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Housing First Minnesota Executive Director sent a letter to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Thursday, June 9, outlining several technical issues with the latest lead paint (RRP) proposal. Under the proposal, MDH would take custody of the EPA’s regulations for remodeling and renovations of pre-1978 homes.
In his letter, David Siegl, executive director, outlined seven specific topics of concern and proposed alternatives for the existing language. Items of concern include making certification valid for two years, vs. the five-year EPA standard, onerous clerical requirements that no effect on health and safety, and general lack of alignment with the EPA rule.
“Enacting a rule that is too onerous and costly could substantially impact the availability of naturally occurring affordable housing in areas where homes were built before 1978,” wrote Siegel.
The letter also reiterated a request for stakeholder engagement sent two weeks ago by Housing First Minnesota, Minnesota Realtors, and Central Minnesota Builders Association. MDH has not yet responded to that letter.
“Since late 2017, the Department has failed to adequately engage stakeholders in this process,” wrote Siegel. “Moving out of the COVID pandemic and directly into rulemaking without a stated engagement plan with stakeholders substantially weakens not only the Proposal process, but also the eventual roll-out and implementation of the rule.”
Housing First Minnesota has been leading on this issue since 2017, and the association’s efforts have shifted MDH’s approach from lead abatement to one that more closely resembles the existing EPA RRP rule. In Summer 2017, Housing First organized a coalition to keep remodeling safe and affordable and met with senior EPA officials about the state’s abatement approach. Housing First has also sent multiple technical memos to MDH and offered up two rewritten proposals for consideration.
Members with questions about Minnesota’s plan to take custody of the EPA’s RRP rule should contact Nick Erickson, director of research and regulatory affairs, at email@example.com.