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Home Depot, Lowes, Service Magic; Help Contractors Educate Public about the EPA RRP Rule

Posted by Mark Paskell on Sat, Jan 02, 2010 @ 05:56 PM

Recently on the NARI LinkedIn group, professional contractors shared their views on the EPA's enforcement of the Renovate, Repair and Painting Rule. One huge concern  is contractors who comply will have to compete against thousands of illegal contractors who do not.  

Most question whether there will be a concerted effort by government officials to effectively enforce this rule. For starters, most contractors have no idea this rule will take effect on 4.22.2010. As far as homeowner awareness, it is somewhere between slim and none. In addition, most building inspectors are unaware and many that are want nothing to do with the enforcement. They say they have enough new regulation to deal with.

So why don't we ask the big boys to start using their immense market presence to publicize the EPA RRP Law to consumers and contractors in every store in America. Imagine if every Home Depot and Lowes painting department had a huge sign at the register warning homeowners and contractors about this law. Let homeowners know that it is illegal for any contractor in America to work on a home that was built before 1978, unless they are an EPA Registered Firm and will employ a Certified Renovator on the project. Also publicize what can happen if consumers hire a non-certified company to work on the property. Show the fine amount of $37,500 that illegal contractors can be fined for non-compliance.

What about Service Magic and other Lead Generation Companies who boast having reputable contractors. They can post the EPA RRP LAW requirements on their website for anyone that is looking for a contractor. After all, companies like Service Magic claim that they only send out Certified, Licensed, and Reputable Contractors to consumer's homes. Let's ask Lead Gen Firms to require that they ask homeowners how old the house is. If the house is pre-1978 then inform the homeowner that only EPA Registered Firms who employ Certified Renovators can work on the home for projects that disturb the minimum square feet of painted area. 

Is this too much to expect from companies who receive millions of dollars from contractors in the residential industry? 

I think not. What if every contractor asked their local Home Depot, Lowes, Lumberyard and Painting supply store to publish the law at their counters?  The stores can hand out a flyer explaining the EPA RRP Rule with every can of paint.

Let's ask Sherwin Williams and all paint manufacturer's to place information about the law on every can of paint.

Maybe this will help contractors and remodelers who decide to follow the rules. This grass root effort can help fill the void created by the EPA's inability to inform the public in the short term.

Lastly why not ask the leadership of NARI and the NAHB to persuade Home Depot and Lowes to publicize the EPA RRP Rule in every store in America. Isn't this only fair for all the business these associations give the big box stores? 

What do you think? Can you think of any other grass root efforts?

mark the coach




Tags: Home Depot, homeowners, The Contractor Coaching Partnership, EPA RRP Lead Rule