[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 131 (Tuesday, July 11, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 31922-31924]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-14513]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 770

[EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0243, FRL-9963-05]
RIN 2070-AK30


Labeling Relief; Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite 
Wood Products

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Direct final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: EPA is taking direct final action to amend a final rule that 
published in the Federal Register on December 12, 2016 concerning 
formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products. The 
amendment will allow compliant composite wood products and finished 
goods that contain compliant composite wood products that were 
manufactured prior to December 12, 2017 to be labeled as Toxic 
Substances Control Act (TSCA) Title VI compliant. This means that 
regulated composite wood products and finished goods that meet the 
required formaldehyde emissions standards could be voluntarily labeled 
as compliant as soon as compliance can be achieved. This will enhance 
regulatory flexibility and facilitate a smoother supply chain 
transition to compliance with the rule's broader requirements, as well 
as promote lower formaldehyde emitting products entering commerce 
earlier than under the rule as originally published. EPA believes that 
the amendment is non-controversial and does not expect to receive any 
adverse comments. However, in addition to this direct final rulemaking, 
elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, EPA is promulgating 
the amendment as a notice of proposed rulemaking that will be used in 
the event of adverse comment on the amendments within this direct final 
action.

DATES: This final rule is effective on August 25, 2017 without further 
notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by July 26, 2017. If EPA 
receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the 
Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take 
effect.

ADDRESSES: The docket for this action, identified by docket 
identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0243, is available at 
http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pollution Prevention and 
Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket 
Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 
Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open 
from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal 
holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 
566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-
0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information 
about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information contact: 
Erik Winchester, National Program Chemicals Division, Office of 
Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: 
(202) 564-6450; email address: [email protected].
    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 
422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 
554-1404; email address: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be affected by this direct final rule if you manufacture 
(including import), sell, supply, or offer for sale hardwood plywood, 
medium-density fiberboard, particleboard, and/or products containing 
these composite wood materials in the United States. The following list 
of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not 
intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers 
determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected 
entities may include:
     Veneer, plywood, and engineered wood product manufacturing 
(NAICS code 3212).
     Manufactured home (mobile home) manufacturing (NAICS code 
321991).
     Prefabricated wood building manufacturing (NAICS code 
321992).
     Furniture and related product manufacturing (NAICS code 
337).
     Furniture merchant wholesalers (NAICS code 42321).
     Lumber, plywood, millwork, and wood panel merchant 
wholesalers (NAICS code 42331).
     Other construction material merchant wholesalers (NAICS 
code 423390), e.g., merchant wholesale distributors of manufactured 
homes (i.e., mobile homes) and/or prefabricated buildings.
     Furniture stores (NAICS code 4421).
     Building material and supplies dealers (NAICS code 4441).
     Manufactured (mobile) home dealers (NAICS code 45393).
     Motor home manufacturing (NAICS code 336213).
     Travel trailer and camper manufacturing (NAICS code 
336214).
     Recreational vehicle (RV) dealers (NAICS code 441210).

[[Page 31923]]

     Recreational vehicle merchant wholesalers (NAICS code 
423110).
    If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this 
action, please consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

II. Background

A. What action is the Agency taking?

    Following promulgation of EPA's final rule addressing formaldehyde 
emission standards for composite wood products (81 FR 89674, December 
12, 2016) (FRL-9949-90), industry stakeholders raised concerns to the 
Agency that the final rule's prohibition on labeling composite wood 
products and finished goods containing composite wood products as TSCA 
Title VI compliant before the December 12, 2017 compliance date would 
risk a substantial supply chain disruption for these products. These 
stakeholders requested that EPA allow labeling of compliant composite 
wood products and finished goods containing composite wood products as 
TSCA Title VI compliant before December 12, 2017. EPA shares the 
concerns of industry stakeholders regarding the prohibition on labeling 
composite wood products and finished goods containing composite wood 
products as TSCA Title VI compliant before December 12, 2017. EPA 
believes that the risk of unintentional supply chain disruption is 
substantial, though through prompt regulatory action, avoidable. As 
such, EPA will eliminate the prohibition at Sec.  770.45(f) of the 
December 12, 2016 final rule (see 81 FR 89741) on labeling composite 
wood products and finished goods containing composite wood products as 
TSCA Title VI compliant before December 12, 2017.
    The agency believes that removal of the labeling prohibition will 
have no impact on the ability of stakeholders to comply with the TSCA 
Title VI formaldehyde emission standards insofar as stakeholders are 
already working with their California Air Resources Board (CARB) 
approved Third Party Certifier (TPC) to ensure compliance with CARB's 
Airborne Toxic Control Measures (ATCM) to reduce formaldehyde emissions 
from composite wood products, and as the stakeholders suggest, they are 
currently labeling composite wood products and finished goods 
containing composite wood products as CARB-compliant, and thus are also 
meeting the TSCA Title VI formaldehyde emission standards.
    In addition, EPA generally expects that the transition will be 
smooth for stakeholders already receiving certifications of product 
compliance by a CARB-approved TPC to also begin receiving product 
compliance certifications by EPA TSCA Title VI TPCs under Sec.  770.15 
of the December 12, 2016 final rule (see 81 FR 89735) because Sec.  
770.7(d) of the December 12, 2016 final rule provided reciprocity 
provisions under which a CARB-approved TPC may be recognized by the 
Agency as an EPA TSCA Title VI TPC (see 81 FR 89733). Producers of 
composite wood products and TPCs should note that TPCs, including CARB-
approved TPCs working under the TSCA Title VI reciprocity provisions, 
must be recognized by EPA prior to certifying any composite wood 
products as TSCA Title VI compliant. TPCs can begin to apply for EPA 
recognition after the May 22, 2017 rule effective date by following the 
procedures outlined in Sec.  770.7(c)(2) and Sec.  770.8.
    Although EPA is eliminating Sec.  770.45(f) of the December 12, 
2016 final rule that prohibits labeling composite wood products and 
finished goods containing composite wood products as TSCA Title VI 
compliant before December 12, 2017, the other labeling requirements at 
Sec.  770.45 will still apply. Notably, anyone that would label 
composite wood products as TSCA Title VI compliant will still be 
required to include the CARB or EPA provided identification number of 
the EPA TSCA Title VI TPC and a statement that products are certified 
by that TPC as TSCA Title VI compliant. For this reason, this direct 
final rule is not expected to result in any reduction of environmental 
or public health protection. However, this action is expected to 
provide greater certainty to entities throughout the supply chain that 
composite wood products and finished goods containing composite wood 
product are compliant with TSCA Title VI and enhance consumer 
confidence earlier than currently provided for in the December 12, 2016 
final rule. EPA acknowledges that the delay of the effective date of 
the December 12, 2016 final rule (see 82 FR 8499 and 82 FR 14324) may 
have given rise to additional stakeholder concerns about that rule's 
respective implementation compliance dates. As a result, EPA has 
determined that those compliance dates should be extended and has 
initiated a separate action to extend them.
    EPA is therefore publishing this direct final rule, and a notice of 
proposed rulemaking elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register to 
address the elimination of the early labeling provision, as described 
in Units II.A.1 and II.A.2.
    1. Direct Final Rule. EPA agrees with the stakeholders' requests 
and will eliminate the prohibition at Sec.  770.45(f) of the December 
12, 2016 final rule (see 81 FR 89741) on labeling composite wood 
products and finished goods containing composite wood products as TSCA 
Title VI compliant before December 12, 2017.
    2. Proposed rule. EPA believes that the amendment is non-
controversial and does not expect to receive any adverse comments. 
However, in addition to this direct final rule, elsewhere in this issue 
of the Federal Register, EPA is promulgating the amendment as a notice 
of proposed rulemaking (See FRL-9963-05). If EPA receives no adverse 
comment, the Agency will not take further action on the proposed rule 
and the direct final rule will become effective as provided in this 
action. If EPA receives relevant adverse comment, the Agency will 
publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the 
public that this direct final action will not take effect. EPA would 
then address all adverse public comments in a response to comments 
document in a subsequent final rule, based on the proposed rule.

B. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    These regulations are established under authority of Section 601 of 
TSCA, 15 U.S.C. 2697.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders 
can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review; Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review; and Executive 
Order 13777: Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was 
therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) 
and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011). In addition, since this 
action does not contain a new requirement or impose any new burden or 
costs, the action qualifies as a burden reduction action under 
Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017). Although the 
change reduces burden, EPA did not attempt to determine the extent of 
that burden reduction. As such, this action can only be used for the 2 
for 1 off-set described in Executive Order 13771.

[[Page 31924]]

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden 
under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., because it does not create any 
new reporting or recordkeeping obligations. OMB has previously approved 
the information collection activities contained in the existing 
regulations and has assigned OMB control number 2070-0185 (EPA ICR No. 
2446.02).

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    The Agency certifies that this action will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the 
RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. In making this determination, the impact of 
concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. 
An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves 
regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive 
economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. This direct 
final rule will allow regulated entities to voluntarily label compliant 
products prior December 12, 2017. The direct final rule will ease the 
transition of panel producers, fabricators, importers, distributors, 
and retailers from CARB labeling to TSCA labeling, since under the 
December 12, 2016 final rule, it would be difficult for some of them to 
time their production and inventory so that products that are labeled 
as TSCA compliant are available starting on but not before the 
compliance date. Since early labeling is voluntary, any firms that do 
not find this activity to be beneficial can wait until December 12, 
2017 to begin offering labeled products for sale. EPA therefore 
concludes that this action will have a nominally positive economic 
effect on the small entities subject to the rule.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in 
UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect 
small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, 
local or tribal governments or the private sector.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This final rule 
will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal 
governments. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, 
April 23, 1997) because it is not economically significant as defined 
in Executive Order 12866, and because EPA does not believe the 
environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a 
disproportionate risk to children. As addressed in Unit II.A., this 
action would not materially alter the requirements for labeling 
composite wood products and finished goods containing composite wood 
products as TSCA Title VI compliant. Rather, the final rule will allow 
TSCA Title VI compliant products to be labeled as such earlier sooner 
than currently permitted.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not a ``significant energy action'' as defined in 
Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because it is not 
likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution 
or use of energy.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards that would 
require the consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to 
NTTAA section 12(d), 15 U.S.C. 272 note.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    EPA has determined that the human health or environmental risk 
addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately 
high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, 
low-income or indigenous populations, as specified in Executive Order 
12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). As addressed in Unit II.A., this 
action would not materially alter the requirements for labeling 
composite wood products and finished goods containing composite wood 
products as TSCA Title VI compliant. Rather, the final rule will allow 
TSCA Title VI compliant products to be labeled as such earlier sooner 
than currently permitted.

K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the CRA and EPA will submit a rule report 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 
U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 770

    Environmental protection, Formaldehyde, Incorporation by reference, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Third-party certification, 
Toxic substances, Wood.

    Dated: June 21, 2017.
Wendy Cleland-Hamnett,
Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution 
Prevention.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, title 40, chapter I, of 
the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 770--FORMALDEHYDE STANDARDS FOR COMPOSITE WOOD PRODUCTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 770 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 2697(d).


Sec.  770.45   [Amended]

0
2. In Sec.  770.45, remove paragraph (f).

[FR Doc. 2017-14513 Filed 7-10-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P