CPSIA: Stay of Execution?

Some good news: The CPSC released a Stay of Enforcement of Testing and Certification Requirements; (pdf) dated today, January 30, 2009. A cursory examination shows they get it. As we debated earlier over which definitions were likely for a “small business”, they’re using the SBA’s meaning, 99% of children’s wear apparel producers. It’s not the complete solution but it’s a start. Also see the CPSC press release explaining the matter. I will update this later.

Other good news: I’m pleased to announce that Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has announced he’s sponsoring legislation to amend the CPSIA. Again, the proposal is not a total solution but it’s a promising start. The bare bones of the plan are on his site; I’ll publish or link to final version once permitted to do so. Minimally, I extend a great deal of gratitude to Mr. DeMint and his legislative aides for crafting a proposal with the input of manufacturers. It is gratifying to be heard.

More to come. I have to do shipping now before the post office closes.

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19 comments

  1. Gidget says:

    Jim DeMint is the best ones to be working on this! That is good news. I’ll need to read it (Slo just read off his copy – rather excited he was too, lol) but the ‘you don’t need to test but you still have to be accountable’ line is worrisome. Going to read it myself.

  2. Ms. C. says:

    Gidget, it’s good to have people be accountable, bad to have testing. I don’t think that line is worrisome at all. That’s just how it should be. Punish people who sell items with too much lead, but don’t make everyone go off and test like they’re already guilty.

  3. Mary Anne Griffin says:

    Kathleen, thank you for all the effort you’ve put into this. I just can’t imagine the disaster this would be for so many people. Your time and effort are greatly appreciated. I hope that a few people in the government will swallow their pride and acknowledge they’ve made a huge error in this one.

  4. Trevor says:

    I cannot begin to thank you enough for all you do, K.
    I have to say, when I read the ctual “stay” document, I was torn between doing a jig in my dining room and crying a few tears of victory.
    I did both.
    Thank you K. The ball went into the right pocket.
    *Good Catch*
    XOXOXO
    Trevor

  5. Wendy says:

    Thank you for all of your hard work. At least for now–this is excellent news.
    Now we just have to push for component testing. This is a great relief for everyone whose line is about to ship.

  6. Jody says:

    With regards to accountability, the CPSIA has made me more aware of the materials I use. Many of the materials I use come from retail stores. Since all of this came about, I have examined all the stock I have on hand to remove anything that might reasonably be assumed to contain lead. This is a concern about legality but one of safety. The lead content in my raw materials simply never occurred to me before CPSIA. In terms of awareness…dare I say it? The law was a good thing. It was just written very poorly and Congress overreached.

    I agree with Kathleen in that these new developments are a good start. But, we should not assume that we are out of the woods. We can expect that the special interests that pushed this thing through the first time will push even harder to limit any reforms. And, the reforms are being sponsored by a Republican in a Democrat dominated Congress w/a Democratic President. Regardless of your political party, the odds of passage will depend on how many Democrats we can get on board with Mr. DeMint.

    So, our efforts shouldn’t stop here. We should continue to lobby Congress to give them, regardless of their party, the political courage to do what is right and intelligent. You can bet the special interests on the other side of this issue are going to redouble their efforts now. We have to watch Mr. DeMint’s legislation very closely and respond with new developments as it is being discussed in committee and debated on the Senate floor. We also need to watch for a similar bill coming out of the House.

    I’m not a pessimist, just a realist. I cried a little last night, too. It surprised me. Guess I didn’t realize how deeply this was affecting me. But, now I do, and I want to be prepared for the next round. Feb 10, 2010 will come sooner than we think.

  7. Vesta says:

    Holy guacamole! I’m breathing easier already. I mean, our stuff was already tested for lead, just not in the ridiculous way that the CPSIA is requiring. Now we have a year to get this stuff figured out!

    Jody, your reaction to this crisis shows real professionalism. That’s reassuring to see. There is a learning opportunity in EVERY experience (even if it’s a lesson about how NOT to be, lol).

    Thanks so much, Kathleen.

  8. Hallelujah! It’s like the world has been set back on it’s correct orbit. We do have to keep on top of the government and make sure the corrections are made before next year!

    Thank you Kathleen! Can’t wait to read your book! See good things can happen in bad situations!

  9. Thank you for everything you do, Kathleen. I hang on your whip-smart analysis of this mess.
    My deepest fear is that we STILL find ourselves with a safety law which isn’t focused on true safety concerns (the swimming pool slides and ATVs are still in, aren’t they?), one TWO people can “unanimously vote” to enforce or not.
    And the general public–IF they are even aware–still thinks it’s about handmade tutus and wooden tops. We need that media exposure more than ever if we’re going to push forward over the course of the next very short year for the reform needed.
    Yes, I might have five fewer cups of coffee today and enjoy a little wiggle-room inside this stay-of-execution. But my Last Meal-planning is still at the back of my head–and I hope we all use it to motivate us.

  10. katy says:

    Way to go, Kathleen! God Bless You! Now I can tell dozens of panicking mothers that their little ones will have their 50’s apparel in time for the big dance!

  11. Jane says:

    At first I was relieved, then skeptical, now I’m just as perturbed as before since my business remains in limbo for yet another two months, meaning large income reduction due to no selling from Feb. 10 on to whenever, IF, stay is passed. And it could still be overturned by the big money interest groups that supported and lobbied for this ill-conceived, badly written legislation.

    My business plans for this year, and on, remain in the spin cycle.

    Re: the 30 comment period this time around – Why so long a wait now? Prior to passage of the CPSIA, the CSPC suspended the required 30 hearing/comment periods and gave only 5-10 days to slip the law under the table. I do not trust this. Their broad powers can be used either way and now it seems like this proposed ‘stay’ is more like another stall. It was big money & influence plus a hefty dose of hubris that got CPSIA passed in the first place and Kathleen has nailed it: the interest groups/lobbyists likely will fight hard to keep the status quo.

    Thanks for all your hard work and giving us the facts, Kathleen!

  12. Victoria says:

    This really is a step in the right direction. Ditto Kysha M…”I can exhale…give thanks!” And, of course, thank you Kathleen, for everything.

  13. Melkidlet says:

    This “stay” is nothing but political tap-dancing and yet another example of the government talking out of both sides of their mouth. We gained nothing with this stay. Under the CPSIA, the state attorneys general can still pursue manufacturers and retailers for products which are not compliant with the Feb. 10 lead and phthalates standards. If you don’t test, then how do you assure compliance?

    Also, if you sell to retailers, they are still going to ask for proof of compliance in the form of testing reports and/or certificates of compliance so they limit the legal liability of their inventory. So the fact that the CPSC has granted a stay for testing and certificates is moot.

    Back to the drawing board, folks….

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