Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement issuing a memorandum extending the EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule deadline for renovators to enroll in training classes to September 30, 2010. In addition, it has extended the deadline for contractors to complete training to December 31, 2010, and most importantly the agency has agreed to work to provide additional trainers in areas of need.
"I am pleased that the EPA listened to the clear bipartisan message sent by the Senate that the implementation of the lead-based paint rule was a disaster," Inhofe said. "EPA has finally recognized the extreme difficulty in obtaining certification and worker renovation training. Thanks to the efforts of my colleagues, EPA has now promised to allow additional and sufficient time for workers to obtain the necessary training and certification to comply with the rule. This is exactly the kind of oversight and accountability that Congress should provide. I am pleased to have worked with Senators Collins, Alexander, Vitter, Coburn and others to shine light on this important issue. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the EPA to ensure that we get this rule fully implemented as soon as possible and realize the health benefits of the rule as quickly as possible."
On April 22, EPA's Lead RRP rule went into effect. The rule is designed to help reduce lead exposure to pregnant women and children from dust caused by renovations. Unfortunately, the implementation of the rule has caused a lot of confusion among constituents - including homeowners, landlords, renovators, and contractors - throughout Oklahoma and the nation.
The new rule applies to renovations in homes built before 1978 that disturb more than six square feet of paint. These renovations must be supervised by a certified renovator and conducted by a certified renovation firm. In order to become certified, contractors must submit an application - with a fee - to EPA, and complete a training course for instruction on lead-safe work practices.
Inhofe has led the charge in Congress for over a year to hold EPA accountable and ensure the rule is fully implemented as soon as possible. His efforts include:
Successfully passed amendment to block funds in the supplemental appropriations bill from being used to "levy against any person any fine, or to hold any person liable for construction or renovation work performed by the person." With numerous co-sponsors and bipartisan support, the Inhofe-Collins Amendment to postpone enforcement of the lead rule overwhelmingly passed in the Senate by a vote of 60 to 37. The Washington Examiner published an editorial about the vote;
Called Cass Sunstein of the Administration's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to voice Oklahoma homebuilders' concerns;
Launched a webpage which serves as a one stop shop for constituents confused about the rule - please visit: www.inhofe.senate.gov for more information about the lead rule and Inhofe's efforts to address this issue.