McLEAN, VA - The National Glass Assn. voiced its criticism of the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial new Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rules.

The LRRP regulation, which took effect April 22,  requires use of lead-safe practices for all renovation, repair and painting projects that may disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and schools built before 1978. Contractors doing the work must be certified by EPA. Violators can be fined up to $37,500 per day.

The NGA said it was most upset that the rules did not include the all-important “opt-out” provision sought by the glass industry that would have exempted repair projects of 1978 or older buildings where neither children under 6 years old or pregnant women are present.

“We are very disappointed in this decision, for residential and commercial glaziers and our customers,” said Rod Van Buskirk, president/owner of Bacon & Van Buskirk in Champaign, IL, and a past chairman of the NGA’s Architectural Glazing Committee. “We all place high priority on the safety of our employees and our customers, but in cases where health risks are negligible, commonsense suggests homeowners and multi-unit residential building owners should have the option to not have their contractors adhere to lead-safe work practices where small children and pregnant women are not going to be present. Adding unnecessary and substantial costs to a job is just asking for people to make bad decisions.”

Van Buskirk added, “Losing the ‘opt-out’ clause is tough enough. Overall, this edict by the EPA will affect residential, multi-unit residential glazing and institutional remodeling in America a great deal more than most glass dealers currently realize. Some dealers will include the cost and time to use lead-safe work practices and some dealers won’t. Even reglazing glass or rescreening a screen in an old wood window could be interpreted as work requiring these stringent practices. Currently, specifications for school remodeling do not include anything related to lead. If a glazing company or commercial window replacement firm has received the prime contract to do a school window replacement this summer, odds are they didn’t include the cost and time for lead-safe work practices in their quotation. They could face huge fines."

Read NGA's press release.

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