In mid-January, the EPA sent this RRP rule postcard to 540,000 contractors by mail and electronically. Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken action on the health risks posed by lead paint, but Remodeling editor Craig Webb says the movement comes at the same time that its proposed budget cuts appear likely to hobble lead paint reduction efforts. Thus, the potential impact remains cloudy.

Last month, a press release quoted Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, as saying that reducing lead exposure "is a top priority at HHS, and across the Executive Branch. We are fully committed to drafting a federal strategy to fight this continuing threat to infants and children.”

According to the announcement, the attendees agreed to make addressing childhood lead exposure a priority for various federal Task Force departments and agencies. The group came up with what it described as a Federal Strategy to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Eliminate Associated Health Impacts that includes "an aggressive, near-term timeline for the Task Force to complete its work to draft the strategy."

Timelines are on EPA's mind in part because a federal appeals court ruled in December that the EPA come up by this spring with a proposed rule defining what constitutes a dangerous level of lead paint exposure.The court also required that a final rule be set by the end of 2018 unless the agency can present new information showing that modification of the rule was needed.

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