AAMA and Northeast Manufacturers Meet with Government Leaders, Call for Support of Delay on EPA's Lead Rule

May 26, 2010

Rich Walker, president and chief executive officer of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) met with the staff of U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other government and industry leaders urging them to support a one-year delay in implementing the EPA's Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP). In addition to AAMA, those present included the Northeast Window and Door Association, as well as several Delaware window manufacturers and dealers.

The May 20 meeting with Sen. Carper occurred nearly a month after the LRRP Rule took effect and six months after a letter from the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy called into question the science and data on which EPA based many of the regulatory decisions.

According to AAMA’s release, the SBA Advocacy letter to the EPA raised concerns about neglected legal procedures; questioned the validity of studies used by EPA in their decision making and strongly discouraged the exclusion of the "opt-out" provision. The opt-out provision would have allowed those homeowners without children under six or a pregnant woman living in the home to opt-out of compliance with these regulations for their home renovations or repairs.

"While AAMA and its members want to protect those most vulnerable to lead poisoning, the EPA's representatives were not able to address questions regarding how the elimination of the opt-out is to be implemented, nor has the EPA provided adequate time or training to allow for compliance. By its own admission, the EPA is 'not where they need to be,' and has a 'backlog' in the area of training and certification," says Walker, who adds, "The industry believes that EPA has singled out the window industry as subject to these regulations and then ignored our legitimate concerns. Under such conditions, we have no choice but to appeal to our elected representatives and ask them to help move our request to the policy level within the EPA.

On behalf of AAMA, Walker requested that Sen. Carper and all of the U.S. Congress:

  • Support legislation introduced April 29 that would postpone implementation until accreditation classes are held for a period of at least one year;
  • Consider holding hearings to review the concerns expressed by the SBA Advocacy and by the window industry as a whole; and
  • Consider the negative, economic impact to homeowners, contractors and manufacturers.

Walker and colleagues presented data showing the EPA's cost estimates of compliance for window installation to be "severely understated" and "that adverse market reaction to the regulations and the resulting increased costs is already being felt. Contractors, including one at the meeting, are avoiding window sales opportunities, and new window orders at the manufacturing level are now tracking some 20 percent below trend."

Walker also says, "The premature implementation of the LRRP undermines the 2009 and 2010 federal energy-efficient tax credits and to remodeling programs that encourage energy-efficient improvements, such as HOME STAR and Building STAR."

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.