In an effort to assist New Hampshire's small contractors who are struggling to comply with new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead paint regulations, U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) today joined several of his Senate colleagues in introducing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill to delay enforcement of the new rule.
The rule, called "Lead: Renovation, Repair and Paint Rule," went into effect April 22, 2010. It requires that contractors who perform work in homes built before 1978 be EPA certified or face fines up to $37,500 per violation per day. Unfortunately, in most states, there are not enough certified trainers to educate contractors about these new requirements. For example, there are only three trainers in the entire state of New Hampshire. The amendment would bar the EPA from levying fines against contractors who have signed up for training classes by September 30, 2010. This delay would allow adequate time for contractors to comply with the new regulation.
Senator Gregg stated, "I support the intention of the EPA lead rule to protect families and children from lead poisoning. Unfortunately, because of excessive bureaucratic delays in providing enough opportunities for contractors to become certified under this rule, small contractors in New Hampshire and throughout the nation are now subject to fines of up to $37,500 a day. In today's difficult economic climate, we should not be implementing fines that will cripple small businesses because the EPA cannot meet its own certification quotas. Our amendment will still protect the safety of children and pregnant women, while ensuring that small contractors aren't unfairly hit with these hefty fines."