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EPA Withdraws Rule That Would Have Extended Formaldehyde Emission Compliance Deadlines

Our June 5 post concerned the EPA’s direct final rule that would have extended compliance deadlines in its Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products.  The EPA has now withdrawn this rule due to two anonymous adverse comments. Thus, as of now, businesses should revert back to ensuring compliance with the original deadlines as follows:

  • Dec. 12, 2017, for emissions standards, record keeping and labeling provisions;

  • Dec. 12, 2018, for import certification;

  • Dec. 12, 2018, for the California Air Resources Board Third Party Certification transitional period;

  • And Dec. 12, 2023, for meeting the provisions applicable to laminated products.

Although businesses should immediately plan to comply with the original deadlines, the deadlines may still be extended through the normal rulemaking process. EPA has already issued proposed rule under this process and received comments. Comments received on this rule included concerns that the extension was not sufficient to address inherent issues with the regulation.

The proposed deadline extensions were implemented by the EPA to alleviate substantial compliance burdens and to prevent disruptions to supply chains. If the Agency concludes the proposed rule helps to achieve these goals, then it may move forward with a final rule.  Alternatively, it may reopen the comment period, revise the proposed rule, or terminate the rulemaking.

Industry concerns regarding compliance burdens and supply chain disruptions are more prevalent than ever, and we expect the EPA to give them full consideration throughout the rulemaking process.

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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...

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Christa Burger, Womble Carlyle Law Firm, Complex Litigation Attorney
Associate

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 stages of case preparation and trial, including offensive and defensive discovery; briefing and motions practice; and evaluating, developing, and preparing fact and expert witnesses for deposition and trial.  Christa has been a member of several trial teams, including Campbell v. R.J. Reynolds (2013) and Haldeman v. R.J. Reynolds (2013), which resulted in judgment for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.  She also has experience with alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and the national arbitration regarding enforcement of the escrow statute against non-participating manufacturers under the Master Settlement Agreement.

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Patrick Spaugh, Womble Carlyle Law Firm, Commercial Dispute Litigation Attorney

Patrick focuses his practice on assisting clients in complex commercial disputes.  He adds value to clients by scrutinizing the facts during discovery, delving into case law to perfect dispositive motions, and leaving no stone unturned to ensure that cases are exhaustively prepped at each stage of litigation.

Patrick has helped defend a Fortune 500 company in a putative ERISA class action; a commercial bank in a putative civil RICO class action; businesses in general commercial disputes often involving claims for Unfair and...

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