Lead Paint/RRP Rule: Industry Pushes Reform

Department of Health Continues to Modify Draft Rules Due to Housing First Minnesota Concerns

A late December ruling from the Ninth District Court of Appeals in California could alter the Minnesota Department of Health’s efforts to adopt a costlier lead paint (RRP) rule in the state. The ruling, which follows a 2009 decision that the federal government needed to strengthen its rule, ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to draft a new federal rule.

Hours before the federal court issued its ruling, the Minnesota Department of Health issued the latest version of Minnesota’s draft rules. The draft, which included 15 changes suggested by Housing First Minnesota in October, is the third version to be released by the Department of Health.

Housing First Minnesota has led the charge on improving the draft Minnesota rules, fighting to ensure that remodeling remains both a safe and affordable option for Minnesota families. Since the first draft of rules was released in July, Housing First Minnesota has gathered input from industry groups, initiated meetings with the Department of Health, prepared two alterative sets of rules and created a list of ways the Department of Health could improve its draft rules.

“Although the Department has made great strides in moving to ensure remodeling remains affordable, considerable room for improvement remains,” said attorney Bill Gschwind, who chairs Housing First Minnesota’s Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee.

The EPA RRP Rule is the base set of rules that the Minnesota RRP Rules would need to follow and any modifications to the EPA rule could change the RRP Rules the state is currently drafting. Additionally, the Ninth District Court ruling could alter the state’s existing lead abatement rules.