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Your Interactive Resource for EPA RRP Information

RRPedia logoLooking for accurate information about the EPA RRP rule?

RRPedia has been created by Shawn McCadden to help remodelers and others affected by the New EPA Renovation Repair and Painting Rule. 

Please read RRPedia Use and Contribution Information before using or contributing to RRPedia.

 


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RRP Rule: Is it a Sheep in Wolf's Clothing?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Wed, May 23, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

RRP Rule: Is it a Sheep in Wolf's Clothing?

Joe Levitch

 

One Person’s Opinion: This is a guest blog submitted by Joe Levitch of Levco Builders to express his opinion.  Joe is a remodeling contractor and he is also a Licensed Lead Inspector, Licensed Risk assessor  and the owner of Lead Locators, a lead inspection firm in Boise Idaho. He comments and contributes to RRPedia quite often.  If you would like to express your opinion or offer something of value for RRPedia visitors let me know.

 

Is RRP a Sheep in Wolf's Clothing?

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

It has been 2 years now and the EPA's RRP rule has been an enigma to deal with. What I envisioned as game changing regulation has turned out to be a sheep in wolfs clothing. I expected a year of educating the public through infomercials and campaigns, Then some head turning enforcement. Sadly I was and have been consistently disappointed. I expected my fellow remodelers to understand intuitively that the old days of dusty demolition were over and adopt the new rules, but there I go again over estimating my industry.

Resistance to change seems to dominate

Turns out remodelers like everyone else wants to do as little as possible and get by. Change is painful I suppose, most would rather spend energy disputing scientific facts than getting their act together and incorporating lead testing and LSWP into their SOP'S.

I have talked till blue in the face about the federal law and the mandate that RRP imposed back in April of 2010 but in my little hamlet of Boise Idaho there has been no known enforcement. I do see a trend however in the industry. We are getting a few more requests to verify contractors are using Best Practices when LSWP is in process. I am also getting an up tic in the number of test requests for lead testing, so the news is not all bad.

OSHA Lead in Construction

 

There have been a few reports of fines, but they are not close to home or particularly relevant to the remodeling industry. Most are for failure to use the Renovate Right Booklet. OSHA has become a bit more worrisome to contractors than it used to be. Their requirements are far more burdensome and onerous. I seriously doubt many remodeling firms are in compliance with their rules.

Lead Awareness Committee

Contractors are "Leaded-Out"

I still sense a general disdain for the RRP rule along with general confusion, but a reluctant sluggish move towards compliance.

I set up a Lead Awareness committee for my NARI group and after an enthusiastic push to get everyone up to date and compliant, I was told to back off with the education and speakers " We are a little leaded-out right now"

I have had no problem explaining to my clients that lead testing saves money. Perhaps it is just the delivery I use? Doing leaded work has been difficult. I can see how one can develop heat exhaustion or worse in little or no time. Monitor your folks for hydration and schedule cooling off time.

On testing and the Opt-Out

I am saddened by remodeling organizations asking congress to repeal RRP or allow opt out. It is a huge step backwards. Having swabs check for lead in drywall and plaster was a foolish thing to allow too. I read that there is a 98% false positive when used in this way. That is why the EPA could care less. (Click here for clarity on false positives)

The swabs test for the presence of lead. We don't need to do LSWP unless there is over 1mg/cm 2.  3M is laughing all the way to the bank, homeowners and contractors alike are using LSWP unnecessarily in many cases now.

XRF GunMy advice to every remodeler is to find a company with an XRF that can do a test and produce a report that can be used as a tool to deal with lead above the regulatory limit. Get fluent in using LSWP. Check each other to make sure no one is poisoning their clients or their pets and lets be professional about it.

My company has teamed up with some painters that are certified firms and have done testing on all proposed renovations on all pre '78 homes. Many of them are leaded, most have only a few components that require LSWP. We have also had tiles tested and found a many of them to be leaded in a very high percentage. I believe tile should be assumed to be leaded and demolished with care.

