EPA Formaldehyde Rule Published in the Federal Register

The long awaited EPA regulation on formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, TSCA Title VI, was published in the Federal Register on December 12, 2016. This will set in motion requirements that will help reduce formaldehyde exposure from particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and hardwood plywood which are some of the most prevalent indoor sources. A pre-publication of the rule was released by EPA in July and UL posted a blog about the requirements, which can be found here.

Additionally, UL conducted a webinar with more details about the EPA regulation. You can listen to the webinar here.

EPA has already conducted a webinar for UL and the other Third-Party Certifiers (TPCs) to explain the process for reporting laboratory testing and other relevant information to EPA.  Additional EPA webinars are planned to explain the rule requirements for panel producers, finished goods manufacturers (fabricators), importers, distributors, and retailers in January 2017.  The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is also expected to make announcements on any potential modifications to their state formaldehyde emissions requirements in the coming months.

Based on the publication date, the effective dates for the regulatory requirements will be as follows:

February 10, 2017

  • TPCs and Accreditation Bodies may begin application process for EPA recognition
  • CARB approved TPCs are grandfathered for 2 years

December 12, 2017

  • Composite wood products must comply with emissions standards, be certified by an EPA recognized TPC, and must be labelled as TSCA Title VI compliant
  • Finished goods and laminated products must be labelled as TSCA Title VI compliant and keep records to demonstrate that compliant panels are used
  • Importers must have the ability to supply records identifying the panel producer and other information within 30 days of a request by EPA

December 12, 2018

  • CARB approved TPCs must complete the EPA recognition process
  • Importers must provide certification under TSCA Section 13

December 12, 2023

  • Laminated products must be certified as hardwood plywood or demonstrate purchase/use of no-added formaldehyde (NAF) or phenol formaldehyde (PF) resins

Please contact to discuss compliance programs for your products.