Monday, April 26, 2010

Opting-Out of the Lead Paint Law is not an Option

Today I had a spirited debate on a NARI listserve about the Opt-Out provision of the RRP Rule. As others pointed out, the Opt-Out provision will be in effect for sixty days. As the EPA stated on its website:

"Q. Will EPA issue a final rule removing the opt-out and if it does when will the rule become effective?

As of April 22, 2010, EPA has issued a rule revoking the opt-out provision of the 2008 Lead RRP rule. EPA expects this rule to publish in the Federal Register within 2 weeks and anticipates that it will take effect 60 days after publication."

So, here is the reality of the situation. If you are going to do a renovation that will be completed before 60 days from now, I suppose you could theoretically have a homeowner who does not have children under 6 or pregnant women at the premises sign an opt-out clause and avoid using the lead-safe practices. However, what if the project runs over? Does it make sense to have a job going on where the procedures have not been followed and run the risk of being sued for lead poisoning?

There is a campaign starting to make homeowners more aware of the RRP rule now that it is in effect. People are going to worry more about lead poisoning and people will be inclined to have their blood tested for lead. If you are sued for lead poisoning, you will have to hire a lawyer and defend yourself and/or your company. The situation will be that much more murky if you start using the lead-safe practices 60 days from publication of the law revoking the Opt-Out.

I am going to take a stand and suggest that all firms should follow the lead safe practices no matter what. Better safe than sorry.