Lead-based Paint

The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, commonly referred to as Title X, required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reduce the incidence of lead-based paint exposure to children (age six or younger) in all residential buildings that meet the statute’s definition of target housing, i.e., all residential structures built prior to 1978 (over 60% of the nation’s existing housing stock).

EPA, HUD, OSHA, and more than a dozen states, have issued a series of regulations concerning the disclosure of the potential presence of lead-based paint in homes; worker training and certification of lead-based paint remediation firms; and defining how much paint can be disturbed before a lead-based paint hazard is created.

Under Title X, both EPA and HUD have statutory authority to develop federal regulations governing remodeling activities in both private and government assisted housing.

NAHB is committed to staying engaged in the development of regulations for public and commercial buildings and working to ensure that any new regulations concerning exposure pathways to lead-based paint in these structures are based on scientific data and research.

Policy Statement

NAHB will continue to work with HUD, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and EPA to eliminate the risk of lead poisoning, and support their goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning.

NAHB urges HUD, EPA and OSHA to reconcile and support efforts to create consistency among the states in their lead regulations to ensure reciprocity in training and certification requirements, training programs and training grants. NAHB also encourages contractor training/certification in lead-safe work practices and promote their use by owners of multifamily properties and remodelers who work in properties containing lead-based paint built prior to 1978.

These training, certification and recertification processes must be reasonable and not present unnecessary roadblocks to members committed to complying, which unfortunately is not the case for new recertification rules that EPA issued in the spring of 2016. In comments filed in July, NAHB urged EPA to r”econsider the recertification rule and remedy [its] substantive and procedural failings.”

NAHB also encourages federal officials to support state and local efforts to create safe harbors from the risk of future claims and allegations for contractors, remodelers and multifamily property owners who follow EPA’s prescribed lead-safe work practices and are fully compliant with the recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

Furthermore, NAHB calls on Congress to direct HUD, EPA and CDC to report annually on the overall progress toward achieving the goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning and identify specific geographic areas and demographic groups who reside in housing stock covered by EPA’s RRP rule and report what portion of these children are still at risk from lead hazards.

NAHB will pursue all options to compel EPA to restore the Opt Out provision to the RRP rule, continue to oppose any future clearance testing requirements, and requests that Congress require EPA to develop realistic capital and compliance costs and that the details of those cost analysis be made available for public comment.

Finally, the association seeks to work with other non-governmental organizations to increase consumer awareness and inform the public of the rule’s requirements. The association will also partner with EPA to develop education and outreach programs for home owners and continues to call on the agency to make available an easy-to-use, inexpensive test kit that can be used to determine if lead is present as defined on painted surfaces in pre-1978 structures.

Why It Matters

The Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting regulation went into effect on April 22, 2010. To work legally in pre-1978 homes, remodelers must submit an application to certify their firm with the EPA and pay a fee. Remodelers without firm certification and no certified renovator on staff should avoid working in homes built before 1978. The business and legal consequences of violating the rule could be disastrous, resulting in large fines from the EPA.