US EPA has announced that it will conduct a public meeting on June 26, 2013 to gather public comment regarding extending its Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program to public and commercial buildings. In 2010, EPA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) concerning renovation, repair, and painting activities in public and commercial buildings. EPA is in the process of determining whether these activities create lead-based paint hazards, and, for those that do, developing certification, training, and work practice requirements as directed by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA has also reopened the comment period for the December 31, 2012 Federal Register document to allow for additional data and other information to be submitted by the public and interested stakeholders.
As background, Title IV of TSCA was enacted to assist the Federal Government in reducing lead exposures, particularly those resulting from lead-based paint. TSCA requires EPA to revise its Lead-based Paint Activities Regulations to apply to those renovation and remodeling activities in target housing, public buildings constructed before 1978, or commercial buildings that create lead-based paint hazards. In April 2008, EPA issued the final Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule under TSCA section 402(c)(3) The RRP Rule covers renovation, repair, and painting activities in target housing, which is most pre-1978 housing, and child-occupied facilities, defined in the rule as a subset of public and commercial buildings in which young children spend a significant amount of time.
Shortly after the RRP Rule was published, several lawsuits were filed challenging the rule, asserting, among other things, that EPA violated TSCA section 402(c)(3) by failing to address renovation activities in public and commercial buildings. As part of a settlement agreement, EPA agreed to commence rulemaking to address renovations in public and commercial buildings, other than child-occupied facilities, to the extent such renovations create lead-based paint hazards. As an initial step, EPA issued an ANPRM in the Federal Register on renovations in public and commercial buildings on May 6, 2010.
The settlement agreement has been amended and modified several times and under the terms of the amended settlement agreement, EPA agreed to either sign a proposed rule covering renovation, repair, and painting activities in public and commercial buildings, or determine that these activities do not create lead-based paint hazards, by July 1, 2015.