Breaking Announcement: Court Makes Announcement on EPA Rules

The Court finds the Delay Rule is beyond the scope of the EPA’s authority and is not in accordance with the Formaldehyde Act. The Court GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and DENIES the EPA’s cross-motion for summary judgment. Having found that the EPA has acted in excess of its statutory authority and therefore unlawfully under the APA, the Court vacates and sets aside the year-long extension to December 12, 2018 of the compliance deadlines set out by the EPA in the Delay Rule. See 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A); see also California Communities Against Toxics v. EPA, 688 F.3d 989, 992 (9th Cir. 2012) (per curiam).

At oral argument on these motions, the parties agreed that should the Court vacate the Delay Rule, the parties would meet and confer to address the timely implementation of the Court’s order. Accordingly, the Court STAYS this order vacating the Delay Rule until such time as the parties can address the timely and effective implementation of the compliance guidelines. The parties shall have until March 9, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. to provide the Court with a joint proposed submission or simultaneous briefing each not to exceed 15 pages to address the timing for lifting the stay and expeditious implementation of the Court’s order.

Formaldehyde Rule court date postponed

From the Woodworking Network:


WASHINGTON, DC – The federal district court hearing on motions challenging EPA’s authority to extend the Formaldehyde Rule compliance deadlines has been postponed until Jan. 26.  Originally scheduled for Jan. 12, the postponement is due to scheduling conflicts for the government’s counsel.

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 31, 2017, by the Sierra Club and A Community Voice-Louisiana, which is represented by Earthjustice, claims EPA acted “arbitrarily, capriciously” and without authority when it granted panel producers a one-year extension for compliance to TSCA Title VI, also known as the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products. The original compliance date was Dec. 12, 2017.


For more click here

Benchmark International, Ready to Serve You.

Benchmark International is uniquely poised to take on auditing, monitoring, quality control, laboratory testing throughout the world. We have team members posted on four continents ready to take on your next big task. Whether is be compliance, regulatory requirements, or just oversight, keep in mind that Benchmark is ready to assist you.

Here is are some of our team members.

Merry Christmas!

The Benchmark International family would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

West Virginia Public Broadcasting Timber Series

Sometimes, we find news articles that aren’t always about regulations, legality, or chemicals. West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with funding from The Myles Family foundation, have created a series of articles and broadcasts related to the timber industry in West Virginia. The series can be found here. IIt includes lumber, flooring and other parts of the timber industry.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Benchmark International Family to Yours!

Benchmark International would like to wish each and everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving!


Photo by: VXLA

Alphabet Soup

In the forest products industry and beyond, there are a lot of acronyms that we see used over and over again. We use them to save space, talk quickly about a subject, or simply because we know what they mean, but not what they stand for. Below is a small list of acronyms that are seen most often and what they stand for:

CAR– Corrective Action Report

CARBCalifornia Air Resources Board

COB– Close of Business

COC or CoC– Chain of Custody

CWP– Composite Wood Product

ASTMAmerican Section of the International Association for Testing Materials

EPAU.S. Environmental Protection Agency

FSCForest Stewardship Council

HWPW-CC– Hardwood Plywood Composite Core

HWPW-VC– Hardwood Plywood Veneer Core

ISOInternational Organization of Standardization

JASJapanese Agricultural Standard

SFISustainable Forestry Initiative

TPC– Third Party Certifier

TSCAToxic Substance Control Act

What acronyms do you use? Email us your acronyms to add to the list.

Formaldehyde Rule Lawsuit Filed

A lawsuit was filed on Halloween (31 October 2017) by the Sierra Club and A Community Voice, represented by Earthjustice, against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the delay in implementing the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Title VI for formaldehyde in composite wood products. The suit alleges that the EPA is unlawfully delaying the implementation of the rules.


You can read the court filing here.

EPA Updates Voluntary Consensus Standards in the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Rule

From the EPA:

EPA is publishing a direct final rule to update several voluntary consensus standards listed at 40 CFR § 770.99 and incorporated by reference in the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products rule.

These updates apply to emission testing methods and regulated composite wood product construction characteristics. Several of those voluntary consensus standards (i.e. technical specifications for products or processes developed by standards-setting bodies) were updated, withdrawn, and/or superseded through the normal course of business by these various bodies to take into account new information, technology, and methodology.

Additionally, this direct final rule corrects the rule at 40 CFR § 770.20(b) by allowing the formaldehyde emissions mill quality control test methods to correlate to either the ASTM E1333-14 test method or, upon a showing of equivalence, the ASTM D6007-14 test method. This correlation was inadvertently omitted from the original final rule. The correction aligns the mill quality control testing requirements with the California Air Resources Board standards allowing mill quality control tests to be correlated to the less expensive ASTM D6007-14 test method.

In the event that EPA receives an adverse comment on the direct final rule and must publish a proposal, EPA also published a companion notice of proposed rule making to update the voluntary consensus standards. If EPA receives no adverse comment on the direct final rule or proposed rule, then the Agency will take no further action on the proposed rule and the direct final rule will become effective 45 days after publication of the direct final rule. If EPA receives relevant, adverse comment, then the Agency will withdraw the direct final rule and proceed with the proposed rule through the normal rulemaking process.

Read the direct final rule to update the voluntary consensus standards which is up for public inspection in the Federal Register.

Also note that on September 25, 2017, EPA issued a final rule to extend the compliance dates for the December 12, 2016 final Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products Rule. Read more about this action on EPA’s website.

Visit the EPA’s formaldehyde website for additional information on TSCA Title VI final rule.

Lacey Act Implementation Plan: De Minimis Exception and Composite Articles

USDA/APHIS RIN: 0579-AD44 Publication ID: Update 2017
Title: Lacey Act Implementation Plan: De Minimis Exception and Composite Articles

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 amended the Lacey Act to provide, among other things, that importers submit a declaration at the time of importation for certain plants and plant products. The declaration requirements of the Lacey Act became effective on December 15, 2008, and enforcement of those requirements is being phased in. We are proposing an exception to the declaration requirements for products containing composite plant materials. We are also proposing to establish an exception to the declaration requirement for products containing a minimal amount of plant materials. Both of these actions would relieve the burden on importers while continuing to ensure that the declaration requirement fulfills the purposes of the Lacey Act.


Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA) Priority: Other Significant
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking:Proposed Rule Stage
Major: No Unfunded Mandates: No
CFR Citation: 7 CFR 357
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 3371 et seq.
Legal Deadline:  None

Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM 06/30/2011 76 FR 38330
ANPRM Comment Period End 08/29/2011
NPRM 08/00/2017
Additional Information: Additional information about APHIS and its programs is available on the Internet at
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No Government Levels Affected: None
Federalism: No
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No
Agency Contact:
Parul Patel
Senior Agriculturalist, Permitting and Compliance Coordination, PPQ
Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
4700 River Road, Unit 60,
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231
Phone:301 851-2351