The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) today commended the members of the House of Representatives who voted for an amendment that prohibits the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from enforcing its Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP) until a reliable lead test kit is approved.

The amendment, supported by NLBMDA and sponsored by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), was adopted following a vote by the House Appropriations Committee as part of the 2012 budget for the EPA. The appropriations bill will next make its way through the full House of Representatives.

The LRRP rule has been a sticking point for the NLBMDA since it was first came into effect in April 2010. The association has opposed the EPA's implementation of the rule with arguments that the agency has yet to approve a commercially available lead test and that the rule is costly to both homeowners, dealers, and contractors.

"NLBMDA would like to thank Congressman Rehberg for his efforts to help alleviate the unjustified compliance burden placed on dealers and their customers as a result of unreliable test kits," said Scott Lynch, NLBMDA executive vice president. "If [the] EPA is going to expect compliance from the regulated community we expect them to adhere to their own regulations as well."

With no approved test kit available dealers and contractors must use unapproved tests, which can products false positives up to 60% of the time. The EPA intended to approve a test kit that produced no more than 10% false positives and five percent false negatives.