July 23, 2019

July 23, 2019

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July 22, 2019

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Trump Administration’s Freeze on New Federal Regulations Will Impact Furniture Industry, EPA’s Formaldehyde Rule

The Trump Administration wasted no time getting started, as the new President issued a number of new executive branch directives in his first few days in office.

Among these initial orders was a memo to federal agencies from President Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus ordering them to hold off on sending any new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register until they have been reviewed and approved by a newly appointed department or agency head. Any rule that has been sent to that office but not yet published must be withdrawn. Also, the effective dates for any regulations published in the last 60 days must be delayed for at least an additional 60 days.

One highly anticipated rule that would have become effective on February 10, 2017 and will now be stayed for 60 days is the EPA’s Rule on Formaldehyde in Composite Wood Products. This rule sets standards for maximum formaldehyde emissions from certain composite wood products and imposes testing, certification, recordkeeping, and labeling requirements on manufacturers, fabricators, retailers, distributors, and importers.

Under the stay, the new administration will have an opportunity to consider if the rule raises substantial questions of fact, law, or policy and, if so, to reopen the notice-and-comment process. Alternatively, if EPA does not take some action within the 60 day period of stay, then the rule will become effective as published, and the future compliance dates therein (December 12, 2017, December 12, 2018, and December 12, 2023) will remain in place.

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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...

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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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