Today, Reps. John Sullivan (R-OK) and Tim Murphy (R-PA) introduced H.R. 5911, the Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012. The Sullivan/Murphy bill would provide a much-needed legislative fix to EPA's lead renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP). Among the notable provisions, it forces EPA to restore the "Opt-Out Provision" which would allow homeowners without small children or pregnant women residing in the home to decide whether to require LRRP, and it would lower compliance cost with the rule by $336 million. The legislation would also suspend the rule if EPA cannot approve one or more commercially available test kits that meet the regulation's requirements. Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe previously introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate (S 2148). The bill is supported by a strong coalition of home builders, contractors and remodelers who are struggling to comply with the rule.
Rep. John Sullivan, lead author of the legislation offered the following statement:
"This is a good government solution to ensure EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and paint rule is both workable and achievable for businesses to comply with. Since EPA implemented this rule in 2010, numerous complications and unintended consequences have arisen that makes compliance with the rule almost impossible for anyone involved with renovation and remodeling. This legislation is a much-needed legislative fix to ensure public health is protected by increasing compliance with the rule and it will hold EPA accountable for their failure to produce viable test kits to meet their own regulatory mandates."
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), Co-author of the legislation offered the following statement:
"The federal government monitoring how you paint your kitchen walls is straight out of a Twilight Zone episode. This bill protects children's health without burdening homeowners and contractors with costly regulations more befitting of a Superfund site."
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who introduced the Senate version of the bill offered the following statement:
"I am pleased that Congressman Sullivan has introduced this important bill which will ensure that EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP) is working and providing the intended benefits. I have always supported the intent of LRRP -- to protect children and pregnant women from lead exposure -- but EPA's implementation of the rule has long been botched and in need of a legislative fix. Now both the House and Senate are seeking to address this issue, which is important to renovators in Oklahoma and throughout the U.S. Mr. Sullivan's bill will help make sure that those who are most vulnerable to lead exposure receive the full health protections of this rule and remove some of the unintended regulatory burdens to those contractors working to do the right thing."
Joe Robson, a home builder from Broken Arrow, OK, also voiced his support for the bill:
"Representative Sullivan's legislation restores common sense to the law by returning its focus on young children and pregnant women, the two groups in need of protection from the effects of lead paint exposure. This legislation also emphasizes the importance of accurate lead paint testing, so that expensive lead safe work practices are only necessary in the homes where they are needed."