Home improvement contractors will have more time to meet new federal requirements for dealing with lead paint, the Associated Press reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency said it will delay until Oct. 1 enforcement of a rule requiring contractors to take additional precautions when renovating houses where children could be exposed to lead dust from old paint.
The delay comes amid a storm of complaints from industry groups, who said the government has not provided enough trainers to help contractors meet an April deadline.
The EPA rule requires contractors to use “lead-safe” practices when working on homes, day-care centers and schools built before 1978, the year lead paint was banned for residential use because of health risks.
The delay allows contractors to sign up for training by Sept. 30. Training must be completed by Dec. 31.
The EPA said in a statement that it remains committed to protecting children and families from the dangers of lead poisoning, adding that “EPA can and will take enforcement action when contractors violate those work practices.”
The decision simply gives firms more time to file needed paperwork to demonstrate they are following lead-safe work practices, as well as more time for contractors to enroll in and complete the required training courses, said EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan.
Inhofe said he supports the lead paint rule, but he called the EPA’s handling of the issue a “disaster.”
Click Here to view the EPA lead paint rule.