Trade Associations Trying To Affect the RRP Rule and Protect Small Businesses
Trade associations have been working to affect the RRP rule and the challenges the rule creates for their members. Renovators visiting RRPedia frequently ask me what is being done by trade associations to affect the RRP Rule, change the RRP Rule and even repeal the RRP Rule. I have made an effort to watch for these activities for two reasons. The first is to see who is doing what and what their strategies are. Some I agree with and support; others I don’t. The second reason is so I can provide links to these activities on the EPA RRP Rule Updates page of my web site. The page shows somewhat of a chronological history of activities related to the RRP Rule even before it was put into effect on April 22, 2010. If you know of any updates worth posting, old or new, please let me know.
Two recent efforts by trade associations recently came across my attention. One was by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). In a letter addressed to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, NARI Executive Vice President Mary Busey Harris, CAE
requested stricter enforcement of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule.
In the letter Harris offered the following:
“…non-certified contractors are working on pre-1978 homes in violation of LRRP, and we are concerned that such illegal activity will continue unless EPA launches a tough enforcement campaign. Non-certified contractors who do work on pre-1978 homes heighten the risk of lead exposure and threaten the economic viability of remodelers who made the investment to become EPA-certified. In our view, the only way for EPA to address the problem of non-certified contractors is to aggressively and publicly enforce the LRRP rule and to push authorized states to do the same.”
The second effort is by The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA). NLBMDA is urging the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to review and fight the RRP Rule as well as three OSHA programs that the dealer group is opposed to. In a letter to Darrell Issa, Chairman of the committee, NLBMDA points out that poor development and implementation of the LRRP Rule resulted in:
• Not enough training opportunities for renovators to become certified and therefore not enough certified renovators at the time of implementation;
• Inadequate lead test kits producing over 60 percent false positives and an EPA estimated $200 million in unnecessary additional compliance costs;
• Ineffective and insufficient consumer awareness programs; and
• Woefully underestimated costs for compliance with the LRRP Rule, particularly for small businesses.
The NLBMDA letter also points out that:
“EPA’s inability to produce any meaningful consumer education on the LRRP Rule has also resulted in consumers hiring uncertified contractors due to the increased costs of hiring certified renovators. This means that legitimate businesses that are complying with the LRRP Rule cannot compete for much-needed work against non-compliant contractors that, ironically, lack the training to actually perform lead-safe renovations and prevent lead hazard exposures.”
I suggest that the two letters contain some very good points and are well written. Renovators with similar concerns could, using the content of these two letters as a reference, write to their own local politicians and or to EPA to express their concerns and demand that EPA recognize the challenges small businesses are having as a result of the rule as well as EPA’s lack of adequate administration and enforcement of the rule.