Remodelers Concerned About Proposed Lead Paint Rules

The Minnesota Department of Health unveiled its proposed rule governing lead renovation, repair and painting (RRP) requirements in July, and many remodelers worry about its impact on the remodeling industry.

The state’s proposed RRP Rules governing remodeling and renovation practices in pre-1978 homes will replace the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) RRP Rule in Minnesota once adopted.

Over the past seven years, Contractors learned to work with the documentation requirements and lead-safe work practices required under the EPA RRP rule.
— Bill Gschwind, attorney, Minnesota Construction Law Services and the chair of Housing First Minnesota's Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee

“The rule proposed by the Department of Health adds documentation and work practices more consistent with lead abatement. These changes add uncertainty and disruption that will significantly drive up remodeling costs," Gschwind continued.

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Remodelers estimate that the cost of renovations to pre-1978 homes will skyrocket. Initial estimates are that under the language released in July, RRP project costs would at least double in cost.

Housing First Minnesota has significant concerns with the direction taken by the Department in proposed Minnesota Rules. We ask the Department to revisit the proposed Rules, which should be modified to more closely align with the existing EPA RRP Rules.
— Nick Erickson, regulatory affairs manager of Housing First Minnesota said in a July letter to the Minnesota Department of Health

The letter also outlined how the Department’s proposal would reduce the overall number of remodeling projects while increasing unpermitted remodeling projects.

In mid-July, Erickson met with senior EPA officials regarding the transition to a state administered rule. The group has also organized a series of meetings with other housing groups, including the Minnesota Association of REALTORS, NARI-MN, the Minnesota Multi Housing Association, the Contractors Association of Minnesota and the Central Minnesota Builders
Association.

Housing First Minnesota submitted an alternate proposal to the Minnesota Department of Health in August dropping many provisions remodelers say drive up costs without improving outcomes.

The Minnesota Department of Health met with interested parties in late August and is in the process of revising the proposed rules based on feedback from stakeholders over the costs to consumers. Housing First Minnesota will issue a revised cost analysis in late September and is committed to working with the Department of Health to ensure remodeling of pre-1978 homes remains affordable.

Final adoption of Minnesota’s RRP Rules is expected in 2018.