The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it is moving forward with a previously proposed Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Program for Public and Commercial Buildings rulemaking process, and currently is seeking feedback on the proposed rulemaking activity.

The work comes nearly five years after the EPA issued a final rule to address lead-based paint hazards created by renovations and repairs in homes and child-occupied facilities. The 2008 rule established requirements for training renovators, other renovation workers and dust sampling technicians; for certifying renovators, dust sampling technicians and renovation firms; for accrediting providers of renovation and dust sampling technician training; for renovation work practices; and for recordkeeping. The new rulemaking will address renovation or remodeling activities in public buildings built before 1978 and commercial buildings that are not child-occupied facilities.

According to the latest Federal Register announcement, EPA plans to propose regulations to address the hazards of lead-based paint in cases of interior renovation, repair and painting projects in public and commercial buildings.

This rulemaking is being undertaken in response to a settlement agreement and is designed to help ensure that individuals and firms conducting renovation, repair, and painting activities in and on public and commercial buildings will do so in a way that safeguards the environment and protects the health of building occupants and nearby residents, especially children under 6 years old,” writes the EPA. “Lead is known to cause deleterious health effects on multiple organ systems through diverse mechanisms of action in both adults and children … EPA has conducted several studies and reviewed additional information that indicates that the renovation of buildings containing lead-based paint can create health hazards in the form of lead-based paint dust under typical industry work practices.”

The rule would apply to a number of specialty contractors, including glass and glazing contractors, according to EPA. The EPA hopes to complete the rule by February 2014.

The agency currently is seeking feedback and comments on the proposed rulemaking, and a public meeting to discuss the action is scheduled for June 26. These should be submitted online via the Federal eRulemaking Portal; or by mail to Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. Those making comments should use the docket identification number, EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0173.