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Builders to sue EPA over lead-paint rule

Change would add to cost of work, builders say

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The National Association of Home Builders will sue the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for removing an "opt-out" provision in its lead paint regulations, the group announced. In April 2008, the EPA issued a Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule, which required "lead-safe" work practices in homes built before 1978 -- the year the federal government officially banned lead paint. A provision to the rule had allowed owner-occupants of such homes to have their contractors forgo certain work practices required by the rule if they certified there were no children under 6 or pregnant women in the home. The EPA removed that provision in April and the amended rule went into effect July 6. "Removing the opt-out provision more than doubles the number of homes subject to the regulation," said Bob Jones, NAHB chairman, in a statement. "About 79 million homes are affected, even though (the) EPA estimates that only 38 million homes contain ...