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Gschwind Urges Minnesota Contractors to Be Heard on Pending Lead (Paint) Regs

At last night's dinner meeting, NARI members heard Bob Zak, a professional trainer with Zota Professional Training, describe Minnesota Department of Health's proposed state-run rule to replace the EPA RRP rule regulating the remodeling of pre-1978 homes. The state will enforce lead-safe compliance with a local rule administered by MDH. We also heard from Jason Myrlie, NARI past president, call for volunteers for NARI's new legislative affairs committee.

Zak's presentation highlights why NARI needs a contractor-driven legislative affairs committee. MDH has been working on its version of a lead rule for two years. MDH formed an advisory committee with MDH staff, environmental interests, and professional trainers. BATC - Housing First MN has been at the table from the beginning, supported by NARI, the Realtors Association, and the Minnesota Multi-Family Housing Association. Our coalition has successfully protected the industry by peeling back the most costly and unnecessary provisions MDH added to the EPA RRP rule, but there's more work to be done.

Still Time To Push for Common-Sense Regulations

The good news is that the proposed rule is just that, a proposal. MDH has not adopted a new rule. Many administrative hurdles remain before a proposed rule becomes effective. There's time to push for more common-sense changes that achieve the dual goals of reducing lead exposure and controlling costs.

The bad news is that in December, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to propose a more stringent version of its RRP rule. The EPA has until this spring to issue a proposed rule. Without pushback, the new rule becomes permanent a year after that. MDH has put its rulemaking process on hold until changes to the EPA rule are known.

Participate in Housing Day at the Capitol on March 14

In the rulemaking process, you're either at the table or you're on the menu. NARI needs your support for the efforts of the coalition. Join the legislative committee, participate in Housing Day at the Capitol on March 14th. This is your industry, NARI is your association. We succeed when you're involved. Call the NARI office now and support our efforts to improve the remodeling industry.

Bill Gschwind is principal attorney with Minnesota Construction Law Services, a 5-year NARI member, and the 2014 ACOTY award winner. He's served on the MDH lead-rule advisory committee for the past 2 years, chairs the BATC - Housing First MN Regulatory Affairs Committee, and received the BATC - Housing First MN 2017 Advocate of the Year Award. Bill can be reached at 651-484-4412, [email protected], or www.mncls.com.

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