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House Bill Could Suspend Lead Paint Rule
Representatives in the U.S. House on Thursday introduced legislation that would suspend the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule if the EPA cannot approve a commercially available lead test kit that meets the rule's "false negative" and "false positive" criteria.

The bill "will hold EPA accountable for their failure to produce viable test kits to meet their own regulatory mandates," Rep. John Sullivan, R-Okla., who introduced the bill, said in a release.

There are currently two products available nationally that can "reliably determine that regulated lead-based paint is not present on wood," according to the EPA. One is 3M's LeadCheck and the other is D-Lead, which is made by ESCA Tech Inc. Still, neither complies with both the RRP rule's negative and positive response criteria of no more than 5 percent false negatives and no more than 10 percent false positives, each with 95 percent confidence, as related to the regulated level of lead in paint of 1.0 mg/cm2 or 0.5 percent by weight. It is this delinquency that Rep. Sullivan has seized upon to try to suspend the rule altogether.

The bill, H.R. 5911, also includes a provision to restore the RRP rule's "opt-out" provision that allows homeowners without small children or pregnant women residing with them to decide whether to require contractors to adhere to the RRP rule. In addition, the bill would reduce paperwork-related fines, eliminate the requirement for hands-on recertification, and prohibit the agency from expanding the rule to cover commercial and public buildings until the EPA conducts a study for it. The legislation is similar to a bill introduced by Sen. James Inhofe in March.

In May 2010 the EPA gave its reason for removing the opt-out provision in the first place: "As pointed out by a number of commenters on the RRP rule, the opt-out provision does not protect families with young children who may purchase recently renovated target housing." Specifically, the EPA feared that "… dust-lead hazards created during renovations in an owner-occupied residence conducted prior to a sale will be present for the next occupants."

"Mr. Sullivan’s bill will help make sure that those who are most vulnerable to lead exposure receive the full health protections of this rule and remove some of the unintended regulatory burdens to those contractors working to do the right thing," Inhofe said in a statement.

The list of co-sponsors for the bill includes seven Republicans and two Democrats. The same day it was introduced it was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, according to

On Friday, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) voiced support for the bill.
This is great!
Comment By Jake Mitchell At 6/11/2012 12:00 PM
I disagree. Great for who? For the customer that already doesn't want to pay a premium for sanding lead painted floors? Or for the floor guys being coerced into sanding lead by company owners. Speaking on behalf of my guys, whenever we suspect lead, we test.
Whenever we sand it, our health and the necessary precautions come first., not profitability.

Overturning this bill would take leverage away from Lead Renovating companies, like us, that take the proper steps. We did a lead job in January and produced over 120 gallons of sanding dust, most of which was extremely tainted with lead. If you have any experience sanding it, it smokes, even at 16 grit if you don't change disks often.

Folks don't be mistaken, lead is toxic. We should charge for it, and mandates should remain otherwise, you CAN'T charge for it and the low cost guys (to stupid to know any better) working under the table win the job and we all pay when we end up with healthcare related problems as a result of exposure. In my opinion, floor guys are exposed to it AS MUCH as any other trade. I am among the few that supports the current mandate.
Comment By Daniel Moore At 6/11/2012 12:27 PM
Where do we stop? It's not our house. We are their guest and they should have the a choice as the owner of their home. We can use a HEPA DCS without having to worry about a fine to put us out of business.
Comment By gary At 6/11/2012 2:42 PM
I understand Dan's position but also agree with Gary. I mean smoking is not healthy but people still choose to do so. In 30 years i have sanded a few painted floor that were obviously lead (before mandate) now i just choose not to sand them at all. But if you think the lead law was set up by the gov to protect the people and not to generate revenue I would have to say one could be numb from the neck up:)
Comment By tongue in groover At 6/11/2012 4:04 PM
I believe NWFA is aware of lead in some old floor finishes, so we were/are sanding lead finishes now.
Comment By G. Iba At 6/11/2012 5:21 PM
Amen to Toungue In Groove's comment!!! -
cha-ching $$$ & CYA.
Comment By Mary Nolte At 7/3/2012 4:08 PM
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