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.