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Formaldehyde Enforcement Began June 1

As of Friday, June 1, it is illegal to manufacture or import composite wood products in the U.S. if they contain excessive amounts of formaldehyde.

An agreement has been reached in the case of Sierra Club v. Pruitt that sets new Formaldehyde Rule “manufactured by” dates for producers and fabricators of composite wood panels to June 1, 2018, for CARB Phase 2 or TSCA Title VI compliant materials, with only TSCA Title VI compliant and labeled products allowable after March 22, 2019.

“CPA and its members are pleased with the terms of the stipulated agreement, which, if accepted by the Court, will ensure that North American composite panel manufacturers and their customers can manage inventories and comply with TSCA Title VI in a timely manner. The settlement represents a remarkable example of cooperation between environmental groups, industry, and the government, which has characterized the efforts on this issue since 2008,” said Jackson Morrill, president of the Composite Panel Association.

“This has been a collaborative effort between Sierra Club, EPA, KCMA and a number of other trade associations,” said Betsy Natz, CEO of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA). “Our collective associations were able to provide EPA and the Sierra Club with critical information on the practical implications of setting a compliance date that would be unworkable to our respective industries.”

The agreement results from a lawsuit between the Louisiana non-profit Sierra Club and the EPA, in which Sierra Club challenged the EPA’s delay of the formaldehyde limits. Many Sierra members are survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Formaldehyde was used to treat wood products in FEMA trailers deployed shortly after the hurricane struck in 2005.

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