Formaldehyde bill introduced in House embraces CARB emission ceilings
August 15, 2011 | 11:36 am CDT
LEESBURG, VA - The Composite Panel Assn. announced it was “pleased to report” that the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Act, H.R. 4805, was introduced into the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 11, 2010.

The legislation, introduced by Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), directs the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a national emission standard under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Under the proposed legislation, particleboard, MDF and hardwood plywood made or sold in the United States – and products made from them – would have to meet the formaldehyde emission ceilings in California’s recently-adopted emissions standard. The amended legislation calls for EPA to act by Jan. 1, 2012, with the regulation to go into effect 180 days after promulgation. If passed by Congress, this will give the United States one of the toughest production standards in the world.

“This bill will benefit consumers by ensuring higher-quality and safer wood products, and it will benefit the industry by setting a standard to which all competitors are held,” said Ehlers.

Matsui said, “It will provide our nation’s companies standardized guidelines so that they can confidently build high-quality products that are safe for consumers.”

In addition to establishing the national standard, this legislation would:
• Direct EPA to establish third-party testing and certification requirements to ensure that products comply with the national standard;
• Direct EPA to work with Customs and Border Protection and other relevant federal agencies to enforce the standards for both domestic and imported wood products; and
• Direct EPA to establish other necessary implementation and enforcement regulations.

“Representatives Matsui and Ehlers deserve high praise for introducing this important legislation in a bipartisan way,” said Tom Julia, CPA president.

CPA was one of the proponents of the legislation when it was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) last year in the Senate. CPA has been joined by a broad coalition of industry, environmental, health and labor organizations, including The Sierra Club.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee gave the bill its unanimous support in November. The full Senate is expected to act on the bill in March.

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