Rich Walker, president and CEO of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), met with the staff of U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and is pushing for the a one-year delay in implementing the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (LRRP).

The meeting occurred on May 20, roughly a month after the LRRP Rule took effect. Also in attendance were members of the Northeast Window and Door Association and several Delaware-based window manufacturers and dealers.

Under terms of the LRRP any company working in a home or child-occupied facility built prior to 1978 must pay to be registered with EPA as a renovation firm. In addition, at least one employee from that company must receive eight hours of training from an EPA-accredited provider, and then pass a test, in order to be a Certified Renovator (CR).

A CR will assume responsibility for on-site job supervision, training of other employees, and overseeing work practices, cleaning, and cleaning verification of all work in pre-1978 properties. The rules apply, with some exceptions, to interior work that disturbs 6 square feet or more of lead-painted surfaces, and 20 square feet or more for exterior surfaces. Consequences for not complying with the RRP can include penalties of up to $32,500 per violation, per day. In addition, EPA may suspend, revoke, or modify a company's certification.

THE AAMA points to a letter from the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy (SBA), which calls into question the science and data on which EPA based many of the regulatory decisions, including the validity of studies used in creating the policy. The AAMA also calls into question the EPA's decision to exclude an "opt-out" provision.

The opt-out provision would have allowed homeowners without children under six or a pregnant woman living in the home to opt-out of compliance with EPA regulations for their home renovations or repairs.

"While AAMA and its members want to protect those most vulnerable to lead poisoning, the EPA's representatives were not able to address questions regarding how the elimination of the opt-out is to be implemented, nor has the EPA provided adequate time or training to allow for compliance," Walker said in a statement issued by the AAMA today.

"By its own admission, the EPA is 'not where they need to be,'and has a 'backlog'in the area of training and certification," Walker added. "The industry believes that EPA has singled out the window industry as subject to these regulations and then ignored our legitimate concerns. Under such conditions, we have no choice but to appeal to our elected representatives and ask them to help move our request to the policy level within the EPA."

The AAMA is requesting the Congress support legislation introduced on April 29 that postpone implementation until accreditation classes are held for a period of at least one year. Additionally, the AAMA is asking Congress to hold hearings to review the concerns expressed by the SBA and window industry, and consider the negative, economic impact to homeowners, contractors, and manufacturers.

Walker also says the implementation of the LRRP "undermines the 2009 and 2010 federal energy-efficient tax credits and to remodeling programs that encourage energy-efficient improvements, such as HOME STAR and Building STAR."