Pursuant to a court order, the Environmental Protection Agency has advanced from Dec. 12 to June 1 the compliance date (i.e., the import-by or manufactured-by date) associated with a December 2016 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. These standards apply to hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard as well as finished goods made from such products (e.g., furniture, cabinets, flooring, picture frames, toys, and building materials).

As a result, the following changes are noted.

- By June 1 (rather than Dec. 12) regulated composite wood panels and finished products containing such panels must be certified as compliant with either TSCA Title VI or the California Air Resources Board Airborne Toxic Control Measures Phase II emission standards (which are set at identical levels) by a third-party certifier approved by CARB and recognized by the EPA.

- Until March 22, 2019, regulated products certified as compliant with the CARB ATCM Phase II emission standards must be labeled as compliant with either the TSCA Title VI or the CARB ATCM Phase II emission standards. Thereafter they must be certified and labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant.

- After March 22, 2019, CARB-approved TPCs must comply with additional accreditation requirements to remain EPA-recognized.


The following compliance dates remain unchanged.

- Importers of regulated composite wood products or finished products 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.

- 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.

- The transitional period during which CARB third-party certifiers may certify composite wood products under TSCA Title VI without an accreditation issued by an EPA TSCA Title VI accreditation body, so long as the certifier remains approved by CARB, is recognized by the EPA, and complies with all aspects of the final rule, will expire March 22, 2019.

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