April 17, 2021

Volume XI, Number 107


April 16, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

April 15, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

April 14, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

EPA Proposes Extended Deadlines for Formaldehyde Emission Standards in Composite Wood Products

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a direct final rule that would extend compliance deadlines in its Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products.  While this direct final rule does not address the multiple questions and conflicts in the substance of the rule, it does provide additional time for these issues to be resolved.  The deadlines are proposed to be extended as follows:

  • Emission standards, recordkeeping, and labeling provisions would take effect March 22, 2018;

  • Import certification provisions would take effect March 22, 2019;

  • The conclusion of the transition period for CARB Third-Party Certifiers (TPCs) would be March 22, 2019; and

  • Laminated product producer provisions would take effect March 22, 2024 (although laminated product producers would still be required to comply with applicable fabricator provisions beginning March 22, 2018).

The Agency's purposes in extending these dates are to add regulatory flexibility for regulated entities, reduce compliance burdens, and help prevent disruptions to supply chains.

There is a 15-day comment period on the rule.  If the Agency does not receive any adverse comments, then the direct final rule will become effective.  If the Agency does receive a relevant, adverse comment, then it will withdraw the direct final rule and proceed with an identical proposed rule through the normal rulemaking process.  Given the non-controversial nature of the amendment, the Agency stated it "does not expect to receive any adverse comments." 

The extensions are a step in the right direction but do not appear to fully alleviate supply chain concerns.  In particular, EPA has not yet issued guidance with respect to labeling imports that are produced prior to the effective date of the rule’s labeling provisions (and thus not required to be labeled by foreign panel producers or fabricators), but imported on or after the effective date of those provisions (and thus required to be labeled upon reaching U.S. soil, because they are considered to have been “manufactured” on the date of import).

In the meantime, businesses affected by the rule should be planning processes for compliance with the applicable requirements.  If you need assistance, we can help.

Copyright © 2021 Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 156



About this Author

Michael J. Sullivan, Womble Carlyle, risk management attorney, cost control lawyer
Managing Partner

Michael Sullivan is Managing Partner in the Atlanta office of Womble Carlyle, a full-service business law firm with more than 530 lawyers in 14 offices throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic United States and in Silicon Valley. Michael is a mass tort and complex commercial litigation attorney with over 30 years of experience representing clients in bet-the-company litigation.  His practice today includes acting as trusted advisor to senior level executives on risk management, cost control and litigation management issues.  In addition to his leadership role in the...

Christa Burger, Womble Carlyle Law Firm, Complex Litigation Attorney

Christa is a young litigator with a broad range of experience defending complex mass tort and business matters, including class actions, contracts, negligence, and products liability claims.  Her practice also involves counseling corporate clients on a variety of marketing and regulatory issues, including product labeling, such as compliance with California’s Proposition 65, public relations, and responding to inquiries from state and federal agencies. 

With respect to litigation, Christa has experience in all...