Last Friday, NAHB scored a clear victory when EPA announced that it would delay enforcement of the worker training and firm certification requirements for the Lead-Based Paint (LBP) rule. Although the rule became effective April 22, this new directive effectively gives remodelers until Oct. 1, 2010 to file for firm certification, until Sept. 30 for workers to register and Dec. 31 for workers to take the required training course. However, they will still be required to use lead-safe work practices during this time. As you recall, NAHB has been urging EPA to delay the rule for a number of reasons, including the lack of training providers and training opportunities.

EPA’s action is in direct response to NAHB’s continued involvement in the LBP rule, NAHB’s petition to delay the rule, NAHB’s work with the HBA of Tennessee to provide relief in areas damaged by the recent flooding, NAHB’s strong support of Senator Collin’s amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act that would delay the rule’s effective date, and NAHB’s efforts to educate the Members of Congress on the rule and its ramifications. Indeed, EPA’s memo acknowledges that the delay was necessary because of concerns raised by the regulated community. Now that EPA has heard and acted on our concerns, it is incumbent on NAHB to continue to provide support to remodelers to increase their awareness of the rule and inform them of the opportunities to get the necessary training and certification.

It is very rare that we are able to claim clear victories in the regulatory arena, yet EPA’s delay of enforcement of the LBP rule is exactly that. Unfortunately, there are still a number of uphill battles ahead in the LBP arena related to clearance testing and removal of the “opt-out” provision – battles that staff and the members will continue to fight.