Industry News and Views

California Formaldehyde Regulations

A question concerning the new California regulations on formaldehyde emissions was recently asked of the Integrated Workplace Acquisition Center. The question related to whether furniture companies selling products to federal agencies for use in California, under GSA Schedule Contracts, were required to meet the California regulations.

California enacted a new environmental regulation, effective as of January 1, 2009, to establish limits on the emissions of formaldehyde from composite wood panel products. The new regulations may affect sales of furniture products to the U.S. Government for use in California.

The U.S. Government waived sovereign immunity for purposes of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's and the States' regulatory implementation of the Clean Air Act. This means that the U.S. Government must comply with the federal regulations. The U.S. Government, as a consumer of products containing composite wood, must also comply with the more restrictive California standards for composite wood products containing formaldehyde that are sold for use by federal agencies in California. In other words, the GSA Schedule contractors cannot ignore the California regulation simply because they are selling their products to the U.S. Government.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Clause 52.212-4(q), which is included in the GSA Schedule Contracts, requires the contractor to "...comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, executive orders, and rules and regulations applicable to its performance under this contract." This contract clause requires GSA vendors to follow the new California emission regulation.

California formaldehyde regulations or a list of California Air Resources Board compliant panel producers. Select the Certified Mills List in the left hand column.

For questions or more information, contact Linda Valdes at

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