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

Product Safety Update from Capitol Hill Earlier this year, we began a series of blog entries to update our readers on legislative efforts on Capitol Hill that affect stakeholders within the product safety arena.  Over the summer, we updated you on an amendment to an appropriations bill passed in the House of Representatives that would halt the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) ongoing work on finalizing a rule on voluntary recalls.  Since the summer, three additional pieces of legislation have been introduced on the Hill pertaining to product safety, which deserve our attention.

Continue Reading Product Safety Update from Capitol Hill (Part Three)

(Updated Feb. 13, 2014) Over the past month, our blog posts have focused on the product safety activities of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and U.S. Congress, and even within the EU and Australia.  However, product safety developments within the States must not be overlooked.  On many issues, various states have been out in front of the federal government, or our international partners, on product safety issues, such as banning the use of heavy metals in children’s products, banning certain types of child care articles (such as drop-side cribs) and limiting Bisphenol-A (BPA) in products such as water bottles.  Every so often, Consumer Product Matters will update our readers on interesting product safety developments on the state level by highlighting a select few (this list is not meant to be comprehensive).

Continue Reading Product Safety Round-Up from the States