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EPA Extends Formaldehyde Rule Compliance Dates

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The AHFA recently reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a new direct final rule to extend the compliance dates in the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products. The pre-publication version of the final rule was released Friday, September 1.

The date for the emission standards, recordkeeping and labeling provisions is extended by one year, from December 12, 2017 to December 12, 2018.

Other compliance dates are extended by approximately three months:

  • The date for complying with import certification provisions is moved from December 12, 2018 to March 22, 2019
  • The date for complying with laminated product producer provisions is moved from December 12, 2023 to March 22, 2024
  • The conclusion of the transition period for CARB Third-Party Certifiers (TPCs) is moved from December 12, 2018 to March 22, 2019.


These changes will become part of Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) 30 days after the final version is published in the Federal Register, which is expected this week, according to Bill Perdue, vice president of regulatory affairs for the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA).


“In September 2001, AHFA staff attended the first industry stakeholder meeting in California as officials there began examining formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products,” Perdue recounts.

 

“Those meetings eventually resulted in emission standards adopted by the California Air Resources Board in 2008, which formed the foundation for emission standards adopted by the U.S. Congress in 2010, which led to the EPA’s implementation rule published in December 2016 and, now, finally, finalized in September 2017. AHFA has been at the table on the home furnishings industry’s behalf on this issue for 16 years.”


Perdue urges industry executives with any questions about the final rule to attend AHFA’s 2017 Regulatory Summit October 25 at The Conference Center at Guilford Technical Community College. Erik Winchester, who heads the EPA branch responsible for implementing the formaldehyde rule, will provide an overview of the recent amendments and entertain any questions about the newly revised compliance timeline. Registration details for the Regulatory Summit are available at www.ahfa.us under Upcoming Events.
In its pre-publication notice, EPA stated that this last amendment to the rule “adds needed regulatory flexibility for regulated entities, reduces compliance burdens and helps to prevent disruptions to supply chains while still ensuring that compliant composite wood products enter the supply chain in a timely manner.”


More about the AHFA: The American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus over 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

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