EPA Responds to Inhofe Lead-Based Paint Implementation Concerns
May 23, 2011
Posted by Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has responded (here and here) to Senator Inhofe's latest letters expressing concern about EPA's implementation of the "Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule" (LRRP). While Senator Inhofe supports the intent of the rule, which is to protect children and pregnant women from the hazards of lead paint dust, he has been a staunch critic of EPA's handling of the rule's implementation (see more here).
On April 15, Senator Inhofe, along with eleven other senators, contacted the EPA to address two aspects of the rule's implementation:
The first letter questions new amendments to the rule that would require "clearance testing" to prove the presence or absence of lead following a project's completion. This would impose significant confusion and complication for renovators who have already completed their lead-based paint training and could result in additional costs to pay for the clearance testing. In particular, this may push homeowners either to hire uncertified individuals or perform the renovation work themselves, which is absolutely counter to the intent of the rule: to protect people from the dangers of lead dust.
The second letter criticizes EPA's rulemaking for commercial buildings - specifically noting that the agency lacks sufficient data on which to promulgate such a rule.
EPA Assistant Administrator Stephen Owens replied to Senator Inhofe on May 11, 2011