Contact: Calli Schmidt


WASHINGTON, July 8–A coalition of housing industry groups joined the
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today in announcing plans to
file a lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for
removing the “opt-out” provision from its Lead: Renovation, Repair and
Painting rule.

The Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (LRRP) applies to homes
constructed before 1978 when lead paint was banned. Its opt-out provision,
which expired July 6, let consumers allow contractors to bypass extra
preparation, clean-up and recordkeeping requirements in homes where there
were no children under 6 or pregnant women, thus avoiding additional costs.

“Removing the opt-out provision more than doubles the number of homes
subject to the regulation,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder and
developer in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “About 79 million homes are affected,
even though EPA estimates that only 38 million homes contain lead-based
paint. Removing the opt-out provision extends the rule to consumers who need
no protection.”

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, the National Lumber and Building
Material Dealers Association and the Window and Door Manufacturers
Association joined NAHB in filing the petition for review in the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The group will challenge EPA’s action on the grounds that the agency
substantially amended its LRRP regulation without any new scientific data
and before the regulation was even put into place on April 22, 2010.

“Even under the original rule, the opt-out provision was not available in
homes where small children or pregnant women live,” Jones said. “That shows
that this change provides no additional protection to the people who are
most vulnerable to lead-based paint hazards.”

Remodelers’ and other contractors’ estimates of the additional costs
associated with the lead-safe work practices average about $2,400, but vary
according to the size and type of job. For example, a complete window
replacement requires the contractor to install thick vinyl sheeting to
surround the work area both inside the home and outdoors – with prep time
and material costs adding an estimated $60 to $170 for each window.

“Consumers trying to use rebates and incentive programs to make their homes
more energy efficient will likely find those savings eaten up by the costs
of the rule’s requirements. Worse, these costs may drive many consumers –
even those with small children – to seek uncertified remodelers and other
contractors. Others will likely choose to do the work themselves – or not do
it at all – to save money. That does nothing to protect the population this
rule was designed to safeguard,” Jones said.


ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based
trade association representing more than 175,000 members involved in home
building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management,
subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and
other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is
affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the