SACRAMENTO, CA -- The California Air Resources Board has pushed back the deadline for voting on its proposed Composite Wood Air Toxic Control Measure until Jan. 27, 2007. CARB had previously scheduled a Sept. 28 meeting to vote on the measure that would set stricter formaldehyde emission levels for particleboard, MDF and hardwood plywood panels, as well as products made with these panels that are manufactured, used or sold in California.

The delay follows a revised draft of the proposal submitted June 20 by CARB that raises the maximum allowable emission levels for particleboard and MDF contained in the May 2 draft. For example, CARB's May 2 proposal would have created a Phase II ceiling of 0.05 parts per million of formaldehyde for particleboard effective July 1, 2010, and of 0.05 ppm for MDF effective July 1, 2012. The June 20 draft calls for emission levels of 0.08 ppm for both products. Emission levels for hardwood plywood are the same in both drafts at 0.03 ppm, effective July 1, 2012.

An economic impact analysis conducted by the California Wood Industry Coalition, a group made up of several trade associations lobbying on the behalf of wood panel producers and end users, found that the Phase II proposal could cost the industry between $154 million and $1.06 billion each year.

Dale Silverman, vice president of the Association of Woodworking & Furniture Suppliers, a member of the CWIC, said, CARB's proposal could have a "devastating impact on both the California state economy and the viability of many of our member companies."

The CWIC is led by the Composite Panel Assn. In addition to AWFS, other members include the American Home Furnishings Alliance, the American Forest & Paper Assn., the Formaldehyde Council Inc., the Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Assn. and the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Assn.

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