Let's do the right thing

In closing I applaud those that have incorporated RRP into their business. The EPA has been looking into new ways to track compliance and performing enforcement. I encourage those that are resisting change to get on board before the EPA fines you, or worse, you make someone sick.  Ask those of us that are dealing with the rule how we have managed and let's set ourselves apart from our competition by doing the right thing.

Topics: OSHA Considerations, Enforcement and Inspections, Lead Test Kits and Testing, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs, Opt Out Related

RRP Experts? Be Careful When Searching For RRP Information and Advice

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Apr 15, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

 RRP Experts?  Be Careful When Searching The Internet For RRP Information and Advice

Dean Lovvorn, lead inspector

 

 

Guest Blogger:  Dean Lovvorn is a residential remodeler who has done numerous RRP projects.  He is also a Lead Inspector, Lead Risk Assessor and EPA RRP Renovator Instructor. He is well informed about the RRP rule and it's history.

 

 

RRP Experts?

Bring up EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule around a group of contractors and the sparks will begin flying.  The debate can get as heated as discussing politics.  In fact, politics often gets brought into the discussion.  Everyone has an opinion and many times those opinions are portrayed as facts.  I’ve jumped into these dog fights and often times the line between fact and fiction become blurred.

Misinformation about RRPThere have been some discussions where a particular contractor talks about how RRP is impossible to follow; only to find out the contractor has never done an RRP job … or even taken the course.  Others talk about how they don’t need anyone to tell them how to clean up after a lead based paint project.  Yet, they have never done a lead dust test to see if they really are cleaning up correctly.  One contractor talked about how his employees were safe working around lead paint, but had never done air monitoring to see if it was true.  Once, I had a contractor tell me I was doing risk assessment wrong.  Yep … you guessed it.  He never had done a risk assessment, taken a risk assessor course or even taken a lead safe work practice class of any type.

I’m sure as a professional contractor you’ve had a homeowner question how you were doing something and make suggestions to you.  Amazingly, just because they watch do-it-yourself programs on TV … they start believing that they have some expertise in the subject.

 

Opinions vs. Facts...

There is a phenomenon called “backfire”, recently discovered by political scientist.  In an article written by Joe Keohane on Boston.com, he writes …

“Most of us like to believe that our opinions have been formed over time by careful, rational consideration of  facts and ideas, and that the decisions based on those opinions, therefore, have the ring of soundness and intelligence”.  “In reality, we often base our opinions on our beliefs, which can have an uneasy relationship with facts”.  “And rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept”.  “They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions”.  “Worst of all, they can lead us to uncritically accept bad information just because it reinforces our beliefs”.  “This reinforcement makes us more confident we’re right, and even less likely to listen to any new information”.

RRP Education and trainingThe reality is an expert is someone who has education and experience in the subject being discussed.  I like how Wikipedia states it … “experts have a prolonged or intense experience through practice and education in a particular field”.

You would do yourself a great favor, if you find a mentor, coach or expert to learn from … even if they disagree with you.

 

Looking for a Mentor or Coach to help you with RRP and or your business?  Contact Shawn today to personally discuss your goals and how he can help.

 


Topics: Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs, New Business Realities, Mentoring/Coaching

EPA Report Card: How well are they doing with the RRP Rule?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Apr 01, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

EPA Report Card:  How well are they doing with the RRP Rule?

Effectiveness of RRP Rule

 

Many news outlets and politicians have been using report card scores to express how well they think people, government policies and regulations are performing.   Several politicians, government employees and even our president have provided their own self assessment scores as well.  It is almost two years now since the EPA RRP Rule went into effect.   I thought I would offer my own report card on how I think the EPA has performed so far in four areas regarding the RRP Rule.  EPA is welcome to offer their own self assessment score.

