NLBMDA Takes Legal Action Against EPA Over Removal of Opt-Out Provision in its Lead Paint Rules

[Washington, DC] -  The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA), along with a coalition of housing industry associations, filed suit in federal court today against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for removing the "opt-out" provision from its Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP).


The "opt-out" provision in the original LRRP rule, which became effective April 22, 2010, let homeowners grant permission to contractors to bypass extra preparation, clean-up and recordkeeping requirements in pre-1978 homes if the homeowner verified that no children under 6 or pregnant women were present in the home.  EPA subsequently removed that option effective July 6, 2010, which has resulted in 79 million homes now being subject to the requirements of the LRRP.  Homeowners are now faced with substantially higher costs with few proven benefits for projects such as window and door replacement and insulation installation, all of which are services commonly provided by building material dealers and their contractor customers. 

 "The removal of the opt-out provision, which was done without any substantial research or data to support such a move,  will result in millions of homeowners paying for additional measures that they may not need and discourage them from making necessary improvements," said NLBMDA Chair Dan Fesler, CEO of Lamperts, Inc. in St. Paul, MN.  "Worse, it may encourage homeowners to seek out uncertified contractors and put certified LRRP contractors at a competitive disadvantage."

The National Association of Home Builders, the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association, and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association joined NLBMDA in filing the suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  The coalition is challenging the removal of the opt-out provision on the grounds that EPA substantially amended the LRRP rule without any new scientific data and before the regulation was even put into place on April 22.


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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

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