The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued proposals to extend the compliance dates in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title VI final rule relating to formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products. The changes, published in the Federal Register in May 2017, are intended to provide regulatory flexibility, reduce compliance burdens and prevent disruptions to supply chains.
The compliance date changes are:
- Formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products – extended to March 22, 2018
- Record keeping and labeling provisions – extended to March 22, 2018
- Import certification – extended to March 22, 2019
- The end of the transitional period for CARB-TPCs – extended to March 22, 2019
- Producers of laminated products – extended to March 22, 2024
The publication of the proposal was accompanied by a 15-day comment period, which ended on June 8, 2017.
This extension to the transition period follows the publishing, in December 2016, of the Final Rule for implementing ‘The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act’. This rule included several provisions, including formaldehyde emission standards for the following forms of composite wood:
- Hardwood plywood composite core or veneer core (HWPW-CC or VC)
- Particleboards (PBs)
- Medium-density fiberboards (MDFs)
The December 2016 final rule also contained rules relating to:
- Third-party certification programs
- Incentives for products manufactured from ultra-low emitting formaldehyde resins (ULEF) and no added-formaldehyde-based resins (NAF)
- Product labeling
- Accreditation Bodies (ABs) and Third-party Certifiers (TPCs).
Stakeholders should be aware of the changes instigated in the Final Rule of December 2016 and the amended compliance dates from May 2017.
It should be noted that formaldehyde emission standards, which were to come into effect in December 2017, are identical to those in Phase 2 of the Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) to control formaldehyde emissions under the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The regulations require quality control testing and quarterly testing, which must be carried out by an EPA-recognized TPC. The EPA has included a provision allowing CARB-approved TPCs to be considered certified, under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title VI. This has now been extended until March 22, 2019.
SGS CARB Services
Through a global network of Third Party Certification (TPC) laboratories, SGS provides the full-range of services, including certification, analytical testing and consultancy, for formaldehyde emissions in composite wood products for California, the US and worldwide markets. Learn more about SGS’s CARB Services.
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For further information contact:
Hing Wo Tsang
Global Hardlines Information and Innovation Manager
Tel:(+852) 2774 7420
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