Lead Rule refresher training might go online
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association has some thoughts on the EPA's proposal to change the Lead Rule's refresher training requirements.
Under the updated Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, certified renovators would no longer be required to take refresher training with a hands-on component — they would be able to simply complete it online.
The NLBMDA's stance is one of support. Renovators are already trained with hands-on methods, and their jobs involve regular hands-on work.
"NLBMDA supports EPA's proposal eliminating the need for renovators certified to perform RRP activities to attend hands-on training as part of the re-certification process," said Jonathan Paine, president and CEO. "The Agency should move forward with its proposal to ensure those needing to re-certify in 2015 will not be subject to the hands-on requirement."
Paine is referring to the provision under the current law that renovators who were initially certified before April 22, 2010, have until July 1, 2015, to take their refresher training. All renovators certified after April 22, 2010 have within five years of the date of their previous training.
"NLBMDA will continue working with EPA to make the RRP rule less burdensome for lumber dealers without compromising the health and safety of pregnant women and young children," said Paine.
The NLBMDA has previously criticized the EPA and its handling of the Lead Rule, including its removal of the "opt-out" provision after the rule took effect. Since then, homeowners no longer had the option to opt out of lead-safe practices if there were no children under the age of six or pregnant women residing in the home.
Who wants small business regulation reform?
What does the NLBMDA have in common with the National Restaurant Association and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America?
All three organizations – and about 200 others representing small businesses – signed a letter supporting the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act (H.R. 527).
The idea behind the bill is to reform the regulatory process to ensure that all federal agencies appropriately consider the impact of their rules on small businesses across America.
The letter, signed by some 200 organizations, points to stats that show small businesses are responsible for 59% of all net new jobs from 2010 through 2013, “yet they are disproportionately impacted by compliance burdens.”
The bill would allow for smarter regulations that minimize inefficiencies and unnecessary burdens, according to its signers.
The legislation is expected to be voted on and approved in the House of Representatives this week.
With sale, Koppers gains focus
Cox Industries Inc., a privately held wood-treating company based in Orangeburg, South Carolina, completed the acquisition of the U.S. utility pole business from Koppers Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Koppers Holdings Inc.
“This sale will allow Koppers to redeploy capital into businesses which we believe fit best with our growth strategy. Cox is in position to serve this business, and we can now focus a sharper attention to growing our railroad maintenance-of-way as we have over the past several years,” said Leroy Ball, president and CEO of Koppers.“
Completion of this transaction makes Cox one of the country’s largest providers of treated wood utility poles.
“The addition of the Koppers business provides Cox a broad customer and geographic platform within the U.S to further expand our already successful business in treated wood utility poles,” said Cox Industries CEO Michael Johnson. ”Koppers has a rich history in this industry serving a broad range of customers including Alliant Energy, Con Edison, First Energy and many others, and we look forward to integrating this successful business and its personnel into our company. We believe our operational strengths combined with our existing scale provides our customers with a broad selection of innovative products and services under the Cox name. Our solutions-based approach allows our customers to seamlessly purchase, track and dispose of utility poles through the variety of services we provide.”
The transaction includes the sale of Koppers existing pole inventory, lease agreements related to multiple pole distribution yards Koppers maintains throughout the country, and the purchase of related manufacturing assets. The transaction does not include the sale of Koppers wood treating facility located in Florence, South Carolina (Florence). Cox also announced it will open a new office in Pittsburgh to allow for the successful transition of Koppers employees to Cox.