Monday, October 4, 2010

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding the lead paint issue

      As you know, I am a small business owner.  The family company has been in business for over 65 years. In that time we have seen many changes in the industry, not all are for the better in my humble opinion,  most, though well intended, make it more difficult and expensive to get the job done.  Years ago common sense was the rule along with safe practices that both helped you keep your job.
    Today we will talk about lead paint, the subject of which has received notice and gotten a letter published in the local paper. 

In its haste to crack down on contractors violating a new federal law on lead paint safety, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may be ignoring the law of unintended consequences.
The EPA said last week it would begin enforcement of a law requiring painting contractors to register by last Thursday for special training required to work on buildings constructed before 1978 — the year lead paint was banned. Violators could be punished by fines of up to $37,500 per day.
This is unlikely to speed the work of eliminating lead paint from old buildings. It will likely do just the opposite. A fine of that magnitude would likely put all but the largest painting contractors out of business within a day or two.
And it is vastly disproportionate to the "crime." It has been 32 years since lead paint was banned, and contractors have not been required to have this special training for all that time. How can it suddenly be serious enough to warrant a fine that could be as much as some contractors make in an entire year? A fine should be at a level that encourages people to comply with a new law, not one that drives them out of business.


  1. Funny you write about this. My husband and I were house-hunting earlier this year. Some of the homes we looked at were built pre-1978. I had done research and heard about this coming legislation and how it would affect contractors as well as homeowners. We specifically decided NOT to buy anything that was built pre-1978 because we didn't want the increased hassle and costs associated with the lead paint legislation (not we were concerned more with these things than the actual lead paint which could be dealt with). Ultimately we ended up purchasing a brand new house. Perfect example of what you are discussing here - unintended consequences. No one likes lead paint (duh) but allow consumers to make smart choices for themselves.

  2. Thanks Lisa for taking the time and leaving your comment. Soon I will share the story of the lanyard and the harness. Good luck in your new home, we built ours ourselves in 1971.

  3. I have a theory. Now the government has vans that contain mobile x-ray equipment to capture what's inside of your house, do you think there is a reason why they want to get rid of lead paints beyond the reasons they are listing?

  4. Bill, Bill, Bill,.......hmmmmmm


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