Impact of EPA’s New Composite Panel Regulations

BOISE, Idaho – In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released their long-anticipated regulations, Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products, designed to expand emissions regulations on a national basis. Most of the recommendations from the EPA are consistent with those from the existing California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure, with a few exceptions which are still being studied.

Boise Cascade is committed to producing high-quality particleboard that meets or exceeds all North American manufacturing standards, including those governing formaldehyde emissions. “We welcome the new EPA rule because we think it is good for our customers and consumers,” said Steve Stoler, general sales manager for Boise Cascade Particleboard. “Since 2011, we have been compliant with regulations covered by the new EPA rule, and have targeted emissions levels which are far below the CARB 2 and EPA levels. While it is more expensive to make a compliant product, we chose to invest in better resin technology so that we could voluntarily reduce our use of formaldehyde.”

But work is not complete, said Stoler. “While CARB regulations call for random testing, unfortunately, the EPA rule has no provision for testing finished goods and no guidelines for enforcement. We believe that we need to apply pressure as an industry to develop some type of test for finished goods and implement an enforcement program. Raw goods are easy to test, but we believe that our industry needs a known test for finished goods that is repeatable.

Boise Cascade has collaborated closely with the Composite Panel Association (CPA) to advocate on behalf of its customers. “Our customers want to be able to compete with imported products, so we’re working hard to level the playing field for all producers,” said Stoler. “The CPA has served as a committed advocate for the industry, and my current role as CPA chairman has given Boise Cascade customers a strong voice in that process.”

Stoler noted that Boise Cascade just wants the industry to be fair. “We know that it is more expensive to buy compliant products, and our customers don’t want to have to compete against the less expensive composite products coming in with non-compliant core,” he said. “No one is asking for any kind of subsidy. Our customers tell us that they can compete with imports as long as they all have to play by the same rules, and that’s what we hope the new EPA regulations will help us do.”

For more information about EPA’s Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products, email Steve Stoler at or call 1-888-264-7372.

About Boise Cascade
Boise Cascade is one of the largest producers of plywood and engineered wood products in North America and a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of building products. For more information, please visit our website at

Boise Cascade Company
1111 West Jefferson Street, Suite 300
PO Box 50 Boise, ID 83728
Steve Stoler
General Sales Manager, Industrial Products
Boise Cascade Wood Products
T 208-384-6610

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