First Major TSCA Enforcement

So a few weeks ago, we had our first major TSCA Title VI enforcement.  And just in case you don’t think the EPA is taking this seriously, the fine was over a half million dollars for eight entries of imported cabinetry/vanities.

Full details are available here and I’m going to discuss this in a bit more detail next week. In the meantime, I think this would be a good time for everyone to review their TSCA Compliance program.  Remember that TSCA impacts everyone from the manufacturer/importer to the distributor and retailer.  Some of the bottom-line basics:

  • TSCA directly regulates four products:  plywood, MDF, tMDF (thin MDF, usually called HDF in the marketplace) and particleboard.
  • TSCA indirectly regulates products that contain those items.  That includes most forms of engineered flooring and laminate flooring.
  • TSCA is the rule—unless you have material (that you can prove) was produced/imported in one of the pre-TSCA periods, you need to have a TSCA label on your box.
  • TSCA requires you to specify on your commercial purchase orders and invoices (business to business, not business to consumer) that you are requiring/providing TSCA compliant material.
  • No more white boxes:  the EPA needs to know who to call if they find something amiss, right?  You have to have a company name or identifiable brand on the box.  (With, of course, the compliance statement and a production date, let’s not forget those.)  There are rules about whose name can go on, but bottom line—you need a name. 

Check out again the EPA’s FAQs and for further details, go back to last year’s collection of blogs.

Spec it and check it, folks!

PS.  Oh, and while you are checking things, make sure you check to see if your supplier’s TPC is still ok.  The EPA has suspended or revoked several TPC’s authorizations to certify mills.  Many of the TPCs are consolidating offices or adjusting accreditations, but until things are complete, they can’t be certifying product.  Stay on top of this!

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Elizabeth Baldwin is Environmental Compliance Officer for Metropolitan Hardwood Floors. In her 25 plus year career in the wood industry has visited over 70 countries and hundreds of facilities of all sizes and types. She describes herself as a “jack of all wood trades.” Familiar with jungles of all sorts–having camped out along the Amazon and walked the halls of Congress–she blogs for the NWFA on both environmental and regulatory issues for educational and informational purposes only. Her blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Persons seeking legal advice on compliance with CARB, TSCA, the U.S. Lacey Act or any other law, regulation, or compliance requirement/claim should consult with the regulatory agency directly and/or a qualified legal professional.

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