Airborne Toxic Control, ATCM, EPA, Wood product regulation, TSCA

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USA: EPA updates TSCA formaldehyde in composite wood requirement

August 2019 - Relevant for: HARDLINES

On 21 August 2019, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule1 to amend the formaldehyde in composite wood products regulation (TSCA Title VI). This rule is effective immediately after publication.   
The amendment has three goals:

  • Address technical issues to add clarity for regulated entities
  • Streamline compliance programs
  • Help to ensure continued smooth transitions for supply chains to comply with the requirements associated with regulated composite wood products

Since the formaldehyde standards for composite wood products were established, EPA received a number of technical issues with testing and certification provisions.  Stakeholders requested EPA to improve regulatory clarity and further align the rule with California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measures (ATCM) Phase II program.

Highlights of the amendments of the final rule include:

  • removing annual correlations between the Third-Party Certifier’s (TPC’s) chamber and the mill quality control chamber;
  • allowing equivalence on like-size or similar model chambers at TPC lab and mill;
  • averaging of emission test results from quarterly testing;
  • establishing testing emission ranges;
  • updating the notification of an exceedance of quality control limit;
  • updating correlational coefficients and “r” value alternatives;
  • removing correlation if the mill uses a TPC to conduct all testing;
  • updating NAF and ULEF exemption testing requirements;
  • updating the ISO 17025-2017 and ISO 17011-2017 as voluntary consensus standards;
  • updating the text in the non-complying lot provisions;
  • clarifying labels on compliant products are required at point of entry in the United States including Foreign Trade Zones;
  • replacing the manufactured-by date of “December 12, 2018” with “June 1, 2018” because of the court order2 announced in April 2018.

[1] EPA final rule regarding technical issues

[2] Court order in April 2018

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