Coalitions Help Advance NLBMDA’s Public Policy Agenda

By / 11 months ago

NLBMDA actively works on many public policy issues that affect lumber dealers. However, with a small government relations staff and a constantly changing legislative and regulatory landscape, NLBMDA regularly partners with other groups to advance a public policy agenda that benefits lumber dealers from coast-to-coast.

On a range of issues, NLBMDA partners with other organizations to increase our influence in Washington, D.C. Whether it is regulating the renovation of homes with lead-based paint, proposed changes to overtime pay, commercial trucking regulations or ensuring building codes have reasonable payback periods, the association works with a broad array of industry groups to advance issue affecting the building supply industry.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule has been a challenge for the remodeling industry since it first took effect in April 2010. It requires the renovation of a home built before 1978—when lead-paint stopped being manufactured—to undergo additional work practices if it tests positive for lead-paint. A problem is the two test kits approved by EPA for RRP compliance have a high false positive rate, and therefore leads to instances where homeowners are paying for additional work practices that are not needed.

NLBMDA has worked with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) to continue pushing EPA on the RRP rule. As part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 appropriations that fund the government, EPA was required to do stakeholder outreach regarding the use of approved lead-paint test kits to comply with the RRP rule. Not surprisingly, it was acknowledged through that outreach that the test kits are not particularly useful for RRP compliance.

Since then, NLBMDA, along with NAHB and WDMA, has met with EPA regarding other possible ways to comply with the rule.

In July, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposal that would significantly alter existing overtime rules. The proposal would raise the salary level under which employees qualify for overtime pay from $455 per week ($23,360 annually) to an estimated $970 per week ($50,440 annually) in 2016.

NLBMDA joined a newly formed coalition opposed to the proposal, the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (PPWO), which includes trade associations from many industries. Although submitted its own comments to DOL expressing great concern with the proposed rule, we also signed on to PPWO’s comments to DOL, as well as a PPWO letter to the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

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Ben Gann

Ben Gann is director of legislative affairs and grassroots activities for NLBMDA in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit