W&WP Editor Karen Koenig attended the Composite Panel Association's semi-annual meeting and brought back video interviews that cover the predicted state of the industry and the association's stance on federal formaldehyde regulations.

Watch Composite Panel Association President Tom Julia discuss his industry outlook for the rest of 2009 and into 2010. Julia also explains the association's position on federal formaldehyde regulations.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — “These are not just challenging times, but opportunistic ones,” said Dave Leding, chairman of the Composite Panel Assn. (CPA). Leding’s speech kicked off the general session of the CPA’s semi-annual meeting, which is being held May 31-June 2 in Scottsdale, AZ.

“CARB (California Air Resource Board) and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) are continuing to drive industry’s regulatory future,” said Leding, plant manager for Flakeboard. He added that the implementation of CARB has been “mostly smooth” in the United States, while global compliance is rising. “Nearly 100 percent of the [U.S.] particleboard and MDF mills are certified to meet CARB and the hardwood plywood production is catching up.”

Click below to see Dave Leding, chairman of the Composite Panel Assn., discuss the benefits of carbon sequestration within wood fiber products.

Calling the prospective implementation of a federal formaldehyde regulation by the EPA one of the biggest challenges to face the industry, CPA President Tom Julia said the association has “joined with a number of organizations and environmental groups to propose a version of that will be effective for industry.”

“Formaldehyde issues pose continued challenges, but also offer opportunities for environmental leadership,” Leding said.

The composite panel industry also is taking a lead role on the issue of wood fiber supply and carbon sequestration. “We think there are both federal and state misguided policies that seem to believe it is better to burn wood than to use it for good purposes, such as consumer products,” Julia said. “We’ll continue to work at that issue to make sure there is a plentiful supply basket for industry and for our customers.”

Leding said, “2009 will continue to be difficult, but the outlook is for recovery and growth in 2010 and beyond.”

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