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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

‘Tis the Season of Holly, Jolly…and Folly?

Not content to let an apparent source of consternation lie harmless, as with the proverbial sleeping dog, we brought out the EPA’s much-maligned lead-paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule for a shot across the bow of the good ship Durability + Design “Weekly Poll.”

If you hadn’t seen the question, it’s the current No. 1 hit playing at Weekly Poll.

Why, we asked, should everyone try to forget the aggravations and headaches of this workaday world, just because it’s time to bring out the holly and try to be jolly? Instead, let’s remind anyone who likes to vote in polls that, in the spirit of the EPA, we’re here to be of help.

So Scrooge—pardon me, the boss—said, “Yeah, that’s a good idea…let’s do a poll on that RRP rule.”

This particular news bureau, eternally hungering for a story, decided to go have a look-see at the poll results as of Wednesday. Here’s what we found out:

Question: What should the federal government do to respond to criticisms of the new lead-paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule?

Answers Votes
Take major actions to beef up enforcement 18%
Do much more to educate the public about the rule 7%
Make residential building owners equally responsible for compliance 50%
Give contractors longer to comply with the rule 25%

Option 3, making building owners share responsibility, is getting the strongest support, rather decisively.

And you know, it does seem like a logical approach…contractor tells building owner about the law, as he’s supposed to do; owner says thanks, but I don’t want to pay any extra for the work, so don’t worry about all that.

Problem is, it doesn’t work that way. It might have, except the EPA decided not to include a “waiver” provision that would allow the owner to take a pass in this fashion.

Without that waiver option, one of these other approaches (options 1, 2, 3, or 4) may be needed to make the RRP rule work as it’s supposed to. Based on our poll, option 3 is viewed as the least-bad alternative to a not-so-good government initiative—or at least one not so well thought out.

Then there’s option 5—it goes something like “may the R.R.P. go and R.I.P.”

Or, put another way, “Bah. Humbug.”

Sorry. ‘Tis the season to be jolly. And that’s as it should be.

On that note, we’d like to wish everyone the happiest of holidays, a merry Christmas, and a New Year that will bring better times, especially to those who are fighting and risking their lives to ensure our freedoms and our blessings in this great nation.

More items for Good Technical Practice

Tagged categories: EPA; Laws and litigation; Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP)

Comment from Steve Ferris, (12/28/2010, 2:22 PM)

Yeah, Good luck. The EPA is going to keep going after the painting industry with this flawed law because: A) They gotta show that they're doing something. B) "Painters" don't have half as many votes as "Homeowners". They're not them going after the people who butter their bread. That's why I feel heightened enforcement is the only solution that they could go for. Why? A) It goes after a minority group without any effective lobbying--your friendly neighborhood painting contractor. B) It funds itself and really will show a profit for the EPA. However, bureaucrats being who they are, likely nothing will be done though. And we'll be stuck with this regulations tries to deal with the problem of lead poisoning of painters and residents in a very imperfect way that punishes the law abiding painters and doesn't really go after the guys who avoid getting licenses, insurance, and paying their taxes. But hope springs eternal.

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