On March 22, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin to implement its own formaldehyde emission standards as required under the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, Title VI to the Toxic Substances Control Act.1 For nearly a decade since the passage of Title VI, EPA has relied on California to set the standards, with EPA deeming any goods certified as compliant by the California Air Resources Board as federally compliant.

Though the standards are nearly identical, EPA's final rule imposes new requirements on any seller, supplier, offeror, manufacturer or importer of composite wood products (CWP). All goods containing CWPs will require third-party certification prior to sale in the United States. In addition, producers and manufacturers must design, establish and maintain a quality-control program to ensure compliance with the standards, and producers must provide to the third-party certifier certain contact information for the quality control manager and producer of the CWPs.  Further, all CWPs manufactured or imported into the United States must have a label that includes the panel producer's name; the lot number; an EPA-recognized, third-party certification number; and a compliance statement. Manufacturers and importers must ensure that this label is on each piece or bundle to identify the products as certified and compliant with the standards.


40 C.F.R. § 770 (2016). EPA's final rule went into effect on June 1, 2018, and requires full compliance with all of the federal standards beginning March 22, 2019.

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