The Ripple Effect: It's Starting

On July 15, EPA's announcement on RRP modifications included a provision giving states administering their own RRP program, more flexibility in levying fines for non-compliance.  It lowered the fines ceiling to $5,000 per incident versus the EPA's $37,500 per incident, per day. It seems Iowa is the first state implementing its own RRP program to take advantage of this new provision and flex its muscle, as it starts issuing fines to contractors, painters, and landlords as of September 1.  Iowa is one of the 12 states authorized by EPA to implement its own RRP Rule. This scenario was predicted by senior editor, John Jervis, in one of his more recent blogs, "Ramifications of State-Run RRP Programs." He notes that "EPA commented in their July 15 ruling that several states had argued that their legislatures had already created the authority to establish an RRP program, but the maximum penalty amount that could be levied was less than $10,000." The other states implementing their own RRP programs, and that could follow quickly in the footsteps of Iowa, are Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Perhaps these states will feel emboldened as Iowa has taken the first steps to crackdown on violators and perhaps generate some additional state income at the same time. As we keep on eye on the ripple effect in regards to state fines and the other provisions in the July 15th ruling, we will also watch other EPA activities and track the ramifications of current and proposed RRP regulations and activities. On the horizon there are some EPA announcements expected in the next several months that may add more than just ripples through the renovation industry. September 30, 2011 - Deadline for EPA to receive advice re: Non-Residential Buildings Interior Proposal from the EPA Scientific Advisory Board From the point it received this recommendation on non-residential interior requirements, EPA has up to 18 months to suggest a proposed rule for regulation of all public and commercial buildings built before 1978. December 15, 2011 - Deadline for EPA to propose a rule regarding RRP regulation of all exterior work done on non-residential buildings. However, this is not a hard deadline … EPA can extend the final rule deadline by four months if they have a good explanation. Any new regulations on all NON-RESIDENTIAL buildings would be finalized by 7/15/2013. So … what does this mean in term of generating business? We see this as a great time to talk with your commercial customers in pre-1978 buildings about tackling renovations NOW, instead of paying more later.