We have very good news on the TSCA front. Thanks to efforts by the DOJ, EPA and a coalition of trade associations including the IWPA, AHFA, KCMA, NAHB, WDMA and CPA, the Court signed a joint stipulation that should finally put an end to date changes and confusion in the TSCA implementation.
The language is very specific and while it is binding as of the Court’s filing, the EPA plans to publish it in the Federal Register shortly. Until then and they are able to rewrite their official FAQs to reflect the agreement, I’m just going to quote a two key paragraphs for now, rather than paraphrasing. You can ask for common language interpretations at the NWFA Convention’s panel of All Star Formaldehyde Experts. (That’s the bait to get you to show up for the panel—get this legalese translated!)
The agreement specifies that:
- WHEREAS, the Formaldehyde Regulations contain a provision that provides that: “If a product is certified by a CARB-approved TPC [third-party certifier] that is also recognized by EPA, the product will also be considered certified under TSCA Title VI until March 22, 2019 after which the TPC needs to comply with all the requirements of this part as an EPA TSCA Title VI TPC under Section 770.7(d) in order for the product to remain certified,” 40 C.F.R. § 770.15(e);
- WHEREAS, EPA interprets 40 C.F.R. § 770.15(e) to allow regulated composite wood panels and finished products containing such composite wood panels that are manufactured (in the United States) or imported (into the United States) prior to March 22, 2019 and certified as compliant with the CARB Phase 2 or TSCA Title VI emissions standards by a TPC approved by CARB and recognized by EPA to be considered certified as compliant with the emissions standards of the Formaldehyde Regulations and to be labeled as such;
And the other key date comes as part of the Stipulation’s conclusion that “In recognition of and to avoid the substantial disruption that would result from giving retroactive effect to the Order, this Order lifting the stay results in the designated date of manufacture (i.e., the manufactured-by date) and corresponding compliance date being June 1, 2018, the date the stay is lifted.”
What do those mean?! If you don’t understand, trust me, this is really good news…I gave you clues in the bolded sections and there will be some blogs in the near future with more specifics as common language statements are agreed to, but your best opportunity for clarity is at the NWFA Wood Flooring Expo! See you there!