EPA Says RRP Rule Stands

Window & Door
April 30, 2018
The Environmental Protection Agency determined that, based on conclusions from a review required by Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, it will not amend the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. In the review results, published by the EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, the EPA recognized some issues with the RRP Rule, including the lack of a commercially available lead test kit, but concluded that the economic benefits of the RRP Rule outweigh industry complaints.
Several entities issued official comments on behalf of the general construction industry during the review period, many taking issue with respect to lead test kits and alternative technologies. In the published review, the Agency responded that, “the Toxic Substances Control Act does not require that benefits of the RRP rule exceed its costs. Rather, [it] requires the EPA to address lead-based paint hazards created during renovation, remodeling and painting activities, taking into account reliability, effectiveness and safety.”
The Window and Door Manufacturers Association reports that it provided the EPA with “several suggestions that would ease compliance issues with the rule that were wholly compatible with the EPA’s objective of protecting pregnant women and children under six.” In addition, WDMA reports that the EPA refused to consider reinstatement of the opt-out provision, which was removed in 2010 as the result of a settlement agreement. The EPA’s justification was that it would make the rule “less protective and effective.” WDMA says it is continuing to evaluate the review and determine the industry’s next steps.
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association has also been vocal about the issues with the current RRP Rule. "It is disappointing that the EPA has chosen to leave the LRRP rule unchanged, as it encourages homeowners to keep old, poorly performing windows due to high costs of replacement resulting from unnecessary lead mitigation," says Janice Yglesias, AAMA executive vice president. "AAMA maintains that there is currently a lack of an accurate lead paint test kit. And in 2010, the removal of the opt-out clause for households without a child under the age of six or a pregnant woman more than doubled the number of homes subject to the rule. Requiring RRP practices in cases where lead is not present continues to be an unnecessary expense that may deter fenestration product replacement, which would otherwise improve the energy efficiency of the building. We hope the EPA will reconsider their position on the rule.”
The National Association of Home Builders, which also submitted comments to the EPA, is also analyzing the review, including the new cost-benefit analysis provided by the agency. “Of course, we are disappointed that the EPA has not yet seen fit to amend the rule,” says NAHB Remodelers Chair Joanne Theunissen. “But we will continue to push the agency to direct enforcement to protect the target population the rule was designed for: children under the age of six and pregnant women.”
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