 

Subject: Outreach about the rule

EPA has claimed to have done extensive outreach to consumers and the regulated community.  They list a variety of methods used and places where ads and announcements were placed.  

Report Card Score: D-

EPA RRP outreach resultsIn reality what they have done has not been effective.  Either the message is not effective, the placement is not effective or both.  According to a survey done by Professional Remodeler magazine 65% of remodelers surveyed estimated that less than 10% of their potential clients are aware of the rule.  Only 5 percent think more than half of homeowners know about it.

On a recent webinar with EPA Officials Regarding RRP Public Awareness and Enforcement Efforts hosted by NCHH, I asked EPA officials if they were doing any tracking to check the actual effectiveness of their outreach efforts.  They are not.  Essentially the answer was that EPA is not a professional marketing organization and has no way of tracking results.   But they said they will be doing more outreach…

 

Subject: Getting Firms Certified

EPA requires all firms doing renovation, repair and painting work on homes built prior to 1978 become EPA Certified Firms before performing or offering to perform such work.

Report Card Score: F

Number of EPA certified firms

Before the rule rule came into effect EPA stated; "There are approximately 211,000 firms estimated to become certified to engage in renovation, repair, or painting activities." As of posting this blog EPA’s web site claims that EPA has certified 97,746 firms (118,885 firms including those approved by authorized states).  According to a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, the most recent government census showed more than 650,000 businesses received a majority of their revenue by providing remodeling services in 2007 and that number does not include the large number of part-time, semi-retired, and “moonlighting” contractors reporting gross revenues of less than $25,000.   I think we also know there are many illegally operating contractors as well that did not make it into the census count. 

Number of remodeling contractors

Admittedly not all remodeling companies work on pre-1978 homes.  However, there are many other business types other than remodelers who disturb lead paint.  One example is exterminators.  According to Exterminator.com there are over 20,000 extermination companies in the US.  Others who would need to become certified include landlords, property management firms, banks that own foreclosed properties, housing authorities, cities/towns and municipalities. (According to Google answers there are 18,443 cities, towns, villages, and other such governing groups in the United States, not including any island areas other than Puerto Rico) I am sure you could list other business and entity types that would fall under the rule.  My best guess is that EPA has only certified about 10% of the firms that should be certified and has completely misjudge the number of firms affected by this rule.

As a side note, I contacted EPA to find out how many workers have become Certified Renovators so far.  I was told they are still trying to decide how to count them…

 

Subject: Enforcement

There are 12 states that have taken over the rule so far.  That leaves 38 states plus American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico under administration and enforcement by EPA. 

Report Card Score: F

RRP ViolationsSo far EPA has only published one violation since the rule came into effect in April of 2010.  On the other hand the state of Massachusetts took over the rule in July of 2012 and has published over 20 violation enforcements to date.

Though not confirmable facts, one commenter on a LinkedIn discussion claimed “there are only 37 Certified Firms in Maui County when there are 1,500+ Licensed Contractors and double to triple unlicensed contractors”.

Industry insiders report EPA has been doing RRP investigations.  EPA claims we will hear more about violations and enforcement very soon.

 

Subject: Protecting children and others from lead poisoning due to renovations

 “The purpose of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule is to minimize exposure from lead-based paint dust during renovation, repair, or painting activities. This is a key effort in reducing the prevalence of childhood lead poisoning, particularly lead poisoning caused by housing contaminated by renovation activities. This will also minimize exposure to older children and adults who are also adversely impacted by lead-based paint dust exposure.”  (From EPA Web site)  

Report Card Score: Incomplete

Is RRP effective, is RRP workingIt is a fact that lead is poisonous and RRP activities can cause poisoning. However, EPA does not know how many children were actually poisoned by RRP activities before the rule came into effect.  If you check any of the data it refers to RRP activities as the “likely source” of lead poisoning, not “the cause”.   That being the case, EPA has no way to know if the RRP rule is making a difference or not.  It is ‘likely” that it is helping.  But, without knowing where EPA started and where we are now that the rule has been in place for almost a year, EPA has no idea if what they have been doing is effective enough and or if or where it can improve effectiveness within the rule. 

