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EPA to Withdraw Direct Final Rule to Update Voluntary Consensus Standards for Composite Wood Products
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By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham

On December 8, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to publish in the Federal Register a notice that it is withdrawing its direct final rule issued on October 25, 2017, to update the voluntary consensus standards that were originally published in the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title VI formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products final rule on December 12, 2016.  EPA issued both a direct final rule and a proposed rule on October 25, 2017.  EPA states that, due to its receipt of adverse comment on the rule, it must withdraw the direct final rule and proceed with issuing a final rule only after it has considered all of the comments received during the comment period which ended on November 9, 2017. 

The proposed updates apply to emissions testing methods and regulated composite wood product construction characteristics.  EPA states that several of those voluntary consensus standards (i.e., technical specifications for products or processes developed by standard-setting bodies) were updated, withdrawn, and/or superseded through the normal course of business by these bodies to take into account new information, technology, and methodologies.

As a reminder, EPA has extended the compliance dates for the formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products final rule that was issued on December 12, 2016.  The extensions for compliance are:

  • Emission standards, recordkeeping, and labeling provisions -- from December 12, 2017, to December 12, 2018;
  • Import certification provisions -- from December 12, 2018, to March 22, 2019;
  • Laminated product producer provisions -- from December 12, 2023, to March 22, 2024; and
  • The conclusion of the transition period for California Air Resources Board (CARB) Third-Party Certifiers (TPC) -- from December 12, 2018, to March 22, 2019.

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