EPA Opens Public Comment Period on Technical Updates to the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products
Released on March 29, 2022.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is opening a public comment period on proposed technical updates to the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Formaldehyde is used as an adhesive in a wide range of wood products, including some furniture, flooring, cabinets, bookcases and building materials including plywood and wood panels. The Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 established emission standards for formaldehyde from composite wood products. EPA’s 2016 Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products rule implemented provisions of the 2010 Act to reduce exposure to formaldehyde emissions from certain wood products produced in or imported into the United States.
This proposed rulemaking:
- Provides updates to voluntary consensus standards to reflect the current editions that are in-use by regulated entities and industry stakeholders. Voluntary consensus standards are technical specifications for products or processes developed by standard-setting bodies that are incorporated by reference in the rule to assist with defining the composite wood products subject to the rule, and to identify quality control test methods. These updates are needed to ensure continued consistency with the standards adopted and used by industry.
- Allows for remote inspections in the event of unsafe conditions that would prevent a third-party certifier (TPC) from traveling in-person to the area. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, EPA provided temporary flexibility to allow TPCs to conduct remote inspections to satisfy the requirements of the rule. EPA is proposing to make this flexibility permanent and allow TPCs to conduct the required initial on-site inspection or quarterly inspections and sample collections remotely when in person, on-site inspections are temporarily impossible because of unsafe conditions.
- Includes certain technical corrections and updates to create additional flexibilities for the third-party certification process, as well as clarifying language as it relates to the production of wood products. These corrections will better align EPA’s rule with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), allowing the two programs to work in tandem with one another in order to create an effective and efficient formaldehyde emissions regulatory system. These corrections also would result in less burden on industry working or seeking to work in either or both the California and U.S. markets.