Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has re-introduced S.484, the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2013, to amend the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair & Painting Rule (LRRP), which was developed to prevent lead exposure for workers and the general public.

Contractors and trade groups have complained that the LRRP increases costs and unnecessarily applies to groups that are not as susceptible to the effects of lead exposure, such as children and pregnant women, although the consequences of lead exposure in adults have been well-documented.
Lead paint was used extensively prior to 1978 but has been proven harmful if ingested.

Lead paint was used extensively prior to 1978 but has been proven harmful if ingested.

S.484 also includes the following changes to the EPA’s LRRP rule:
• Homeowners without small children or pregnant women could opt-out of the rule.
• Prohibit EPA from expanding the LRRP rule to commercial and public buildings until EPA conducts a study demonstrating the need for such an action.
• Providing exemption for first-time paperwork violations and provides for an exemption for renovations after a natural disaster.
• Eliminate the requirement that re-certification must be hands-on, preventing remodelers having to travel to training facilities outside of their region.
Efforts continue to work with the EPA to assist in educating the public on the importance of hiring an EPA-certified remodeler to work on their pre-1978 home. The agency is also being pushed by trade groups for tougher enforcement to crack down on the underground economy created by non-certified remodelers who are not only violating the rules but also putting children and pregnant women at risk by not using lead-safe work practices.

What do you think about lead safety? Do you think the rule should be amended? Leave a comment below.

Stay unleaded, my friends.

Chris White, P.E., LEED AP has been helping clients solve problems for 20 years. He is the Most Interesting Engineer in the World. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisWhitePE.