New EPA Lead Dust Standard Would Hike Remodeling Clean-Up Costs

by WOHe

December 21, 2010 — A change in the lead dust hazard standard from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would add markedly to the cost and time required to remodel homes built before 1978, according to NAHB.

In Dec. 6 testimony before a scientific advisory panel that is assisting the EPA with assessing the standard, Matthew Watkins, an NAHB environmental policy analyst, said that the agency’s lowering the standard would further increase the compliance costs and record-keeping burdens of the lead rule.

Adding an unrealistic hazard standard could increase the cost of cleaning up after a remodel to a level that is so prohibitively expensive that only the wealthiest families could even consider remodeling their home,” Watkins said. “The EPA’s proposed dust hazard standard would put the cost of lead mitigation beyond the means of many families, especially lower-income households, where it is desperately needed, and it would have the effect of stifling investment — including energy efficiency upgrades — that families want to make in their homes.”

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