Unfortunately, the rule may also be causing more children to be poisoned than before the rule came into effect, because of EPA's inability to adequately enforce it.  As reported in this press release, to keep costs down, consumers are hiring non-certified firms to work on their homes and the required lead safe-practices are not being used.  Also, contractors are reporting that some realtors and insurance adjusters are falsely telling consumers that the rule does not apply at their homes based on location and or for the work they are having done.  All of this has fostered an underground economy of contractors taking advantage of purposely ignoring the rule to keep prices down and improve their ability to sell jobs.

 

How do you think EPA has been doing with the RRP Rule so far?  Consider using the comment area below to offer your own subjects and report card scores.


Topics: Enforcement and Inspections, Firm Certification, Health Effects of Lead, Authorized States, Violation Reports, Effects of the RRP Rule, Statistics, Opinions from Renovators

Guest Blog: New Understandings About The Required RRP Work Practices

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Mar 20, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Making RRP Easier - New Understandings About RRP Work Practices

 

Dean Lovvorn, lead inspector

 

 

Guest Blogger:  Dean Lovvorn is a residential remodeler who has done numerous RRP projects.  He is also a Lead Inspector, Lead Risk Assessor and EPA RRP Renovator Instructor. 

This blog post is a follow-up to a previous RRPedia Guest Blog where Dean listed several differences between the work practices taught in the required Certified Renovator class and what he found is actually required in the RRP rule.

 

Making RRP Easier - New Understandings About RRP Work Practices

RRP ideas

 

 

Back in April 2010, I had an exterior remodeling job that was put on hold for a day because of heavy rains.  In my boredom, I decided to read the actual RRP law from start to finish.  I soon discovered that what I was taught in my 8 hour class and what was in the student manual wasn’t necessarily in the actual law itself.     

 

I was probably dozing off in the 8 hour renovator class, but after these discoveries, I began to clarify some new understandings.

  • On exterior containment set-ups, all I really needed to do was put plastic on the ground, be sure windows & doors were closed, cover any doors within 20 feet with plastic and put out a warning sign.  If there are no doors and/or windows within 20 feet, simply put plastic on the ground and a warning sign up.  Nothing else needed.
  • On interior containment set-ups, I just needed to do the same as the exterior (except 6 feet out from where I was working).  If there were no furniture/objects or ducts within the 6 foot area … I didn’t have to go any further.  Be sure to tape down the plastic on the floor.

Of course, if I was doing some really dusty work, I made the containment (work area) larger, but other than that, it was pretty quick, easy and simple if you were to ask me.

 

Following are some examples of how reading the actual law has helped me.

Siding Replacement

RRP Vertical containmentIn this example, I would place 3.5 mil plastic (from Home Depot), instead of the 6 mil plastic 10 feet out on the ground.  Then, I would make sure doors/windows were closed, put plastic over any doors and then put up the warning sign.  I would also run a plastic runner out to the dumpster and surround the ground around the dumpster with plastic.  Doing the containment this way, saves me from having to wrap, bag or HEPA vac the siding (or myself).  This is because I can dump the siding without ever going outside the containment area.

If exterior vertical containment is needed a simple solution (pictured to right) can be done.

Replacing Door Slabs

If my job is to replace 15 door slabs, I simply do this without following RRP.  This is because the only area I am disturbing on each door is the hinge area and since it falls under the Minor Repair and Maintenance Activities, RRP is not required.  This insight came from the FAQ section of the EPA web site.

Bathroom Remodel (Total Gut)

RRP Work Area Containment for a BathroomI can demo the tile, tub, shower, toilet and remove the demolition debris without doing any RRP.  After that has been done, I cover up ducts with plastic,  make sure windows are closed, close doors and cover with plastic, put up a warning sign and then cover the subfloor with plastic (6 feet out from where I will be working). 

