The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) is urging the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to review--and fight--the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) lead-paint rule as well as three Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) programs that the dealer group dislikes.
By writing to Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who has taken charge of the committee, NLBMDA Executive Vice President Scott Lynch was taking advantage of the new political climate in Washington, where the House is controlled by GOP members who are planning investigations into a wide range of Obama administration policies. NLBMDA announced Tuesday that it had mailed the letter.
The trade group has been among the most persistent critics of the EPA's Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. The rule is designed to protect all citizens-particularly children and pregnant women-from the health dangers caused when dust containing lead paint particles is stirred up during renovations and repairs. The rule affects work done in homes built before 1978, the year lead paint was banned.
The NLBMDA letter on the EPA rule argued that the agency and its policy did not allow for the appropriate number of contractors to become certified, did not properly educate consumers, and did not include proper test kits. In the letter, Lynch wrote that such regulations "immediately threaten the recovery of our residential construction and renovation markets and the many jobs associated with construction and renovation."
In a separate letter regarding OSHA, the NLBMDA lobbied to have Issa and his committee review the agency's Combustible Dust Proposal. It argued that the new proposal is too broad and costly for companies to follow and for regulators and inspectors to monitor.
The dealer group also sought a review of OSHA's Injury and Illness Protection Program reviewed, arguing that the proposal doesn't take into account efforts by employers who currently safety and health programs in place. The NLBMDA said it was concerned that the new proposal may allow OSHA use its own judgment to overrule companies' health and safety plans, even though there are no set standards.
The third OSHA proposal that the NLBMDA is fighting against has to do with noise control in the work place. The association wants to keep in place current policy, which allows for companies to provide personal protective equipment, including ear plugs and ear muffs, instead of installing engineering controls such as mufflers and noise-dampeners. In the letter, Lynch argued that the personal protective gear is more cost-efficient and "feasible."