Professional remodelers can breathe easier now that the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule has been put on hold by the Environmental Protection Agency. Rather than facing immediate fines up to $37,500 per violation, per day for non-compliance, the delay gives firms and individual contractors additional time to receive the necessary certification.

The RRP Rule, which originally became effective April 22, requires renovators of buildings built before 1978 to be certified in the safe removal of lead paint. However, due to pressure by industry, on June 18 EPA gave notice that it will not enforce the firm certification requirement under the RRP Rule until Oct. 1, 2010. In addition, EPA said it would delay enforcing the renovation worker certification requirement providing the contractor is enrolled in a class no later than Sept. 30, and completes training by Dec. 31, 2010.

This comes as welcome news to a number of industry associations, including The National Kitchen & Bath Assn., the Window & Door Manufacturers Assn. and National Association of Home Builders, who have long argued in favor of postponing implementation until enough time is given for remodeling firms and individual contractors opportunity to achieve certification.

With approximately 79 million homes in the United States built before 1978, that means thousands of children could come in contact with lead-based paint during the remodeling process, potentially resulting in learning and behavioral disorders. That’s why safe removal is of the utmost importance.

I applaud the EPA's decision to postpone enforcing the certification requirement until there is time for proper training, and enough certified remodelers available to handle the job.

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