I put the demoed walls, cabinets and trim into trash cans (with lids on top) and HEPA vac the outside of the trash cans (along with myself) before taking them out of the containment area.

Note:  If I’m lucky and there is an exit door (to the outside) close by … I could run plastic to the door, then outside to the dumpster.  This way, I wouldn’t need to worry about containing the demolition debris.

Normally, I do the final clean-up, visual inspection and cleaning verification after demolition; so that I can officially end RRP and let non-certified electricians/plumbers/sub-contractors into the work area.

 

Conclusion

Selling RRPIt very well could be that if you did a little homework by reading the actual law, you could reduce the cost of compliance on many jobs to less than 5%.  Few contractors will lose a job because they are higher by less than 5%.  Plus, with the cost less than 5%, I don’t even mention RRP to my clients during the estimation process anymore, which has helped to improve sales. 

 

Topics: Production Considerations, EPA RRP for Dummies, Containment Considerations, Subcontractor Considerations, Sales Considerations, Compliance Options, Work Practices, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs

Guest Blog: RRP Opt-Out, Don’t Hold Your Breath...

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Mar 18, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Guest Blog: RRP Opt-Out, Don’t Hold Your Breath...

Dean Lovvorn, RRP Trainer, lead inspector

 

 

 

BIO:  Dean Lovvorn is a residential remodeler who has done numerous RRP projects.  He is also a Lead Inspector, Lead Risk Assessor and EPA RRP Renovator Instructor.

 

RRP Opt-Out, Don’t Hold Your Breath...

There has been a lot of chatter about the recent Lead Reduction Amendments Act of 2012, where the Senate bill proposes to return the Opt-Out to the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule.  You can find this topic on most every contractor message board.  The bill was introduced by Senator Inhofe (R-OK) and is co-sponsored by several other republicans.  NARI, NAHB, and many other contractor organizations have praised the efforts of Senator Inhofe.

The big question, is should contractors get their hopes up?

The Probabilities

Senator Inhofe RRP AmendmentThe first thing you should consider is that all bills introduced must first go to committee.  The second thing you should realize is that the vast majority of bills introduced … will never get out of committee review and thus, will never get a chance to be voted on.  Thirdly, even if the bill gets voted on, it must be approved by the majority of Senators (in this bill’s case).  Lastly, even if passed by the Senate; the House & President must approve.

It is a long uphill battle.  You also need to realize that most bills introduced are simply grand standing.  A way to get attention and show those who give money to your campaign or vote you into office … that you are doing something. 

Where RRP Came From

Lead Reduction Amendments Act of 2012The grandparent of RRP is Title X of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, also known as the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (Title X).  The grandparents gave birth to the parent of RRP, Title IV—Lead Exposure Reduction, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

What is not often talked about is where “Section 402(c)(3) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires EPA to regulate renovation or remodeling activities in target housing (most pre-1978 housing), pre-1978 public buildings, and commercial buildings that create lead-based paint hazards“.  The RRP falls under the TSCA, Section 402 (c)(3).

Conclusion

Tebow praysTo put it simply, we need to come to grips that the RRP is most likely going to be required on public and commercial buildings.  Public and commercial buildings have adults in them.  Would it make sense to Opt-Out adults in target homes, but not Opt-Out adults in public and commercial buildings?  Unfortunately, the answer is most likely not.

So for those who are hoping for the Opt-Out to return, prayers may be in order.  It may be the only thing that has a chance.

 

Topics: EPA RRP Rule Updates, Amendments, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs, Opt Out Related, RRP History

Guest Blog: The RRP Training Suggests More Than The Rule Requires

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Guest Blog: Making RRP Easier – The RRP Training Suggests Doing Way More Than The Rule Requires

Dean Lovvorn

 

 

 

Guest Blogger: Dean Lovvorn is a residential remodeler who has done numerous RRP projects.  He is also a Lead Inspector, Lead Risk Assessor and EPA RRP Renovator Instructor.

