Background

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a direct final rule extending the compliance dates associated with a final rule implementing the formaldehyde emission standards established by Congress in 2010 (in title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act) for imported and domestically produced composite wood products. This rule will be effective as of July 10 unless the EPA receives adverse comments by June 8.

- Hardwood plywood (including laminated products not exempt from the definition of hardwood plywood), particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard that is sold, supplied, offered for sale, manufactured, or imported in the U.S. must be in compliance with these standards, must be certified by a third-party certifier as being in compliance, and must be labeled with the producer’s name (or other identification), lot number, third-party certifier number, and a statement of compliance by March 22, 2018 (rather than Dec. 12, 2017).

- Finished goods made from covered products (e.g., furniture, cabinets, flooring, picture frames, toys, and building materials) must be labeled with the fabricator’s name, the date the good was produced, and a statement of compliance by March 22, 2018 (rather than Dec. 12, 2017).

- Importers of regulated composite wood products or articles that contain them must comply with the import certification regulations for chemical substances in bulk and as part of mixtures and articles in 19 CFR 12.118 through 12.127 by March 22, 2019 (rather than Dec. 12, 2018).

- Laminated products must comply with the hardwood plywood emission standard and the testing, certification, and recordkeeping requirements for composite wood products by March 22, 2024 (rather than Dec. 12, 2023).

- The transitional period during which California Air Resources Board third-party certifiers may certify composite wood products under title VI without an accreditation, provided the TPC remains approved by CARB, is recognized by the EPA, and complies with all aspects of the final rule, is extended from Dec. 12, 2018, to March 22, 2019.

Finished goods, including component parts sold separately to end users, containing only a de minimis amount (144 square inches or less) of regulated composite wood product are excluded from the labeling requirements but not the recordkeeping requirements or other provisions. In addition, composite wood products made with no-added formaldehyde and ultra-low emitting formaldehyde resins may be eligible for less frequent testing or a two-year exemption from third-party testing and certification after an initial testing period of three months (NAF) or six months (ULEF).

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