Legislation designed to allow homeowners to opt out of a law requiring contractors to take precautions when working on walls painted before 1978 has been reintroduced in Congress.
The proposal would make lead-safe work practices optional in homes where no children or pregnant women live. The EPA in 2010 removed that opt-out provision, which more than doubled the number of homes subject to the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule.
The regulation also requires remodelers, painters and others who “disturb” walls whose paint might contain lead to take regular training, earn EPA certifications and keep records of the affected jobs.
Builders have argued that sealing off rooms under construction from the rest of the house is time-consuming and expensive. The National Association of Home Builders estimated that the rule added an estimated $336 million a year in compliance costs to the remodeling industry “without making young children any safer.”