Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today applauded the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move back the timeline for proposing "Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule" (LRRP) for the exterior of commercial buildings until July 1, 2015, giving the agency enough time to collect more data and ensure that it has a clear understanding of how commercial and public buildings are renovated and repaired or where potential lead hazards may occur. On April 15, 2011, Senator Inhofe along with nine other Republicans expressed concerns with EPA on proposing LRRP for commercial buildings due to the scarcity of data EPA had collected, explaining that without a full understanding of potential lead hazards in public and commercial buildings the health benefits of the rule could not be realized.
"I applaud EPA for responding to Congressional oversight and agreeing to seek more time and information in order to propose a Lead Based Paint rule for commercial buildings in a thoughtful, reasonable manner," Senator Inhofe said. "I have always supported the intention of this rule, which is to protect children and expectant mothers from the potential hazards of lead paint dust, but this rule must be applied in a way in which people can actually comply so that the full health benefits can be realized. I am very pleased that EPA has decided not only to delay proposing a LRRP rule for commercial buildings until 2015 to collect the appropriate data, but that the agency also intends to hold public information meetings this winter and seek the input of a small business advocacy review panel.
"Today's decision demonstrates how crucial and effective oversight efforts can be. I look forward to working with EPA as it moves forward to correct LRRP's problems; by doing so EPA can ensure that LRRP is implemented in a way that achieves the maximum intended health benefits."