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NARI points to pitfalls of EPA rules on lead renovation

BY Ken Clark

The EPA plans to add stricter regulations to its year-old Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule. Contractors will be required to perform “lead clearance testing” as part of renovation projects on houses built before 1978. 

After surveying remodeling contractors nationwide, The National Association of the Remodeling Industry said the new legislation will significantly raise the cost of home renovations, and is expected to be both detrimental to small remodeling businesses and potentially harmful to homeowners.

“Lead clearance testing only applies to contractors, not to homeowners,” said David Merrick, president of Merrick Design and Build Inc. in Kensington, Md. “Once homeowners discover this loophole, they often choose to do the demolition or project work themselves to save on costs. Ultimately they risk lead exposure because homeowners are not trained in lead-safe work practices.” NARI cited particular concern about the effect that this consequentially improper lead safety may have on children and pregnant women.

Small businesses will also suffer due to the new regulations, NARI said. Regulation-compliant small business owners, struggling to remain within the constraints of already tight remodeling budgets, will be negatively affected as homeowners choose to cut costs by hiring non-compliant contractors, undertaking remodeling projects themselves, or deciding against renovation altogether. 

According to the recent government census, nearly 85% of U.S. remodeling businesses are not registered as certified firms with the EPA, and those businesses that are certified will still have to be re-trained because of the passage of new regulations. 

The regulations pose a new threat to a recovering housing industry, which otherwise is predicted to have some modest growth in the coming years, NARI said.

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S.McCadden says:
Jul-13-2011 07:21 pm

The effects of the rule and
The effects of the rule and the proposed amendments that NARI points out are valid and have been experienced and expressed by many contractors who are trying to comply. There are already many other effects this RRP rule is having. The blog at the following link discusses many of these effects and contains links to additional information: http://www.shawnmccadden.com/rrpedia/bid/44868/EPA-RRP-Enforcement-Has-Started-But-You-Ain-t-Seen-Nothing-Yet Shawn McCadden www.shawnmccadden.com

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EPA solicits WaterSense program feedback

BY HBSDealer Staff

The WaterSense program, run by the Environmental Protection Agency, will hold public meetings to discuss proposed changes to the WaterSense Product Certification System, which controls the certification process to ensure that WaterSense-labeled products are in accordance with EPA regulations. These program revisions, according to the EPA, will aim for growth of the WaterSense program, and to make better use of the program’s resources. 

The meetings will be held on July 13 and July 19 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST. Those wishing to attend the meeting must register on the WaterSense website. The EPA will also accept written comments on the revised draft through July 25.

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Readers Respond: The President and the budget fiasco

BY HBSDEALER Staff

During yesterday’s press conference on the debt ceiling, the budget, tax increases and spending controls, President Obama rejected the idea of a short-term deal to end the impasse. He added: "We might as well do it now, pull off the band aid, eat our peas." Time will tell.

Here’s what our readers said about the continuing "taxing-and-spending" debate raging in Washington, D.C.

"This fiasco, as you would call it, is all of their making. The President needs to tell the American people that if we default on our loans, the rumble would be worse that the last recession we had. We cannot continue politics as usual. They need to make decisions based on what the country really needs. He needs to tell the people that the Senate, the House of Representatives and he are going to cut their wages, go on Social Security (as we have it) and stop paying the retired congressmen their full salaries. That would be a good start."
— John Stokes

“There should be no compromise on guaranteed benefits for low- and middle-class America. He needs to stay true to the values that got him into office. It has been well proven that tax breaks and corporate tax loopholes do not create jobs in America. There is no shortage of upper class in this country, but a shortage of middle class. It’s time to stand up for all Americans — not just executives, bankers and corporations.”
— Frank Douwes

"What he should say is: ‘You’re absolutely right Republicans, my policies have not worked up to this point, and raising taxes during these economic times is nuts. Therefore, I will recommend no new taxes, we will create a balanced budget amendment, and we will reduce spending to a percent of GDP that both parties will agree to.’ "
— Mike Doogan

"How many households in the U.S. do you suppose can go out and spend way above their incomes and then go ask the boss for a raise, because of their spending habits? Where do the members of Congress lose this theory from their home to the Capitol building? It isn’t how much money you take in that is the problem, it is how much you spend that gets you in trouble. Washington, D.C., is a prime example of this."
— Merle P. Higgins

"The President should say: ‘In the spirit of the American people, we will also be tightening our belts.’ I would also propose one thing that would probably save the country quite a bit of money and solve health care. No politician either past or present should have their health care paid in total."
— Vicki Davison
Bloomington (Ind.) Hardware

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