WASHINGTON, DC — Dealers of windows and doors today urged the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to delay enforcement of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renovation, Repair and Painting Rules, slated to take effect April 22, 2010, and to retain an “opt-out” provision that offers an exemption for homes where no children under six years of age are in residence. ??

The regulation aims to reduce the exposure to lead paint and requires the use of lead-safe practices for all renovation, repair and painting projects in homes, childcare facilities and schools built before 1978. The EPA must certify the contractors who are doing the work. Violators can be fined up to $37,500 per day. ?

According to a release by the Window & Door Dealers Alliance (WDDA), the EPA is forging ahead with its rule even though the majority of affected contractors are not only unaware of it, but are not certified to comply with the complex lead management procedures. “This stealth rule will take much of the industry by surprise,” said David Walker, vice president of the WDDA. “EPA has not done due diligence to inform and educate renovators about it. Of those who do know about it, only a few are certified. If the effective date is not postponed, on April 22 more than 200,000 remodelers will be in violation of the law and subject to draconian fines.”??

According to a release by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the EPA has only approved 135 training providers and certified approximately 14,000 renovators in lead-safe work practices. “We’ve gotten the word out to our members and they understand the new requirements and are working hard to get certified by the deadline,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Donna Shirey, CGR, CAPS, CGP and president of Shirey Contracting. “Our local home building associations are offering certification classes to their members, but EPA hasn’t approved enough trainers to enable our members and other contractors to be certified on time. That’s going to put remodelers and their customers in quite a bind.

In addition, commented Jim Lett, President of A.B.E. Doors & Windows in Allentown, PA, if EPA removes the opt-out provision, as it has reportedly agreed to do, “it will add a significant cost. We estimate that removing the opt-out provision will add a minimum of $120 to a small project and about 10-20 percent to a larger project for labor to setup, cleanup, teardown, disposal of waste and appropriate documentation. It’s not just the physical labor; there will also be new office procedures and additional recordkeeping. The last thing we need in these difficult economic times is adding an additional monetary burden on homeowners struggling to meet their mortgage payments.”

Read the complete WDDA release

Read the complete NAHB release

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