Discussions Continue on California Formaldehyde ATCM

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a public workshop on Monday, October 23, 2006, to discuss the on-going development of a proposed Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) to limit formaldehyde from composite wood (compwood) products, including particleboard, medium-density fiberboard and hardwood plywood.

At the meeting, CARB staff updated attendees and teleconference participants on the regulation order, health risk assessment, BACT assessment, enforcement provisions, emissions inventory, economic impacts and the next step in the process. Then the session was opened for comments. (To see CARB's PowerPoint presentation, CLICK HERE, and for the updated proposed regulation, CLICK HERE.)

Tom Julia, president of the Composite Panel Association (CPA) and spokesperson for the California Wood Industry Coalition (comprised of the CPA, American Home Furnishings Alliance, Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, American Forest and Paper Association, Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association, Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers, Window and Door Manufacturers Association and Wood Moulding and Millwork Producers Association) says that during the first half of the meeting there was good dialogue and some new points made.

He says he sees two primary issues for the industry in regard to this regulation: how it will be enforced and at what levels formaldehyde emissions are a concern.

The compwood industry wants to make sure that when this regulation is enacted that it be enforceable-for both domestic manufacturers as well as foreign, says Julia.

The industry also disagrees with CARB's risk assessment; the board is using 1992 data from the health department. Julia says there have been more quality health studies done since then. Therefore, there isn't a consensus between CARB and the compwood industry on at what formaldehyde level there is reason for concern.

Julia says that the industry has 30 days to influence this ATCM, so "the chance to do it is now. Once they have the rule, then they've got us."

He encourages those in the compwood industry to write CARB, the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as Governor Schwarzenegger and let them know that this regulation must be enforceable and that "you can't bring a rule forward if it can't be enforced."

Julia also suggests that companies ask that the Phase 2 dates be extended.

Here are the addresses for CARB, the California EPA and Governor Schwarzenegger:

  • California Air Resources Board
    Compwood ATCM
    Attn: Jim Aguila
    P.O.Box 2815
    Sacramento, CA 95812-2815
  • California Environmental Protection Agency
    P.O. Box 2815
    Sacramento, CA 95812-2815
  • Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
    State Capitol Building
    Sacramento, CA 95814

To send an email, please visit: http://www.govmail.ca.gov.

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