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Real Estate Industry Urges EPA to Postpone Commercial Building Lead Hazard Rulemaking

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The Environmental Protection Agency must justify its efforts to apply new lead paint regulations to public and commercial properties, REALTOR® Harold Huggins testified at a public hearing on behalf of the National Association of REALTORS® and its affiliates, the Institute for Real Estate Management and the CCIM Institute.

The EPA’s lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule seeks to protect individuals from lead-based, paint-related health hazards during the renovation, repair, and painting of public and commercial properties. Yet by the EPA’s own admission, no conclusive research demonstrates that these buildings pose a lead-based paint threat to human health.

“As industry advocates, we support public policies that protect our clients, tenants, and building visitors from all hazards, including the harmful health consequences of lead-based paint,” says Huggins, president and CEO of Harold H. Huggins Realty in Burtsonsville, Md. “We strongly support the existing “child-occupied facility” designation that protects children from lead hazards in commercial properties with on-site day care centers; however, without a proven harm to the typical adult users of commercial and public spaces, we do not see a need for EPA’s new RRP rulemaking.”

If the EPA should choose to perform additional research for the RRP rule, it can readily collect data from other federal government agencies, such as the General Services Administration. Huggins urged the EPA not to continue with its proposed lead renovation, repair and painting rules absent such research, noting that more than 50 members of the House of Representatives wrote to the EPA last month stating their concerns about the rulemaking, which were similar to those of NAR, IREM and CCIM.

“The EPA is required to regulate against hazards, and since none is proven, no regulation is warranted,” says Huggins.

For more information, visit www.realtor.org, www.irem.org, and www.ccim.com.

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