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EPA Addresses Violations of Requirements for Formaldehyde Emissions for Imported Composite Wood Products


Last week the Environmental Appeals Board approved a settlement resolving violations of the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 and its implementing Formaldehyde Rule (effective June 1, 2018). This is the first enforcement action taken by the agency for violations of the Formaldehyde regulations. 

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas at room temperature and has a strong odor. The chemical is found in resins used in the manufacture of composite wood products (i.e., hardwood plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard), among others. Exposure to formaldehyde may cause adverse health effects including irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat and at high exposure levels may cause some types of cancers. The Formaldhyde Rule sets limits on how much formaldehyde can be released from composite wood products and establishes a program in which independent certifying organizations will verify that composite wood panel producers comply with the limits on formaldehyde releases.

The settlement with Global Sourcing Solutions, A Division of Turner Logistics, LLC (GSS) of Montvale, New Jersey, resolves violations associated with the importation of noncompliant composite wood products. Under the Consent Agreement, GSS agreed to take corrective actions to come into compliance and will pay a penalty of $544,064. The settlement reflects the company’s cooperation with EPA, its immediate efforts to come into compliance, and its implementation of the corrective action plan. As part of the settlement GSS, although not admitting liability, has modified its practices in construction projects across the country to assure future compliance with the Formaldehyde Rule requirements.

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