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Lead Paint Rule All Wet

The Obama regulation’s cost is “substantial,” says NAHB, because it

increases the cost of the rule without providing a corresponding benefit. … NAHB is concerned that home owners will turn to unlicensed contractors, decide to do the project themselves, or defer maintenance instead of paying the additional $2,400 our members estimate is added to the cost of every project subject to the regulation.

An article in The Fiscal Times detailed the impact on one small business in Ohio:

The new rule’s detailed compliance requirements, related paperwork, and purchases of EPA required equipment added thousands of dollars to the cost of doing business and made it much harder for her [owner Kathy Faia] to compete for remodeling contracts. Business has dropped off by more than two thirds, and she had to lay off one of her workers. ‘I’m just barely hanging on,’ she says. ‘They [the EPA] are over-regulating and sucking all of the fun out of the remodeling business.’

Requiring homeowners without any children in their home to comply with the lead-paint rule does nothing to address lead-paint problems and likely provides zero health benefits. It does make it difficult for many small businesses to survive. And ironically, regulations that make remodeling more expensive could exacerbate the cases where health risks exist by discouraging repairs that would otherwise reduce lead-paint-based risks.