Legislation Introduced to Change LRRP Rule
Legislation to amend the Lead Renovate, Repair and Painting (LRRP) Rule
has been introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of
the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The bill, S.2148, would
make some changes to the rule. Among its key provisions, S. 2148 would
restore the “opt-out” clause, suspend the LRRP if EPA cannot approve a
commercially available test kits that meet the regulation’s requirements
and provide a de minimus exemption for first-time paperwork violations.
A number of organizations have applauded the legislation’s introduction,
saying it would reform the LRRP Rule, reducing the burden it has placed
on the home retrofit market while protecting pregnant women and small
children from lead hazards.
“Since the EPA Lead Rule took effect in April 2010, EPA has expanded the
rule beyond its original goal of protecting pregnant women and small children
while mismanaging the implementation of the rule and failing to meet its
own requirements to produce an accurate test kit,” says Michael O’Brien,
president of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA). “This
legislation is a common-sense response which will refocus efforts on protecting
pregnant woman and small children and we applaud Sen. Inhofe for his leadership
on this issue.”
According to the statement from WDMA, despite EPA stating a commercially
available test kit producing no more than 10 percent false positives would
be on the market when the rule took effect in 2010, no test kit on the
market meets this standard. The lack of EPA compliant test kits has added
millions in compliance costs with consumers paying for unnecessary work
because of false positive test results.
“The window and door retrofit market has been key to sustaining the industry
and preserving jobs during the prolonged housing downturn. EPA’s efforts
to expand the Lead Rule beyond its original scope, inaccurate test kits,
and enforcement actions targeted mainly at certified renovators has only
hindered industry recovery efforts,” added O’Brien.
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) also issued
a statement noting that it supports revisions to current LRRP requirements
and will be providing information to members of EPA to address questions
regarding the EPA’s decision to eliminate the “opt-out” provision.
“Inherent flaws and overreach in the LRRP regulations are killing jobs
and severely limiting the replacement of energy-inefficient windows,”
says Rich Walker, AAMA’s president and CEO. “The rule unfairly penalizes
homeowners, contractors and business owners involved in renovation and
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA)
also praised the proposed legislation.
“The remodeling and retrofit market has been the main source of business
for many dealers during the prolonged housing recession, either through
installed sales operations, serving remodeler customers, or both,” says
NLBMDA chair Cally Fromme, executive vice president of Zarsky Lumber Company
in Victoria, Texas. “EPA’s efforts to expand the Lead Rule beyond its
original goal of protecting pregnant women and small children, its mismanaged
implementation, and its failure to approve an accurate lead test kit meeting
its own rule have been an extreme burden on the one segment of the residential
market that has been sustaining many businesses.
Former Window Company Owners Indicted by Feds for Failing
to Pay Taxes
Michael M. Russell and Laurie L. Russell, previous owners, officers and
operators of North Country Windows Inc. in Lancaster County, Neb., have
been charged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska in
a federal indictment of four counts of failing to pay federal income taxes
and income tax withholdings of their employees.
According to court documents the defendants deducted and collected approximately
$79,822.21 from the total taxable wages of North Country employees, federal
income taxes and Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes. The documents
say that in early May 2006 in the District of Nebraska, the defendants
stopped paying federal and FICA taxes due and owed more than $314,486
for taxes collected in 2006 but not paid to the government.
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