September 19, 2019

Report: EPA Lacks Effective Strategy for Implementing, Enforcing Lead-Based Paint Rule

A report released Sept. 9 by the EPA Office of Inspector General, or OIG, identifies several deficiencies in EPA’s implementation and enforcement of the agency’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, which addresses hazards related to older homes with lead-based paint. OIG found that EPA’s guidance for its RRP program “does not sufficiently define RRP program objectives, goals and measurable outcomes to track progress and determine accountability,” according to a summary (PDF) of the report.

OIG determined that EPA does not review inspections, evaluate progress toward lowering blood-lead levels among children, track RRP program resources, or review targeting strategies across the agency’s ten regions.

In a podcast accompanying the report, Sarah Davidson, an OIG analyst, said, “Under the RRP rule, firms conducting projects that disturb lead-based paint are subject to EPA enforcement and compliance monitoring inspections and must meet certain criteria. The agency could not identify or estimate how many renovators or renovations were being conducted in each region.”

Davidson indicated that the most recent estimate of the RRP program’s regulated universe occurred in 2010. At that time, an estimated 320,000 renovators were performing approximately 18 million projects every year.

To download a PDF copy of the report, visit the agency’s website. The OIG podcast is also available for download as an MP3 audio file or a text transcript.