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EPA Delays Lead Paint Rule for Commercial Buildings Until 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency delays its plans to expand the 'Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule' to commercial buildings until 2015.


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In a ruling that affects integrators who install large speakers in commercial buildings, the Environmental Protection Agency has delayed its plans to expand the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule to commercial buildings until 2015, according to an update from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Because lead-based paint can still be used in commercial and industrial buildings, the commercial rule would apply to every commercial building in the country regardless of when built. In addition, EPA has yet to approve a test kit for the presence of lead-based paint that meets the accuracy standard it said it would require when the residential rule was implemented in 2010.

EPA had entered into a voluntary legal settlement with environmental groups agreeing to propose an expansion of the existing residential lead paint rule. The proposal included the removal of the “opt-out provision” allowing homeowners without children who live in homes built before 1978 to choose to exempt contractors, including integrators, from following specific work practices and record-keeping requirements. The law has steep fines for contractors.

EPA also agreed to require all contractors, including integrators, working in pre-1978 housing to perform expensive third-party lead dust clearance testing before completing a renovation project. However, that proposal was withdrawn last year by a petition by the NAHB to the White House under President Obama’s Executive Order on Regulatory Reform.

The final element of the legal settlement required EPA to accelerate the development of the commercial buildings rule and the agency agreed to introduce one by September 2012.

However, the agency failed to perform prerequisite studies on the potential lead dust exposures to adults – not children – during renovation activities in pre-1978 commercial buildings. Under federal law EPA is required to perform these studies prior to proposing a commercial building rule. To date, EPA has not conducted the required study, according to the NAHB.



  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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