Building Material

EPA May Expand Coverage of Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

February 15, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently considering whether or not to expand and strengthen requirements of the 2008 Leadnext hit previous hitRenovationnext hit, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule to cover renovations of both the exteriors and the interiors of all public and commercial buildings.  EPA's anticipated action is required by a legal settlement it reached in August 2009 with environmental and health advocacy groups that had challenged the RRP rule.  The current RRP requirements, which will take full effect on April 22, 2010, require paid contractors and maintenance professionals to be trained and certified on certain mandated lead-safe work practices before renovating or repairing housing and facilities for children built before 1978.

EPA is considering extending the lead RRP requirements to all commercial buildings.  This action results from a legally-binding "agreement" EPA reached with environmental groups to settle a lawsuit that Sierra Club and others filed in the Federal Court of Appeals against the Agency concerning its RRP rule.  Under the settlement agreement, EPA is required to reconsider certain provisions of the RRP regulations and issue a series of rulemakings.  Specifically, EPA has agreed to the following:

  • By April 22, 2010, EPA will issue an ANPR (advance notice of proposed rulemaking) discussing its intention to propose work practice requirements for renovations on the EXTERIORS of public and commercial buildings other than child-occupied facilities (schools and child care centers already covered by the final RRP rule); and to evaluate whether renovations in the INTERIORS of these buildings create lead-based paint hazards, and, if so, propose work practice requirements for those renovations.
  • By December 15, 2011, EPA will issue a proposed rule to establish work practice requirements for renovations on the EXTERIOR of public and commercial buildings other than child-occupied facilities. EPA must take final action on the EXTERIOR proposal by July 15, 2013.
  • By September 30, 2011, EPA will consult with the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) on a risk assessment methodology to evaluate the hazards posed by renovations in the INTERIOR of public and commercial buildings not covered by the final RRP rule. Eighteen months after receiving the SAB report, EPA must either issue a proposed rule to establish work practice requirements for INTERIOR renovations in public and commercial buildings or conclude that they do not create lead-based paint hazards. The proposal must include, if necessary, new hazard standards for these buildings. EPA must take final action on the proposed rule within 18 months of publication.

All future EPA rulemakings will be available for public comment.

First Round of Proposed Changes to RRP

Back in October 2009, EPA proposed a first set of revisions to the 2008 Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule that would eliminate what EPA refers to as the "opt-out" provision.

That provision allows renovators to opt out, or be exempted from, the training and work requirements of the rule. (Firms can be exempted if they obtained a certification from the owner that no child under 6 and no pregnant woman resided in the residence.)  The Agency also is proposing to increase recordkeeping requirements and changes affecting training.  EPA also would require previous hitrenovationnext hit firms to provide the owner and occupant with records documenting compliance with the rule. 74 Fed. Reg. 55506, Oct. 28, 2009.

In related news, EPA is also currently working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to modify the definition of lead-based paint in its regulations.

For more information, please contact Leah Pilconis at pilconisl@agc.org or (703) 837-5332.