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EPA Lacks Way to Enforce Lead Paint Rule, Audit Finds

There is no effective strategy in place to implement and enforce the Lead-based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, according to an audit by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General.

Specifically, the audit determined the EPA does not have sufficient controls to assess the program's effectiveness and progress toward goals, including that the EPA does not review regional targeting strategies, track RRP resources and outreach activities, review inspections or evaluate progress toward reducing disparities in blood lead levels among children.

It also found there's insufficient coordination and communication between the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

EPA regions, the report says, could benefit from sharing regionally developed tools, ideas and approaches.

The issues occur because program guidance doesn't sufficiently define RRP program objectives, goals and measurable outcomes to track progress and determine accountability and without an effective strategy, the EPA can't determine if the program is achieving its intended purpose of protecting the public.

Recommendations from the audit include the EPA identify the regulated universe for the RRP program, update current program guidance, establish management oversight and establish a forum to share best practices and innovations.

Read the full report here