The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) voiced its support for Sen. James Inhofe, ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, for introducing S.2148, the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012. The goal of S.2148 is to amend the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair & Painting (LRRP) Rule by restoring the opt-out provision.
NARI supported the opt-out provision when EPA first published its LRRP rules because the opt-out allowed for homeowners to choose a less expensive option when there was no risk to children or pregnant women. Two years ago, EPA changed the rules and removed the opt-out provision. Under the bill introduced March 2, costly EPA requirements to prevent lead exposure will apply to remodeling projects only when children or pregnant women could be at risk.
NARI members overwhelmingly agreed (92 percent) that restoring the opt-out to the rule made the most sense for both the remodeling professional and the homeowner. “I truly believe that as professional remodelers, we must be cognizant of our customer’s health and safety. However, once they are educated concerning lead hazards, ultimately, they should be able to make their own decisions regarding this issue,” advised a member who responded to the survey.
In another NARI survey of homeowners, deployed in June 2011, 51 percent of homeowners agreed with the statement, “I want the option to opt-out of the EPA’s RRP regulations.”
NARI continues to work actively with the EPA on ways the agency can educate the public on the importance of hiring EPA-certified remodelers to do work on homes built before 1978. The association also continues to push the agency for tougher enforcement of the rules to crack down on firms lacking EPA -certification that are violating the rule and failing to protect homeowners.
Christopher Wright, CR, NARI’s Government Affairs Committee vice chair, shares: “EPA’s current rules add costs to remodeling jobs regardless of whether people are at risk. Higher costs, without an obvious link to protecting children and pregnant women, has prompted most homeowners to do work themselves or to hire non-licensed contractors.”