Update Regarding Litigation Affecting EPA Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products (TSCA Title VI, 40 CFR 770)

10/04/18

Event Title

08h00 - 16h30

Event Location

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Background

In Fall 2017, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was sued by an environmental advocacy group which contended that the EPA did not have the authority to push back in time the compliance dates of TSCA Title VI / 40 CFR 770. Originally, as published in the Federal Register in December 2016, the first compliance date was supposed to be December 12, 2017. However, due to numerous reasons, the first compliance date was changed to December 12, 2018 via a final rule issued by EPA on September 25, 2017. Then a lawsuit was initiated by the environmental advocacy group against the EPA on October 31, 2017. That lawsuit has made its way through the court system and on March 13, 2018, a judge ruled in favor of the environmental advocacy group that EPA exceeded their authority in moving the first compliance date to December 12, 2018.


Updated Compliance Dates:  

On April 4, 2018, the court order issued on March 13, 2018 was formally published in the Federal Register. 


• The first compliance date in EPA TSCA Title VI / 40 CFR 770 is now June 1, 2018


By June 1, 2018 regulated composite wood panels and finished products containing such composite wood panels that are manufactured (in the United States) or imported (into the United States) must be certified as compliant with either TSCA Title VI or the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measures (ATCM) Phase II emission standards, which are set at identical levels, by a third-party certifier (TPC) approved by CARB and recognized by EPA. Previously, these products were required to be TSCA Title VI compliant by December 12, 2018.


• 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. After March 22, 2019, the products 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 in effect per the September 25, 2017 final rule extending the compliance dates:


• The date for import certification provisions from December 12, 2018 to March 22, 2019;

• The date for laminated product producer provisions from December 12, 2023 to March 22, 2024; and

• The conclusion of the transition period for CARB Third-Party Certifiers (TPCs) from December 12, 2018 to March 22, 2019.


The result of this action ensures reciprocity between the EPA and CARB regulations until March 22, 2019 which was a provision that did not previously exist. This should offer relief to stakeholders concerned about how much time they have left to prepare for compliance. 


Additional Information

As of March 23 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released the following information, including a helpful comparison chart of the CARB ATCM for Formaldehyde and EPA TSCA Title VI / 40 CFR 770. 

•  https://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/comparisontable.pdf

•  https://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/outreach/usepareg0917a.pdf


Since December 12, 2016, several Federal Register notices have been issued regarding EPA TSCA Title VI / 40 CFR 770. A complete timeline of rulemaking activities is available from Bureau Veritas. 


How Does this Impact You? Contact Us to Discuss

Comments and/or questions may be directed to philip.carlisle@us.bureauveritas.com.

 

Bureau Veritas will continue to monitor EPA actions and notify clients if significant changes occur. If you have any comments or questions, please contact your customer service representative or email: info@us.bureauveritas.com.

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