Public Interest Group Settlement with Environmental Protection Agency

RRP Rule Settlement

Public Interest Group Settlement with Environmental Protection Agency

In an agreement submitted to the court on August 26, 2009, several public interest groups including the Sierra Club and an individual settled a legal challenge to EPA’s April 2008 Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. Under the settlement, EPA agreed to undertake four rulemakings over the next six years.

1) EPA agreed to issue a proposed rule before October 22, 2009 that:

  • Eliminates the option for a homeowner to exempt the renovator from complying with the rule if no children or pregnant woman reside there. This option was ripe for abuse.
  • Requires renovators to notify the owner and the occupant in writing how the work was done and confirming that the work was done safely at the end of the job. This notice will provide a paper trail to make the rule enforceable.

EPA must finalize the first rulemaking before April 22, 2010 when the RRP rule goes into effect.

2) EPA agreed to propose before April 22, 2010 to:

  • Require that certified professionals test the work area for lead dust after renovations most likely to generate such dust.
  • Require that the certified renovator eliminate lead hazards in the work area after renovations particularly likely to generate significant levels of lead dust.

The testing requirement that EPA will propose is a major improvement over the current requirement to carry out a "white glove test," which allows renovators to check their own work my merely running a wet cloth over the work area to look for dust. In NCHH's March 2006 comments on EPA's proposed rule, it warned the Agency that its proposed scientifically unproven technique was likely to fail to identify invisible--but still dangerous--lead hazards. NCHH urged EPA to make dust testing mandatory in the final rule.

EPA must finalize the second rulemaking before July 15, 2011.

3) The remaining two rules will address the use of lead-safe work practices in pre-1978 public and commercial buildings.


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