EPA may loosen lead-based paint regs

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking to ease certain lead-based paint regulations, the agency said Tuesday.

The training requirements for contractors who renovate homes that are filled with lead-based paint would be loosened under proposed rules published by the EPA in the Federal Register.

Home renovators seeking recertification would no longer be required to go through more intensive hands-on training to learn how to safely test for, remove, dispose of, and clean up after lead-based paint.

The EPA originally established the lead-based paint regulations in the 1990s after finding that millions of children had been exposed to lead poisoning from paint that was peeling off walls.

But the agency says it is not necessary for renovators to receive additional hands-on training when they apply for recertification, because they already learned those lessons when they entered the industry.

Under the proposed rules, renovators will be still be required to take an online refresher course to renew their licenses after five years, but they would no longer be required to go through a second round of hands-on training.

The EPA estimates the changes would save industry nearly $10 million per year, but have only a minimal effect on health and safety.

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