WASHINGTON,DC - The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) applauded the introduction of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives today to reform the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule. H.R. 2093 was introduced by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and 21 original co-sponsors to reduce the burdens of the rule on the home remodeling and retrofit market, while maintaining protections for pregnant women and small children from lead hazards. Similar WDMA-supported legislation (S.484) was introduced by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) in the Senate in March.

The LRRP rule requires renovation work in pre-1978 homes to follow rigorous and costly work practices supervised by an EPA-certified renovator. 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 the arduous work practices required by the rule. The removal of the opt-out provision doubled the number of homes subject to the rule, and EPA has estimated that this amendment adds more than $336 million per year in compliance costs to the regulated community.

In addition, EPA has failed to approve a commercially-available test kit producing no more than 10 percent false positives, in violation of its own rules. The lack of EPA compliant test kits has resulted in some consumers paying for unnecessary work because of false positive test results.

"While the housing market slowly improves, the window and door retrofit market has played a large part in sustaining our industry. The EPA is unnecessarily hurting our economic recovery and consumers' ability to get new energy efficient products into their homes by expanding the Lead Rule beyond its original intent," said Michael O'Brien, WDMA president and CEO.

Among its key provisions, H.R. 2093 would:

Restore the "opt-out" clause;

Suspend the rule for owner-occupied housing built between 1960 and 1978 when a small child or pregnant woman does not live in the home if EPA cannot approve a test kit meeting its own standard;

Prohibit expansion of the rule to commercial buildings until EPA conducts a study demonstrating the need for such action; and

Provide a de minimis exemption for first-time paperwork violations.

In addition to Rep. Murphy, the original cosponsors of H.R. 2093 are Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Cole (R-OK), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Tim Griffin (R-AR), Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Ralph Hall (R-TX), Steve King (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Robert Latta (R-OH), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Billy Long (R-MO), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Rich Nugent (R-FL), Pete Olson (R-TX), Todd Rokita (R-IN), Bill Shuster (R-PA), Adrian Smith (R-NE), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA). WDMA has made passage of H.R. 2093 and S. 484 a top legislative priority.

Source: WDMA

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.