Today, NARI Government Affairs Chairman David Merrick, MCR, UDCP, testifies before the House Small Business Committee on the subject of “Regulatory Flexibility Act Compliance: Is EPA Failing Small Business?”
Merrick, owner of Merrick Design and Build in Kensington, Md., will provide perspective on how the Environmental Protection Agency handled the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP) as the agency looks to add similar requirements to commercial construction projects. He will share NARI’s concern about the EPA’s proposal to extend LRRP requirements to work on the exterior of public and commercial buildings without first convening a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel, which is required under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA).
NARI believes the SBREFA process is an important process that gives small business a voice when regulations are being enacted that might have unintended consequences. One of the unintended consequences so far on LRRP has been the underground economy created by those non-certified firms undercutting pricing on those following the rules. This, in turn, puts more homeowners in the target market—pregnant women and children under age six—at further risk.
Currently 122,476 firms in the remodeling sector are considered EPA Lead-Certified Firms, out of the estimated 652,206 remodeling businesses in the United States. That leaves nearly 80 percent of remodeling contractors still uncertified.
Merrick will share with the House Small Business Committee that the SBREFA process works when small businesses and agencies work together to create constructive solutions to complex problems. Regulations that don’t make sense to the small business community seem to happen when the SBREFA process is rushed or avoided all together.