NARI's Government Affairs Activity: Letter to EPA

June 16, 2010 04:58 AM

June 16, 2010
 
Document Control Office (7407M)
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC  20460-0001
 
RE: EPA Regulatory Docket Number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2005-0049
 
Dear Sir or Madam:
 
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) represents 60 chapters with over 7,000 company members nationwide. On behalf of our members, and with leadership of our Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors, we respectfully request that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extend the public comment period for the Proposed Lead: Clearance and Clearance Testing Requirements for the Renovation, Repair and Painting Program, as published in the Federal Register on May 6, 2010 for a minimum of 120 days beyond the July 6, 2010 comment deadline.
 
The EPA should understand that with implementation of the final rule on April 22, 2010, coupled with the simultaneous announcement for removal of the opt-out provision and the announcement for this amendment all on the same day, that this is an overwhelming amount of information for the remodeling industry to process.
 
Based on our current and preliminary understanding of the proposed clearance amendment, contractors will be required to take post renovation abatement-style lead dust samples, and in certain cases, meet EPA’s strict Lead Hazards Standards for clearance.  
    *Can the EPA provide more explanation to the regulated industry about the difference between   
     renovation & remodeling and abatement? 
 
Additional requirements for changes to the manner in which destructive demolition occurs are substantially different that what contractors have already been trained to do.

   * Can the EPA provide clarification on the requirements for destructive demolition and the process 
     that will be required?
   * Can the EPA describe the method additional training will be provided to contractors who have 
     already completed their training and certification?
 
The remodeling industry is still in the process of being trained and adjusting work practices at considerable time and cost to demonstrate compliance with the final RRP rule.

    * Has the EPA assessed the additional burden and cost this amendment brings to bear on the 
     industry beleaguered by the recession and adapting to the final rule? 
    * How will the EPA effectively update and inform contractors of the changes to procedures and 
      requirements who have already obtained certification and training prior to enactment of this 
      clearance amendment? 
It does not seem reasonable that the EPA would impose yet another amendment over the final rule when the industry is still in the process of understanding and implementing the final RRP rule.
 
NARI is requesting a minimum 120- day extension to understand more precisely how the clearance amendment will impact our members and their work practices. NARI is working with other allied associations to assess the ramifications of the clearance amendment on the industry and their members; time is required for this assessment.  Remodeling contractors are just now completing their first projects under RRP regulations; time is also needed to survey contractors who are actually working under the current rule and to evaluate how these proposed changes will affect them.  The current July 6 deadline for comment does not provide any real opportunity for remodeling contractors to make any comments based on experience in implementing this rule.
 
During this period NARI requests a meeting with EPA and other industry groups to discuss workable solutions to this proposed amendment.  We request that such a meeting include actual certified renovators who have completed projects under full RRP guidelines.
 
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry is committed to the success of the RRP rule and wants to participate with the EPA in determining workable solutions that satisfy all needs. We welcome further dialogue on this matter and answers to our questions.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mary Busey Harris, CAE
Executive Vice President

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