 

Making RRP Easier – The RRP Training Suggests Doing Way More Than The Rule Requires

RRP work Practices

 

Back in April 2010, I had an exterior remodeling job that was put on hold for a day because of heavy rains.  In my boredom, I decided to read the actual RRP law from start to finish.  Honestly, it was like watching paint dry (incredibly boring). 

However, as I continued reading, I soon discovered that what I was taught in my 8 hour class and what was in the student manual wasn’t necessarily in the actual law itself.

 

 

My Discoveries - In the actual law I found:


  1. RRP RespiratorThere was no mention of having to wear disposable suits, dust mask, booties or headwear. (Still might need to comply with OSHA)
  2. That I didn’t have to put construction debris in a heavy duty plastic bag.  I had to at final clean-up, but not when taking out demolition debris.
  3. There was no requirement to put plastic over windows.
  4. That there was no mention of putting yellow warning tape at 20 feet out on exterior jobs.
  5. That on many jobs, the only paperwork required was a signed receipt of the Renovate Right booklet and completing the record keeping checklist.  This takes me about 5 minutes to do.
  6. Homeowners ignoring RRP RuleIt didn’t say I had to use 6 mil plastic, which made me happy since the 3.5 mil plastic sold at Home Depot cost less.
  7. I didn’t have to mention (if I didn’t want to) anything about RRP during my sales presentations or while giving estimates.  This was especially helpful, because clients don’t want to hear about being lead poisoned … they want to hear about their beautiful renovation.

Watch for Dean's next guest blog where he describes the work practices he now uses to make RRP easier at the job site


Topics: Production Considerations, EPA RRP for Dummies, Certified Renovator Training, Containment Considerations, Compliance Options, Work Practices, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs

Will Reinstating the RRP Opt Out Provision Really Help Your Business?

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Mar 11, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Will Reinstating the RRP Opt Out Provision Really Help Your Business?

Recently Legislation introduced by Senator Inhofe (R) in Bill 2148, the ‘‘Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012’’, among other amendments within the bill, included reinstating the RRP opt out provision that was previously removed when the Sierra Club sued the EPA back in 2009. There is certainly some difference of opinion within the industry regarding whether reinstating the RRP opt out provision makes sense and or will actually be beneficial.   A recent guest blog on RRPedia by Peter Lawton triggered comments from many in favor and against the opt out.  One commenter admitted he was originally in favor of the opt out but was rethinking his position after reading Peter’s blog post.

So, will the opt out actually help businesses?  Maybe.  Maybe not...

RRP Rule problemsI suggest the real problem is that the original rule was poorly conceived and poorly written. Because we are now stuck with it, the proposed amendments are really just band-aid approaches to try to make it better for or more palatable to those affected by the rule. What we really need is a new well thought out rule to replace the existing rule, with the input and leadership of the industry this time.  And, the industry needs to be proactive this time in its writing, its content and its enforcement.

That said it is not likely that the rule will be abandoned and replaced by EPA.   Doing so would be an embarrassment to EPA because it would essentially be admitting it had screwed up.    So, we have to deal with trying to improve upon the existing rule.

Here are several considerations that need to be recognized if the Opt-Out becomes available again:

  • Lead paint contaminationNot using lead safe practices on a pre 1978 property is a big risk.  Unless the house is pretested before renovations there is no point of reference regarding existing contamination. If lead safe work practices are not used, how will the business prove it did not cause the contamination?
  • If not following the RRP protocols and documenting work practices, the contractor will not be able to provide a preponderance of evidence in his/her favor if accused by the client and or their children of lead related problems after a renovation.
  • If the contractor allows a client’s use of the opt out the business and the business owner will still be responsible and liable for damages if the work done by employee well as sub contractors contaminates the house during the work.
  • If the home is pre 1978 and is not tested for lead, the contractor must still assume it has lead and must follow OSHA requirements to protect workers and sub contractors. 
  • Are your employees aware of the above point?   What would they do and how will your business be affected if they do become aware and contact OSHA and/or have their blood checked for lead?

