of the neighbor’s home. The instructor also repetatively stated that the new EPA law was going to make renovation contractors a lot of money.

    That is just insane. We are in the worst recession that most of us have ever seen. People are out of work in record numbers so who is going to fork over the extra cash to comply with the EPA law? Not many! For the most part people want to be safe but, our wallets play a very big part in making decisions.

    Not only are people going to seek out contractors who are willing to take the risks of non-compliance but, I believe that this will cause severe financial damage to the ligitimate contractor to the point where it could put a lot of them out of business.

    This is the United States of America what happened to our freedom of choice. As American citizens we should have the right to choose the risks that we are willing to take instead of our government making that choice for us.

    In a separate but related note, where did all of that lead paint inventory go when it was outlawed? According to the EPA/RRP instrustor, the our government puschased it and sent it to the indian reservations and to the military to paint everything from military equipment to personel barraks, base family housing and indian reservetion family housing.

    We should hace the right to make our own choice whether impliment the lead safe practices or not. Bring back the Opt-out option. Now!


  2. Kevin Plumstead 02. Nov, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    Ralph, thank you for the comment. I think you are 100% right that these costs are simply going to get passed on to the homeowner and legitimate contractors are going to get passed over by those willing to take the risk of non-compliance. I know the National Association of Home Builders and others have filed suit against the EPA attempting to force the EPA to reinstate the “opt-out” provision. We shall see what comes of it.

    I’m curious, how did you come across our blog?

  3. Latex paint 23. Mar, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    Ok! That’s a really great update – have found a lot of useful there. Nice post!

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