What are cabinet makers concerned about? News and issues

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Here’s a quick look at some of the news and legislation affecting the U.S. cabinet manufacturing industry, as noted by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA).

EPA’s formaldehyde rule delays

On January 20, the Trump administration issued an order freezing all recently released EPA regulations for a 60-day review period. The ordinance opened the door to blocking rules the EPA issued in the last few weeks of the Obama administration, including the final rule under the Wood Products Formaldehyde Standards Act. composite.

Most likely, the review period will simply delay the date the EPA’s formaldehyde rule originally came into effect, pushing it back from February 10 to March 21. This should only affect the deadline for accrediting bodies and third-party certifiers to register with the EPA. The implementation date of December 12 for all panel producers and manufacturers to comply with the regulation’s emissions and other requirements appears to remain unchanged.

Largely CARB compliant, the EPA regulations cover the use of particle board, MDF and hardwood plywood. Products made with decorative coatings and veneers are considered under the rule to be finished products and must use compliant composite wood substrates. Federal regulations apply the same CARB emission limits for hardwood plywood (0.05 ppm), MDF (0.11 ppm), thin MDF (0.13 ppm) and particle board (0.09 ppm). The regulation also establishes a rigorous third-party certification system. Current CARB certification bodies will automatically be recognized as certifiers for the national program for two years.

Photo: Association of composite panels

In related news, the KCMA, along with the Composite Panel Association, the American Home Furnishings Alliance and the International Wood Products Association, sent a letter to the EPA to address concerns about a provision in the formaldehyde rule. which currently prohibits the true and voluntary labeling of composite wood products as compliant. with the regulation before the compliance date of December 12, 2017. This ban poses significant potential challenges for the supply chain, where manufacturers will be called upon to manage inventory and implement labeling changes that will come into play. in force during the day.

The KCMA said it also plans to send a letter to the EPA to discuss a provision of the non-conforming batch rule. It applies to a manufacturer who receives notification from a panel producer that the panels received were part of a lot that failed an emissions test. The provision presumably requires the manufacturer to notify customers to whom it may have shipped finished products containing components of these panels. The manufacturer’s notification should inform customers that the finished products should be insulated; cannot be distributed further; and must either be recalled or processed and retested.

Cal / OSHA Says No To Lower PELs For Wood Dust

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal / OSHA) Standards Council has spoken out against a proposal to lower the allowable level of exposure to wood dust from 5 milligrams per cubic meter to 1 milligram. The American Wood Council (AWC), of which the KCMA is a member, successfully argued that Cal / OSHA did not have sufficient evidence to say that it was possible to achieve the 1 mg / cubic meter level. Cal / OSHA will now restart rule making.

“Cal / OSHA staff had not generated enough information to say the 1 mg / cubic meter level was achievable,” said AWC Chief Scientist Stewart Holm. “A PEL of less than 2 would force many companies to invest in expensive controls and force some to leave California or close.”

The AWC has been engaged in the process for several years and has worked with several allied trade associations to oppose the proposal.

Current regulations to limit exposure to wood dust (except Western Red Cedar) have a current time-weight average of 5 mg / cubic meter; the short-term exposure limit of 15 minutes is 10 mg / cubic meter. For Western Red Cedar, the current PEL is 2.5 mg / cubic meter.

Although there are no federal OSHA regulations that apply specifically to wood dust, the agency has an allowable exposure limit for “dust not elsewhere classified” that would cover wood dust. wood: 15 mg / cubic meter.

Chinese hardwood plywood imports subject to third ITC review

The United States International Trade Commission said there was “a reasonable indication that a United States industry is suffering material injury as a result of imports of hardwood plywood from China which are allegedly subsidized and sold to the United States. United at less than fair value “.

Noting that its six commissioners have voted in favor, the US Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations on hardwood plywood imports. A judgment on whether countervailing duties should be levied to discourage imports is expected in April, with the preliminary determination of anti-dumping duties due in June.

The issue is controversial, with US plywood makers, the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood, struggling to restrict Chinese exports. An opposing group of small, medium and large US hardwood plywood importers, distributors, manufacturers and retailers, the US Hardwood Plywood Alliance wants to allow imports to continue as is.

Following the latest ITC decision, AAHP President Greg Simon issued the following statement:

“We are disappointed that this investigation is continuing, but remain very confident that the facts continue to be on our side. This is now the third time that the federal government has conducted a comprehensive review and we believe it will reach the same conclusion as before: hardwood plywood products imported from China are marketed fairly at competitive prices and have a place. legitimate in the global consumer market. “

Federal ordinance sets limits for rules

President Trump recently signed an executive order requiring that for every new federal regulation implemented, two must be repealed. The decree will promote the growth of small businesses, which have been inundated by regulation in recent years. It will also erase the Code of Federal Regulations of outdated and conflicting regulations that impact the success and growth of manufacturers in the United States.

The ordinance could lead to a general overhaul of the way regulators calculate the costs and benefits of the new rules. At this point, the KCMA signed a letter from the United States Chamber of Commerce urging the Senate to make regulatory reform a top priority by passing the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA). The RAA encourages federal regulations to be more closely matched and supported by strong, credible data to impose the least burden possible.

Pruitt chosen for the head of the EPA

The selection of Scott Pruitt as a director of the United States Environment Agency is supported by the National Association of Manufacturers. “Manufacturers believe [Pruitt] can restore the necessary balance to the EPA regulatory process, ”Jay Timmons, president and CEO of NAM, said in a letter to the Senate.

NAM noted that many past regulations have cost US manufacturers hundreds of billions of dollars to comply.

Overtime rule blocked

A U.S. District Court in Texas blocked the Department of Labor’s overtime payment rule, which made more than 4 million private sector workers eligible for extra pay or mandatory time off.

The judge in charge of the case said the Ministry of Labor regulation exceeded its authority in raising the wage threshold for compulsory overtime from $ 23,660 to $ 47,476 per year.

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