EPA Issues New Dust-Lead Hazard Standards
On Friday, June 21, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new dust-lead hazard standards that could have major impacts on the construction, paint and coatings, and U.S. recycling industries. These standards apply to most pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities.
Specifically, these new standards reduce maximum dust-lead hazard levels from 40 µg/ft2 and 250 µg/ft2 to 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2 on floors and window sills, respectively. EPA did not change the definition of lead-based paint in this final rule because the agency lacked sufficient information to support such a change. The final rule also did not address clearance levels. EPA stated that it has initiated action on the clearance levels under a separate rulemaking, as noted in the Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.
We expect to see legal challenges filed against EPA over this final rule. We also expect EPA to begin regulatory actions to conform to these new dust-lead hazard standards.