Volume 13, Issue 4 - May 2012

Distribution & Dealer News

EPA Rep Gives Lead Paint Enforcement Update

“There are a lot of cases in the pipeline and many others under review,” said Don Lott, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) associate director, waste and chemicals enforcement division, when he presented updates regarding enforcement of the EPA’s Lead Renovation Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP). Lott spoke to members of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) who gathered in March for the their joint legislative conference. The lead paint rule was a topic in many of the meetings.

But it was in the Lead Rule Issues Panel that Lott outlined particular aspects of the rule including updates regarding enforcement.

“We have a consistent national approach to how we assess penalties, which gives an even playing field,” he said.

He added the EPA gives its regional offices general guidance each year on lead enforcement. “Because they [regional offices] deal with multiple lead rules we ask the regions to come up with an integrated strategy.”

While Lott said the EPA has several lead paint programs he admitted that, because the LRRP rule is the newest, most of its resources are directed toward it.

“Our main goal is making sure lead safe work practices are in effect,” he said.

Lott answered the question that he says the agency is asked most: Do we use the list of certified firms as a target list? “Absolutely not,” he said.

He said the agency performs two types of inspections: record review and on-site inspections.

“Personally, I’d like to see more on-site inspections and I think we will see more of those,” he said.

The EPA has performed more than 1,000 inspections to date, has issued more than 40 notices of non-compliance and more than 30 pre-settlement negotiations are ongoing. Additionally, two RRP complaints were filed—not settled—and according to Lott, “Many more will be issued over the next few months.”

“Of those 1,000, a lot of non-compliance is being found, but it is a question of how bad it is … The majority of our tips reveal non-certified firms,” he said.

“We do need your help to identify those,” he added.

NFRC Helps Retailers Keep Consumers Informed
“Fenestration ratings are rarely understood by door and window consumers, but are critical to how they choose the window or door that best fits their needs,” says Tom Herron, senior manager, communications and marketing, National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).

To make the process easier, the group is actively educating consumers about energy efficiency ratings through its retailer program. The program involves tear sheets To make the process easier, the group is actively educating consumers about energy efficiency ratings through its retailer program. The program involves tear sheets developed by the NFRC, and distributed to retailers free of charge. The retailer can then brand the materials so when a homeowner weighs their options they remember that company.

Herron says the NFRC is aiming to educate consumers instead of having them be confused about the NFRC label, which has happened in the past.

“They would back off thinking it [the label and terms such as SHGC and U-factor] was complicated,” he says. “That is bad news for a retailer. You don’t want them to leave.”

The NFRC started the retailer program when it saw a glaring need for consumers to become more educated.

“What we found was that the consumer didn’t understand the NFRC labels and didn’t know what things stood for so we use down-to-earth language to help them in their decision-making process,” says Herron. “It helps that the info is coming from a third-party, independent certification program.”

The third-party data is what’s key, according to the NFRC.

“That’s what we find to be a big deal,” says Herron. “It is one thing to take the word of the person selling … we all know how that may go sometimes. Obviously they [retailers] have a motivation to move that product. We don’t make money from this.”

The program isn’t new, however. The NFRC developed the fact sheets back in 2009 and is now looking to distribute the program more widely to retailers. Herron says those currently using the tools have experienced positive results.

“We have had retailers who have come to us and said they had been using [the fact sheets] in one location and want to order [more] for additional locations,” says Herron. “That speaks to the efficacy of the program.”

Herron adds he doesn’t usually use clichés, but just has to in this case.

“It’s truly a win-win situation,” he says. “The retailer gets to help consumers along in the decision-making process and consumers get fair and objective information to assist them.”

AMD Seeks ANSI Approval of SHED Standard
The Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) is seeking ANSI approval of its AMD 100 standard, Structural Performance Ratings of Side-Hinged Exterior Door Systems and Procedures for Component Substitution as an American National Standard.

The AMD 100 standard provides an objective process for obtaining a design pressure rating for a side-hinged exterior door system (SHEDS) and for substituting components in a rated SHEDS. The testing required by this standard follows the ASTM E330 test method. The standard defines methods for qualifying door system components for substitution, and applies to both single- and multi-panel systems, in-swing, out-swing, and fixed assembly installations. Door slab stiffness testing is used and outlined in this standard as a means for determining component substitution.
(For the AMD viewpoint see page 12.)

 


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