Note: I have received clarification from HUD on the change to the Retailer and Distributor Responsibilites as a result of this new rule. See the highlighted text below.
The US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) published two notices in the January 31, 2020 Federal Register. This post will provide a brief overview of one of these two notices; the final rule announcing changes to the Formaldehyde/Health Notice requirement.
While the final rule has several elements, I think there are two big takeaways for manufactured home installers and retailers:
- The data plate inside the home will start including a note that the manufactured home is compliant with the Title VI, Toxic Substances Control Act. Retailers should start receiving and retaining a copy of this revised data plate (or some other document that indicates compliance) for a minimum of 3 years! See 3282.257 below!
- Section 3280.309 of the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards is being removed. This section required the home manufacturer to provide a notice on display in the kitchen which informed potential customers that the building materials inside of the home may irritate certain people. You may know this notice informally as the “Formaldehyde Notice”.
These code changes will take effect in manufactured homes entering the first stage of production on March 2, 2020.
It is important to understand that you should not remove the notice in homes you currently have in stock or on display. This final rule is not retroactive for home produced prior to the effective date.
As always, you should review the actual rule yourself as I am only providing my unofficial take on what I have read. To access the Federal Register publication Click Here!
Also, HUD has added a subsection to the Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations under Retailer and Distributors Responsibilites. Read it here for yourself:
Retailers and distributors must maintain bills of lading, invoices, or comparable documents that include a written statement from the supplier that the component or finished goods are TSCA Title VI compliant for a minimum of 3 years from the date of import, purchase, or shipment, consistent with 40 CFR 770.30(c) and 770.40.
UPDATE: I have reached out to HUD for clarification on this and here is their response:
“Through these regulations, HUD is supporting EPA’s pre-existing requirements, not creating new requirements. As you may be aware, EPA’s definition of a “finished good” under TSCA Title VI does not exclude manufactured homes the way it excludes site-built housing (ref 44 CFR 770.3). So, in regards to the requirement for retailers to retain records promulgated at 24 CFR §3282.257; as a retailer of a “finished good,” manufactured home retailers are required to maintain a record that the finished goods they are selling, comply with TSCA Title VI. This is the same requirement EPA had previously codified at 44 CFR 770.30 and 44 CFR 770.40. So for finished goods the retailer sells, they need to have records that each product (or home in our case) are TSCA VI compliant and can be a copy of the Data Plate or some other document that indicates compliance.” (emphasis added).
Retailers will need to receive documentation from the manufacturer, such as a copy of the data plate or other document to indicate the home complies with the with the Toxic Substances Control Act. This document should then be retained for a minimum of 3 years.
HUD also published a group of proposed code changes in a separate notice. I will do my best to provide a summary on this in a few days under part 2 of this post.