WDDA Endorses Legislation to Amend EPA Lead Rules

Window & Door
March 12, 2013

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has introduced the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2013, aimed at reducing the burdens placed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule on homebuilders and remodelers.

“Currently, the EPA requires contractors to follow extensive safety practices in a one-size-fits-all approach," Inhofe says. "Even if the home does not have lead paint or there is not an individual of the at-risk population residing in the home, contractors are required by the EPA to follow the LRRP safety measures, which in turn dramatically increase the costs of renovation work. My bill would allow homeowners to opt out of the rule if the home does not place those in the at-risk population in direct harm of lead exposure. It would also require the EPA to develop working test kits to ensure that contractors have the ability to determine whether lead paint actually exists in project homes.”

The Window and Door Dealers Alliance has endorsed the legislation, pointing out the act would reduce the number of homes the LRRP applies to by half.

“While it’s imperative to protect vulnerable populations from the harmful effects of lead exposure, the current regulations are unnecessarily burdensome and costly”, says Jim Lett, president of ABE Doors and Windows and a member of the WDDA Advisory Council.

The Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2013 would accomplish the following:

  • restore the “opt-out provision," allowing homeowners without small children or pregnant women residing in them to decide whether to require LRRP
  • suspend the LRRP for homes without small children or pregnant women residing in them, if EPA cannot approve one or more commercially available test kits that meet the regulation's requirements
  • prohibit EPA from expanding the LRRP to commercial and public buildings until EPA conducts a study demonstrating the need for such an action
  • provide a de minimus exemption for first-time paperwork violations and provide for an exemption for renovations after a natural disaster
  • eliminate the requirement that recertification training be "hands on," preventing remodelers having to travel to training facilities out of their region. 

The WDDA is directly supporting this legislation, in addition to promoting inter-industry cooperation advocating for the bill. “As the voice of window and door dealers, the WDDA intends to be at the forefront of this legislative opportunity”, says Jim Gandorf, WDDA vice president.