Washington, DC - In response to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposal to modify the refresher training requirements under the Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) is urging the agency to adopt the proposal to eliminate the requirement that refresher training for a certified renovator have a hands-on component. NLBMDA supports the proposed change as certified renovators already have prior hands-on training and continue to perform hands-on work as a regular part of their job.

The RRP rule, which took effect in April 2010, requires renovation work in pre-1978 homes to follow rigorous work practices supervised by an EPA-certified firm and performed by an EPA-certified renovator. Renovators certified to perform RRP activities are currently required to complete a renovator refresher course within five years of the date the individual completed their previous renovator training to maintain certification. Renovators who received their initial certification before April 22, 2010, however, have until July 1, 2015, to take the refresher training to maintain certification.

"NLBMDA supports EPA's proposal eliminating the need for renovators certified to perform RRP activities to attend hands-on training as part of the re-certification process," said Jonathan Paine, President & CEO of NLBMDA. "The Agency should move forward with its proposal to ensure those needing to re-certify in 2015 will not be subject to the hands-on requirement."

NLBMDA has been critical of EPA's implementation of the rule, including removal of the "opt-out" provision after the rule took effect. In July 2010, EPA removed the "opt-out" provision from the rule that allowed homeowners without children under age six or pregnant women residing in the home to allow their contractor to forego the use of lead-safe work practices. Moreover, EPA has failed to approve a lead paint test kit producing no more than 10 percent false positives, in violation of its own rules.

"NLBMDA will continue working with EPA to make the RRP rule less burdensome for lumber dealers without compromising the health and safety of pregnant women and young children," said Paine.

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) represents its members in the national public policy arena, with emphasis on efforts to 1) promote the industry and educate legislators and public policy personnel; and 2) assist legislative, regulatory, standard-setting and other government or private bodies in the development of laws, regulations and policies affecting lumber and building material dealers, its customers and suppliers. Founded in 1917, the association has over 6,000 members operating single or multiple lumber yards and component plants serving homebuilders, subcontractors, general contractors, and consumers in the new construction, repair and remodeling of residential and light commercial. www.dealer.org.


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