EPA to Withdraw Direct Final Rule to Update Voluntary Consensus Standards for Composite Wood Products

On 8 December 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a notice that it is withdrawing its direct final rule issued on 25 October 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 12 December 2016. EPA issued both a direct final rule and a proposed rule on 25 October 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standards (i.e., technical specifications for products or processes developed by standard-setting bodies) were updated, withdrawn, and/or superseded through the normal course of business by these bodies to take into account new information, technology, and methodologies.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 12 December 2016. The extensions for compliance are:

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

~sNational Law Review, 7 December 2017