RRP Opt out considerations

 

Not having to follow the RRP rule might just create more problems and risks than following it.   The home owner can choose the opt out to avoid the extra cost.  A contractor can also choose to opt out on the opt out.  If you’re a renovator what will you do regarding the opt out and why?

 


Topics: Sales Considerations, Compliance Options, Legal Considerations, Documentation Considerations, EPA RRP Rule Updates, Amendments, Opinions from Renovators, Opt Out Related

Guest Blog: Weighing In On The RRP Opt Out

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Mar 08, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Guest Blog: Weighing In On The RRP Opt Out

Peter Lawton

 

Guest Blogger: Peter Lawton had his first lead safe training in 1997 while operating his design/build remodeling firm designPLUS in the greater Boston area. Today he is the founder and senior principle trainer for LeadSMART Training Solutions which trains contractors in areas of lead remodeling and OSHA safety standards. His classes are held throughout New England as well as occasionally on the west coast as well.  Peter can be reached at peter@leadsmarttraining.com or visit his training schedule at www.leadsmarttraining.com .

 

Opt Out..... Weighing In

Opinions about RRP opt outBoth sides of this issue have valid points to consider. Before we make rash decisions have we looked at the entire picture? We can do better than our politicians, but we must think before we act.

Isn't it a bit odd that months before an election some politician comes out of the woodwork and puts forth this bill? Where was this senator a year ago? How much research and thought went into addressing the bigger picture? Are we being used again as pawns by tapping our emotions and not our intelligence for votes? Do you really feel this is all that stands between you and having enough work?

 

Here are a few questions/comments I believe this bill ignores:

  • Lead in ConstructionWhether the Opt Out comes back or not, what about the employees of the firms who intend on using this option? Did anyone ask those who are actually doing the work how they feel about their health risks? Will they have a voice without retaliation?
  • Is OSHA going to come up with a "you must protect your workers’ health UNLESS the customer gave you permission to work unprotected" clause? My bet is OSHA will stand firm on 1926.62 (Lead in Construction). In fact, if you have employees, EPA is irrelevant with whatever they decide to do.
  • How about extending the OPT OUT to state that the homeowner releases his or her civil right to sue the contractor should anything go wrong?
  • For those of you who think this is all BS, how about signing a waiver that says my tax dollars won’t be used to pay for related health care for you, your family, your workers or your clients who might get sick due to the work you perform?
  • If any of you perform HUD work, do you really feel they will buckle from their standards?


Anything that can improve our economy is worth looking at. I am not sure this is the answer everyone has been looking for – can’t we come up with a better solution than Bill #S 2148?

Working lead safeI believe this law can create marketing and positioning opportunities to those who see it this way and in the process, keeps everyone safe  – and for those who see it differently, it’s obviously a never ending source of complaints which has divided our industry at a time when we need each others’ back more than ever.

Stay Healthy,

Peter Lawton, President, LeadSMART Training Solutions

 

Topics: Personal Protection, Work Practices, Health Effects of Lead, Effects of the RRP Rule, Opinions from Renovators, Guest Blogs, Opt Out Related

NARI Releases Research Findings on RRP and Dust Wipe Clearance Rule

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

 The following information is from the NARI Government Affairs Committee’s newsletter of June 23, 2011 titled “NARI on the Hill”.  

NARI RRP Survey  



NARI Research on LRRP and Clearance Rule 

NARI surveyed remodeling businesses and homeowners nationwide in order to gain a better comprehension about:

  • The impact of EPA's current Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule, implemented in April 2010, on business.

  • Gaining a better understanding of how a proposed new layer of the EPA LRRP Rule, adding "lead clearance testing" would further affect business.

