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EPA/OCSPP RIN: 2070-AJ44 Publication ID: Fall 2013 
Title: Formaldehyde; Third-Party Certification Framework for the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products 
Abstract: On July 7, 2010, the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act was enacted as Title VI of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), 15 U.S.C. 2697, to establish specific formaldehyde emission limits for hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard, which are identical to the California emission limits for these products. On June 10, 2013, EPA issued a proposed rule under TSCA Title VI to establish a framework for a TSCA Title VI Third-Party Certification Program whereby third-party certifiers (TPCs) are accredited by accreditation bodies (ABs) so that they may certify composite wood product panel producers under TSCA Title VI. The proposed rule identifies the roles and responsibilities of the groups involved in the TPC process (EPA, ABs, and TPCs), as well as the criteria for participation in the program. This proposal contains general requirements for TPCs, such as conducting and verifying formaldehyde emission tests, inspecting and auditing panel producers, and ensuring that panel producers' quality assurance and quality control procedures comply with the regulations set forth in the proposed rule. A separate Regulatory Agenda entry (RIN 2070-AJ92) covers the other proposed regulation to implement the statutory formaldehyde emission standards for hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard sold, supplied, offered for sale, or manufactured (including imported) in the United States. 
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 770 
Legal Authority: 15 USC 2697; TSCA section 601 
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Final  Statutory  Deadline for promulgation of regulations, per 15 USC 2697(d).  01/01/2013 

Statement of Need: Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas at room temperature that has a strong odor. It is found in resins used in the manufacture of composite wood products (i.e., hardwood plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard). It is also found in household products such as glues, permanent press fabrics, carpets, antiseptics, medicines, cosmetics, dishwashing liquids, fabric softeners, shoe care agents, lacquers, plastics and paper product coatings. It is a by-product of combustion and certain other natural processes. Examples of sources of formaldehyde gas inside homes include cigarette smoke, unvented, fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, kerosene space heaters), and composite wood products made using formaldehyde-based resins.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, which created Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), established formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products (hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and particleboard) sold, supplied, offered for sale or manufactured in the United States. Under TSCA Title VI, manufacturers of composite wood products must comply with specific formaldehyde emission standards, and their compliance must be verified by a third-party certifier (TPC). TSCA Title VI requires EPA to promulgate implementing regulations by January 1, 2013.

Alternatives: TSCA Title VI establishes national formaldehyde emission limits for hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard and EPA has not been given the authority to change the limits. However, EPA will evaluate various implementation alternatives during the course of this rulemaking.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: EPA prepared an analysis of the potential impacts associated with the proposed rulemaking. This analysis is summarized in greater detail in Unit VI.A. of the preamble for the proposed rule, and is briefly summarized here. Costs: EPA estimates the annualized costs of this proposed rule to be approximately $34,000 per year using either a 3% discount rate or a 7% discount rate. Small Entity Impacts: This rule would impact an estimated 9 small entities, of which 8 are expected to have impacts of less than 1% of revenues or expenses, and 1 is expected to have impacts between 1% and 3%. Effects on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Government entities are not expected to be subject to the rule's requirements, which apply to third-party certifiers and accreditation bodies. The rule does not have a significant intergovernmental mandate, significant or unique effect on small governments, or have Federalism implications.

Risks: Formaldehyde is both an irritant and a known human carcinogen. Depending on concentration, formaldehyde can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, even when exposure is of relatively short duration. In the indoor environment, sensory reactions and various symptoms as a result of mucous membrane irritation are some potential effects from exposure. There is also evidence that formaldehyde may be associated with changes in pulmonary function and respiratory related effects. In addition, formaldehyde is a by-product of human metabolism; therefore, endogenous levels are present in the body.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM  12/03/2008  73 FR 73620 
Second ANPRM  01/30/2009  74 FR 5632 
NPRM  06/10/2013  78 FR 34795 
NPRM Comment Period End With Extension  09/25/2013  78 FR 44090 
Final Rule  09/00/2014   
Additional Information: Docket #: ANPRM stage: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2008-0627; NPRM stage: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2011-0380.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Information URL: http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/chemtest/formaldehyde/index.html   Public Comment URL: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPPT-2011-0380-0001  
Sectors Affected: 3212 Veneer, Plywood, and Engineered Wood Product Manufacturing; 321219 Reconstituted Wood Product Manufacturing; 541330 Engineering Services; 541380 Testing Laboratories; 541611 Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services; 541990 All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; 561990 All Other Support Services; 813910 Business Associations; 813920 Professional Organizations 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Robert Courtnage
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
7404T,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-1081
Email: courtnage.robert@epa.gov

Sara Kemme
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
7404T,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-0511
Fax:202 566-0473
Email: kemme.sara@epa.gov

 
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