Association News

AMMA supports opt-out provision in EPA lead paint rule.

Press Release Summary:

May 04, 2010 - AMMA is urging government officials to ensure opt-out provision in EPA's Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule. If provision is removed, full cost of newly required preparation and labor efforts will be imposed on all homeowners with no pregnant women or children under 6. According to Rich Walker, premature implementation of EPA rule may deliver devastating blow to home renovation industry and drive homeowners to seek untrained contractors or attempt to replace windows themselves.

American Architectural Manufacturers Association - Schaumburg, IL

Original Press Release

AAMA Continues to Support Opt-out Provision as EPA's New Lead Paint Rules Take Effect

Press release date: Apr 23, 2010

SCHAUMBURG, ILL. - As the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP) takes effect today, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) continues to express its concerns. The association urges government officials to ensure the opt-out provision be allowed for homeowners without children under six or a pregnant woman living in the home. At this time, it is unclear as to whether the provision will remain or be removed from the LRRP.

This industry-changing requirement mandates that renovation work disturbing more than six square feet on the interior of a home built before 1978 to follow new Lead Safe Work Practices, supervised by an EPA-certified renovator and performed by an EPA-certified renovation firm, as outlined in 40 CFR ยง 745.85. To become certified, renovation contractors must submit an application and fee payment to EPA, as well as attend eight hours of training. The EPA says the training class costs about $200 per worker, followed by the EPA registration fee of $300 per company, plus the costs of lead test kits and other supplies, materials and insurance.

According to a field study recently conducted by Architectural Testing, Inc. (ATI), the nation's leader in window installation training, the costs of implementing the LRRP rules was estimated to be $121.50 per window. If the opt-out provision were removed from the proposed LRRP, the full cost of the newly required preparation and labor efforts also would be imposed on homeowners with no pregnant women or children under six.

"Failure to meet these requirements exposes the contractor to a back-breaking fine of $37,500 per violation, per day," cautions Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO. He adds, "Although we are firmly committed to best practices in lead safety, premature implementation of the EPA rule is likely to deliver a devastating blow to the home renovation industry and drive homeowners to either seek untrained contractors of attempt to replace windows on their own - both of which are lose-lose propositions."

Walker continues, "The 2009 and 2010 federal energy efficient tax credits have helped the building products industry to start back on the path to recovery, but it is still a fragile economy. To not completely off-set the progress made, If the opt-out clause is not reinstated in the LRRP Rule, the remodeling industry will likely slide back into the horrendous business levels of the past two years, while increasing unemployment and denying homeowners the chance to lower their utility bills through the installation of more energy efficient windows ."

Throughout the EPA's LRRP proposal process, AAMA has contacted and met with members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representations and key government officials. The association sought to delay this implementation until the EPA adequately prepares for full implementation, provides a necessary amount of certified renovators, revisits their cost of implementation analysis, and fully informs U.S. homeowners and small business renovators of the impending requirements.

As of early April 2010, the EPA had certified 190 training providers who had conducted more than 4,900 courses and announced that it expected more than 125,000 contractors to be trained by the April 22 deadline. "Even this army is insufficient to cover the estimated 500,000 home remodeling companies in the U.S., who may be called upon - especially if programs like HOME STAR have the desired effect - to renovate a significant portion of the nation's 76.5 million housing units built before 1980," warns Walker. "NAHB says it continues to receive calls from remodelers that can't find training and are waiting to hear back from EPA on certification. Clearly, there is a need for more trainers and a faster certification process."

ATI, who also administrates AAMA's industry-leading InstallationMasters(TM) program is pursuing trainer credentials for the LRRP program, which would make training available to more than 10,000 residential window and door installers already certified through the InstallationMasters program.

AAMA also continues to act as a resource in disseminating vital information concerning the regulations. More information about AAMA and educational materials about the EPA Lead Rule can be found at www.aamanet.org/general.asp?sect=1&id=372 .

AAMA is the source of performance standards, product certification, and educational programs for the fenestration industrySM.