CPSC Confirmation Hearing

Over the past few weeks, there have been many key goings-on related to the CPSC and its Commissioners.

Chairman Buerkle’s Confirmation Hearing and Committee Vote

First, on September 27, 2017, Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle sat for a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. At the beginning of the hearing, Buerkle faced tough questions, particularly from ranking member, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, and subsequent 11 deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators, Ms. Buerkle was repeatedly asked to defend her position that the CPSC should not undertake mandatory rulemaking on portable generator emissions. She explained that she believed the EPA has primary jurisdiction over carbon monoxide emissions from portable generators, but by working with industry on a voluntary standard involving an automatic shut-off mechanism within CPSC’s jurisdiction, it was her hope that a solution can be developed by the end of the year. Under CPSA, CPSC is required to rely on consensus standards instead of mandatory regulations where they are effective and compliance is widespread.

On October 4, 2017, the Committee cleared Chairman Buerkle’s nomination as Chair by voice vote but presumably because of the portable generators issue, her nomination for a second seven-year term as a CPSC Commissioner was not unanimous and voting followed party lines. Ms. Buerkle’s final hurdle will be a confirmation by the full Senate, which could take place quickly or take a couple of months depending on any further opposition to one or both of her nominations.

Continue Reading CPSC Round-Up: Buerkle Confirmation Hearing, Landmark Civil Penalty Ruling, and Partisan Action on Flame Retardants

The rumor is now confirmed. The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation officially announced it will hold the confirmation hearing for CPSC Chairman nominee, Elliot Kaye, and Commissioner nominee, Joe Mohorovic, next Tuesday, April 8th at 2:30pm. This is a very quick turn-around for Kaye in particular, who will have only been the Chairman nominee for eleven days prior to the hearing. Many believe the move to hold a hearing this quickly indicates both nominees should have a clear and quick path forward to confirmation by the full Senate. That would not be a surprise given the praise both nominees have drawn from CPSC’s major stakeholder groups.

Kaye and Mohorovic will be on the second panel of nominations planned for the hearing. The first panel is for Vice Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, who is nominated to be Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. The hearing will be webcast live and is being held in Room 253 of the Russell Senate Office Building.