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Get the Lead out, Boys! Hut, Hut!

Submitted by on December 19, 2009 – 10:03 amOne Comment

EPA Lead rules

Live long and prosper!

There is a season Turn,Turn, Turn, Turn

A time to build up, a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together/

Written by Pete Seeger and adapted from the bible/ Book of Ecclesiastes.

Is it time for our organizations to work for the industry, the whole industry?

Who has the best trade group? Depends on who your talking to.

What will the EPA lead rule bring to our industry? Depends on who your talking to.

On April 22, 2010 we begin to enforce the EPA lead rule.

Some of us will be ready, some of us won’t, but all of us will be affected by it. All of us in the building industry that is. We will all be confused and run through a mixer of conflicting interpretations of the lead rule most likely enforced by bored and confused inspectors with no skin in the game.

We need is an industry push.

How about a clear understanding of how to safely deal with lead in an economical method that doesn’t impact other forward thinking building practices. You don’t need to be a scientist to figure out that lead control might be better addressed after having tested a few different methods of removal. Right now the answer is plastic, duct tape and swifter mops.

Who thought this up, Martha Stewart and Larry the Cable guy? The rule is a mess, it can’t stand on its own merit. No one is for lead poisoning and no one is ready for homeowners to say “I’m not paying for that”. Will you be able to sell a house with lead paint after a few sensational articles about sloppy lead removal are published?

Its time for all the groups, NARI, NAHB, AIA, ASID, NKBA, NAR and others to open communications for an industry effort to save ourselves from this upcoming mess. This is time for all building professionals to unite on this issue. We are all affected by this rule and no one organization has the muscle to make change, we need industry partnering on this. Change can be for the better, but the lead rule as it stands is not that kind of change.

Will the organizations do something?

Doing nothing is what we did before the rule got passed and here we are, now we can petition our leaders to extend an offer to other organizations to work for a common goal, not to repeal safe lead practices but to install safe lead practices that won’t result in an economic burden on homeowners and create a stronger underground service industry than the one we have already.

Or do nothing.

We’ll bring this up again in the spring, I can’t change this, but everyone working together can. Make your industry leaders accountable for all organizations working together to affect a rule for lead that makes sense.If the groups can put aside personal gain on this, maybe they can agree on something else, like green building.

In conclusion.

Some of us think this is an opportunity, some of us don’t. Some of us think this could fizzle out and be nothing and some think its the beginning of a real train wreck. Who knows, but wouldn’t you like to be sure? Lets work together as an industry for once.


By Paul Lesieur

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