EPA Seeks Industry Input on Potential Lead Hazard Regulations for Commercial Buildings
April 23, 2010
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a "prepublication
version" of its proposed rulemaking on "Lead: Renovation,
Repair, and Painting Program for Public and Commercial Buildings."
In the notice, the agency requests input on the potential for
regulating the renovation, repair and painting of public and commercial
buildings under section 402(c)(3) of the Toxic Substances Control
Act (TSCA). The agency aims to determine whether lead-based paint
hazards are created by interior renovation, repair and painting
projects in public and commercial buildings. For those renovations
in the interiors of public and commercial buildings that create
lead-based paint hazards, EPA will propose regulations to address
The goal of the new rule is to ensure that persons working in areas
that may be lead-based paint hazards are properly trained, that
training programs are accredited and that contractors performing
these activities are certified. Today's announcement cites glass
and glazing contractors as among the parties likely to be impacted
by the final rule.
New lead-based paint regulations for the residential industry were
released today as well, and, though scheduled to take effect on
April 22, will now take effect 60 days after the rule appears in
the Federal Register and is submitted to both houses of Congress
for related story). For several months residential window manufacturers
have spoken out vehemently about updates to the rule that requires
contractors disturbing paint-such as by replacing windows-in homes
built prior to 1978 to be certified. The primary concern is that
renovation firms are no longer able to be exempted from the training
and work practice requirements of the rule by obtaining certification
from the owner of a residence that no child under age six or pregnant
woman resides in the home and the home is not a child-occupied facility.
Dealers who don't comply with the residential regulation can be
fined $32,500 per violation, per day for non-compliance. Members
of the industry have objected to the significant costs this expected
to add to window replacement. In addition, the industry has expressed
concern that only a fraction of installers have been made aware
of the rule and obtained certification.
For today's proposed rule, EPA is requesting comment on, among
other issues, information and data on the types of buildings that
should be considered "public buildings" or "commercial
buildings," as it is not defined conclusively in this rule.
Earlier regulations had limited activity to "child-occupied"
facilities but today's notice states: "EPA's regulatory definition
of 'public and commercial building'
provides examples of
the types of buildings covered, including industrial and office
buildings, government-owned buildings, colleges, museums, airports,
hospitals, churches, preschools, stores, warehouses and factories.
Notwithstanding the differences in focus between TSCA Title II and
Title IV, EPA believes that a similar broad approach to interpreting
'public building' and 'commercial building' is warranted in this
rulemaking. Of course, EPA must still determine which renovations
in which buildings create lead-based paint hazards."
The agency also is aiming to determine whether to continue to rely
on two earlier agency studies - the Environmental Field Sampling
Study and the Dust Study - both of which evaluated the amount of
leaded dust generated by activities including window replacement.
EPA also requests comment on the extent to which these two EPA studies
should inform EPA's determination on lead-based paint hazards created
by renovations in the interiors of public and commercial buildings,
"especially considering that some of the renovations in the
Dust Study were performed in a school building."
In addition, EPA asks "What information and data are available
on the prevalence of leaded paint?
Does the prevalence or
lead level differ by building age, component or type (e.g., interior
or exterior; doors and windows, trim or walls; wood substrate or
The official document will be published in a forthcoming issue
of the Federal Register. Upon its publication in the Register,
individuals can use EPA's electronic docket and comment system at
to submit or view public comments.
HERE for more information.
HERE to offer your comments.
Stay tuned to USGNN.com for further details as they emerge.
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