  • Gauging homeowner awareness of, and attitude toward the regulations.

Dust wipe testOf the 1,500+ remodeling contractor respondents, only 25% reported doing any lead clearance testing at all. Regardless of cost variations, the majority of respondents reported that significant cost is added to a home improvement project with the addition of lead clearance testing.

In addition, respondents reported that the majority of their homeowner clients were not familiar with the EPA's original LRRP Rule, implemented in April 2010.

77% of respondents indicated that homeowners have sought ways to skirt the rule, by doing parts of the work themselves, or by hiring a non-certified individual to do the work. More than half of homeowner respondents in a separate survey indicated they would like the option to opt out if small children or pregnant women are not living in their home.

 

Effects of RRP RuleWhy we did the surveys: We believe what all of you are saying out there, and we've been hearing your comments in blogs, social media, by talking to you directly. However, when trying to bring an issue to light in Washington, officials want current data to review, and providing anecdotal data as heard from third parties is typically seen as not credible, hence the surveys. NARI is sharing results of the research on Capitol Hill that EPA's implementation of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting rules may increase the likelihood of lead poisoning to children, as opposed to lowering the risk. Adding to this risk is the expected forthcoming of the Lead Clearance Rule, which will only exacerbate the problem. Additionally, NARI is reaching out to small business interest groups in Washington and media nationwide to make them aware of the survey results and how the rule is impacting your business.

 

***For more on NARI’s findings, read this blog article in the Wall Street Journal by Sarah E. Needleman.  The Comments are even more telling as contractors affected by the rule share their opinions.

Topics: Effects of the RRP Rule, Statistics, Opinions from Renovators

Contractors Sound Off About RRP Rule and Dust Wipe Amendment

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Fri, Jun 24, 2011 @ 05:17 PM

Contractors Sound Off About RRP Rule and Dust Wipe Amendment

 

RRP NewsThanks to PR activities by NARI, Wall Street Journal Blogger Sarah E. Needleman wrote a blog regarding the increased costs to both contractors and homeowners related to the RRP rule and the potential additional increase in costs should the EPA go forward with its proposed Dust Wipe Clearance amendment.  The article is just one of very few where the media has really taken the time to understand the impact of the RRP rule and provide accurate information for their readers.  Kudos to Needleman!

 

The blog was posted on June 23, 2011 at 4:35PM.   At the time of writing this, exactly 24 hours later to the minute, there were already over 80 comments left by contractors expressing their opinions and concerns about the rule as well as their disappointment in our government for allowing such a shortsighted regulation. 

RRP Contractor sounds offMany point out that one of the consequences of the rule is that now more children have been put at risk for lead poisoning; for two reasons.  The first is due to the fact that illegally operating contractors are under-bidding compliant contractors because they are ignoring the required lead-safe work practices and therefore creating lead hazards.  The second is that homeowners are either doing the work themselves and or doing the demolition stage of the work themselves to avoid the added costs related to the rule’s required lead-safe work practices.

 

Ben Franklin quoteAs Ben Franklin once said:  “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”


 


I encourage all contractors to check out the blog and leave a comment of their own.  NARI will be using the comments in their efforts to provide evidence of the rule’s impact and negative consequences as they meet with government officials and politicians in their efforts to get the EPA to recognize its shortsighted approaches to the rule. 

Also, I encourage you to check out this RRPedia post for a list of additional ways the rule will affect contractors, homeowners and our great country.  Please consider forwarding a link to this RRPedia blog post to other contractors and homeowners and ask they read about the consequences of the rule; then use what they have learned to add comments at Needleman’s blog.

 

Here is the link, please copy it and send it to others who can help all of us hang together for our common good!

Follow this link to find out about the negative consequences of the EPA RRP Rule and leave your comments.

 

Topics: Health Effects of Lead, Effects of the RRP Rule, Opinions from Renovators