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Tulsa World: Contractors seek training to comply with EPA rule
May 10, 2010

Posted by Matt Dempsey

In the News... 

Tulsa World  

Contractors seek training to comply with EPA rule

by JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Link to Article

WASHINGTON - As some lawmakers continue to review options on a controversial rule on potentially hazardous lead-based paint, more classes are being offered in the Tulsa area to help meet the needs of local contractors and others desperately seeking certification for work on pre-1978 homes.

Tulsa Technology Center has begun enrollment for classes scheduled next month.

Put in place by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the rule requiring lead-safe practices for renovation work kicked in late last month but continues to cause concerns for some.

Local businesses have been scrambling for weeks to obtain training.

According to information provided by Tulsa Tech, classes will be held June 2-4 with additional dates to be announced later.

"We are committed to providing this invaluable resource to Tulsa and surrounding communities,'' the center stated.

Other technology centers have held classes or are expected to do so.

In the weeks and months leading up to the rule's effective date, private companies held classes in the Tulsa area.

Chad Baker, district manager for Norandex Building Materials Distribution, said that back in February his firm arranged the first of several classes in the Tulsa area.

"It will be winding down,'' Baker said, adding that the classes have trained about 200. "We pretty well covered our customer base.''

"We have had people come from as far away as Denver to our Tulsa classes,'' said Chris Hyde, director of business development and training for Anchor Community Services, a general contractor in the Dallas area. Hyde also works with the National Center for Healthy Housing and is continuing to schedule training at a hotel near the Tulsa airport.

She said her company began its Tulsa classes in March and also holds classes in Texas and Louisiana.

People are still scrambling to find training, Hyde said.

Asked about the concerns some have expressed that EPA did not do enough to get the word out, Hyde said that the information was out there, but those who needed to know about it apparently did not.

She said it does not catch people's attention until they hear about the fine of up to $37,500 per day for not complying with the EPA rule on safe-lead practices.

Last week, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., introduced legislation to delay implementation of the rule.

"Thus far, the implementation of this rule has been a disaster,'' Inhofe said. "Congress must ensure that enough people are trained and certified. That way, the rule can do what it's supposed to do: protect the health of young children and pregnant women.''

So far, efforts to delay implementation of the rule appear to face an uncertain future in Congress.

About two dozen others have joined Inhofe as co-sponsors of his legislation, but it still lacks key bipartisan support.

The EPA would be expected to oppose such legislation.


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