The U.S. Senate is trying to provide some relief to contractors facing compliance of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Paint Rule (RRP).
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will temporarily block fines that require certification to remove lead paint in homes and certain facilities built prior to 1978. The proposal was attached to a supplemental funding bill and approved by a 60-37 vote on May 27.
The amendment prohibits the EPA from using funds in the bill to levy fines against contractors under its new lead paint abatement rule through September 30. The bill is now in the hands of the House of Representatives.
The RRP Rule, which went into effect on April 22, requires contractors to be EPA certified when working in homes built before 1978, or face fines up to $37,500 per violation per day.
“I support the EPA lead paint abatement rule. There simply is no question that we must continue our efforts to rid lead-based paint from our homes, Collins said in a press release following the vote. “But the EPA has botched the implementation of this rule.”
“The problem is there still aren’t enough EPA-certified trainers in place to certify contractors,” Collins added. “As a result, contractors face devastating fines. The intent of my amendment is to give small contractors and construction professionals more time to comply with the new rule.”
The amendment is supported by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the National Association of Homebuilders, the Window and Door Manufacturer Association, and the National Lumber, and Building Material Dealers Association.