Judge Vacates December 2018 Compliance Deadline for Formaldehyde Rule

February 21, 2018

on February 16 a California federal trial judge recently declared unlawful and vacated the December 2018 compliance deadline for the Formaldehyde Rule governing composite wood products. See Order, Sierra Club v. Pruitt, No. 4:17-cv- 06293-JSW (N.D. Cal) (Feb. 16, 2018). The judge also ordered an expedited remedy briefing by March 9 on how much earlier the compliance deadline should be set if EPA and Sierra Club are unable to reach a settlement.  After the March 9 briefing, it’s possible that the judge could move forward the compliance deadline for the Formaldehyde Rule tothis Spring, possibly as early as April or May 2018
 
Such a precipitous shift risks pushing thousands of companies into non-compliance with the rule and creates a likelihood of supply chain disruptions, as companies may be unable to manufacture, import or use compliant plywood, flooring, cabinets and other wood products that form an integral part of building and remodeling. 
 
KCMA and several trade associations previously participated in the case as amici on behalf of EPA. The International Wood Products Association (IWPA), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and KCMA previously filed a joint amicus brief in the case on behalf of EPA. The American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) and the Composite Panel Association (CPA) separately filed amicus briefs in support of EPA. 
 
KCMA, along with four other DC trade associations, have agreed to file a motion to intervene in the lawsuit. Intervention allows for these associations to be a part of the negotiations for appropriate dates for compliance of the Formaldehyde Rule.

At the hearing leading up to the ruling, the judge expressed an interest in considering the views of the regulated community before setting an earlier compliance deadline for the rule. As amici, the trade associations previously filed briefs warning of the potential dire consequences to the supply chain if the compliance deadline were moved up.