Remodelers seek time for lead training

Marketplace Staff Mar 17, 2010
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Remodelers seek time for lead training

Marketplace Staff Mar 17, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: New environmental rules kick in next month to reduce lead paint contamination during the renovations of older homes. And a lot of professional remodelers are crying foul. Today in Washington, they’re asking for more time to ramp up training and avoid big penalties.

From the Entrepreneurship Desk at Oregon Public Broadcasting, Mitchell Hartman reports.


Mitchell Hartman: As of April 22, carpenters, painters and others who work on homes built before 1978, will have to be certified to deal with old lead paint. Or face a fine topping $37,000 a day.

DAVID STEELE: We don’t think EPA has done a very good job of getting ready for it.

David Steele is president of The Window Gallery in Augusta, Ga. He says EPA has provided lead-safety training to just a fraction of contractors who need this type of certification to do remodeling.

STEELE: With the new construction industry already on its last legs, the one bright light is the remodeling side of things. And if work has to stop on two-thirds of the housing stock, this should be delayed.

REBECCA MORLEY: We can’t use these economic issues as reasons for not moving forward with a law that will ultimately prevent many kids from becoming permanently impaired.

That’s Rebecca Morley of the National Center for Healthy Housing. She cites EPA figures saying compliance will add just $35 to a typical home renovation. Contractors say the cost is more likely to be in the hundreds.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

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