Agency implements congressionally enacted formaldehyde emission standards
WASHINGTON–The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today moves to reduce exposure to formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States. The agency worked with the California Air Resources Board to help ensure the final national rule is consistent with California requirements for composite wood products.
“We are carrying out important measures laid out by Congress to protect the public from harmful exposure of this widely used chemical found in homes and workplaces”, said Jim Jones, EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We have worked with the state of California as a partner to help ensure consistency in our requirements. The new rule will level the playing field for domestic manufacturers who have a high rate of compliance with the California standard and will ensure that imported products not subject to California’s requirements will meet the new standard and thus, not contain dangerous formaldehyde vapors.”
The Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 established emission standards for formaldehyde from composite wood products and directed EPA to finalize a rule on implementing and enforcing a number of provisions covering composite wood products.
One year after the rule is published, composite wood products that are sold, supplied, offered for sale, manufactured, or imported in the United States will need to be labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant. These products include: hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, particleboard as well as household and other finished goods containing these products.
EPA is also setting testing requirements to ensure that products comply with those standards, establishing eligibility requirements for third-party certifiers, and establishing eligibility requirements for accreditation bodies to be recognized by EPA that will accredit the third-party certifiers. The new rule includes certain exemptions for products made with ultra-low formaldehyde or no-added formaldehyde resins and new requirements for product labeling, recordkeeping, and enforcement provisions.
It turns out the June 30 announcement by the Labor Department that OSHA’s fines will rise 78% effective Aug. 1 isn’t the only case of a federal agency hoisting its fines as a result of a 2015 Congressional mandate. NAHB’s blog notes today that the Inflation Adjustment Act requires federal agencies to regularly update the monetary levels of civil penalties to keep pace with inflation.
Read more at REMODELING
Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 3.5% in June from an upwardly revised May reading to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units, according to newly released data by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. New home sales are up 9.3% in the second quarter of 2016 from the first quarter.
Read more at NAHBNow
For the first time, full-time female workers in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations earned a higher median weekly wage than their male counterparts.
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Are your pro customers missing out on these sales opportunities?
It was 26 years this month that the ground-breaking Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) took effect. That legislation’s mandates in employment, transportation, public accommodation, and communication didn’t just make it easier for people with disabilities to receive an education and get a job. It also has created an ever-growing group of disabled–combined with the ever-aging cohort of baby boomers–who will want to remodel their homes so they can overcome their limitations. Whether you call it aging-in-place, universal design, or some other term, this housing market trend is sure to grow, so it’s important that you and your customers know more about it.
Read more at PROSALES