EPA Returns to Original Timeline for Formaldehyde Compliance

High Point, NC, June 19, 2017––Formal objections to a revised compliance timeline for the federal formaldehyde rule have halted the update and triggered a potentially lengthy review process by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reports the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

“As a result of this unexpected development, the original compliance timeline remains unchanged. All of the original December deadlines published in the formaldehyde emission standard are in effect,” explains Bill Perdue, vice president of regulatory affairs for the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

“The negative comments mean that this part of the final rule – the compliance timeline – now must go through formal rule-making again,” he adds. “And, unfortunately, until it is resolved, the original compliance dates remain in effect.”

Those original dates include:

• The December 12, 2017 deadline for emission standards, record-keeping and labeling provisions;

• The December 12, 2018 deadline for import certification;

• The December 12, 2023 deadline for meeting the provisions applicable to laminated products.

In January, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the heads of all agencies to postpone for 60 days the effective dates of all regulations that were published in the Federal Register but had not yet taken effect. The Formaldehyde Emission Standard for Composite Wood Products, published in December 2016, was caught up in this delay. EPA subsequently set its effective date at May 22, 2017.

Despite the later effective date, all compliance deadlines within the rule remained unchanged. Therefore, AHFA and other industry stakeholders petitioned EPA to adjust the entire