Posted by: Diane Capuano
Trade groups such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Association of Home Builders are praising the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to not add lead-dust clearance testing as an addendum to the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule that went into effect in April of last year.
“After carefully weighing all available information and considering the public comments, EPA has concluded it is not necessary to impose new lead-dust sampling and laboratory analysis, known as the clearance requirements, as part of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule,” the EPA said. “The agency believes that the existing lead-safe work practices and clean-up requirements‒which went into place in 2010‒will protect people from lead dust hazards created during renovations jobs without the need for additional clearance requirements.”
According to a statement from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), lead clearance testing would have involved additional costs to pre-1978 projects and may have resulted in homeowners choosing to tackle projects themselves or hire non-certified individuals to do the work. Both scenarios would have a negative impact on certified remodelers who are struggling to stay competitive with homeowner budgets, NARI said.
NARI sees this decision as particularly appropriate, as evidenced by a survey showing that most homeowners are unaware of the EPA rule. According to results of a recently completed survey of homeowners, using Meredith Corporation’s Home Enthusiast Panel, NARI found that 53 percent of respondents were unaware of LRRP. Fifty-nine percent of homeowners responded they would do the work themselves and 29 percent replied they would likely hire a non-certified contractor to work on their home in order to save money.
NARI feels an obligation to document these challenges and recommendations directly from the source—individuals working in the remodeling industry, who are knowledgeable of RRP, and homeowners who live in pre-1978 homes and are impacted by the rule.
Also commending the rejection of this clearance testing requirements was the NAHB. NAHB Remodelers Chair Bob Peterson made the following comment: “We’re pleased that the EPA listened to the concerns of remodelers about the extreme costs the proposed clearance testing would have imposed. Homeowners are saved from spending a great deal of money on lead testing. If remodeling is more affordable, home owners will be able to hire an EPA-certified renovator to keep them safe from lead dust hazards during renovation.”