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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 14, 2015.
Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2015
This bill amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to exclude from the definition of "abatement" any activity: (1) the primary purpose of which is to repair, restore, or remodel target housing, public buildings constructed before 1978, or commercial buildings; and (2) that incidentally results in a reduction or elimination of lead-based paint hazards.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), no later than one year prior to proposing any renovation and remodeling regulation, must study the extent to which persons engaged in such activities: (1) are exposed to lead, and (2) disturb lead and create a lead-based paint hazard. The bill exempts from such a regulation an emergency renovation carried out in response to an event that is an act of God as defined by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, that presents a risk to the public health or safety, or that threatens to cause significant damage to equipment or property if not attended to immediately. A regulation may not require post-abatement clearance testing.
The EPA must promulgate regulations to permit a resident owner of a dwelling that is target housing to authorize a contractor to forego compliance with such a regulation if the owner certifies that: (1) the renovation or remodeling project is to be carried out at such dwelling, (2) no pregnant woman or child under the age of six resides or will reside in such housing, and (3) the owner acknowledges that the contractor will be exempt from the requirements of such regulation. The EPA may not hold a contractor responsible for a misrepresentation made by the owner of such dwelling unless the contractor has actual knowledge of such a misrepresentation.
The EPA must: (1) recognize a qualifying test kit for use under TSCA, and (2) suspend enforcement of any regulation relating to renovation and remodeling of target housing and commercial buildings constructed after January 1, 1960, and public buildings constructed between January 1, 1960, and January 1, 1978, until a specified period after the EPA recognizes such a test kit.