HIGH POINT, N.C. – The American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) has revised its 2017 regulatory summit agenda to address a growing volume of questions concerning the new formaldehyde emission standard for composite wood products, as well as increasing concern over recent and coming changes in California’s Proposition 65 labeling requirements.
 
AHFA has added a session on the formaldehyde regulation to the October 25 regulatory summit agenda and invited the Environmental Protection Agency’s Erik Winchester back to provide further clarity on the rule. Winchester is branch chief for the EPA’s office of chemical safety and pollution prevention – the arm of the agency that is responsible for implementing the formaldehyde regulation. Winchester headlined a day-long workshop on the regulation sponsored by AHFA in January.
 
To address confusion over new Proposition 65 labeling requirements, AHFA has pulled the session on this topic from the October summit agenda and, instead, scheduled a series of three webinars in August to tackle the complex questions in more detail. Registration details for the three webinars, slated August 16, 23 and 30, are posted on the AHFA website.
 
The regulatory summit will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on October 25 at the conference center at Guilford Technical Community College. Special guest speakers include Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Joseph Mohorovic, CPSC commissioner.
 
The EPA has begun addressing several problematic provisions in the federal formaldehyde standard that was finalized in December 2016. The formal process for amending the final regulation to address these issues has caused confusion and raised new questions.
 
“Although we just covered the formaldehyde regulation in great detail in January, it has become apparent that an update is necessary this fall,” says Bill Perdue, AHFA vice president of regulatory affairs. “We are fortunate to have gained a second audience for the residential furniture industry with Mr. Winchester.”
 
In addition to Winchester, Buerkle and Mohorovic, confirmed presenters for the 2017 Summit include:
 
Chris Andresen, vice president in the Washington, D.C. office of Grayling, a global communications firm and AHFA’s government relations partner. He will present an overview of the legislative and regulatory climate in Washington.
 
William Guerry, partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kelley Drye, chair of the firm’s environmental practice, and a nationally recognized legal expert on Clean Air Act issues. He will review the Trump Administration’s impact on environmental regulations.
 
Allyson Azar, manager of state affairs and political mobilization for the American Chemistry Council. She will address the unpredictable landscape of state regulation, focusing on the growing patchwork of state efforts to regulate chemical use in consumer products.
 
Mark Fellin, worldwide regulatory intelligence manager for Amazon, responsible for leading the development, promotion and implementation of regulatory policies for Amazon Direct Imports. He will address compliance and risk management from an e-commerce perspective.
 
Michael Sullivan, managing partner in Womble Carlyle’s Winston-Salem, N.C. office and an expert on product liability matters. He will cover risk mitigation, specifically with regard to furniture tip-over.
 
Christine Zanella, compliance manager in the legal department at Wayfair. She will address how the online furniture giant is tackling compliance issues today.
 
AHFA’s Regulatory Summit is open to all manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers whose regulatory compliance efforts rely on accurate, up-to-date guidance and authoritative answers to industry-specific questions. The October 25 event will conclude with a 5:30 to 6 p.m. reception giving attendees the opportunity to meet Commissioners Buerkle and Mohorovic.
 
Registration is $99 for AHFA members and $299 for non-members. Included in the registration are a light breakfast and lunch. The conference center at GTCC is located on Highway 68, less than 7 miles from Piedmont Triad International Airport and minutes off Interstate 40.
 

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