Friday, March 12, 2010

The CPSC's Focus for 2010: CPSIA and VGB

Over the past few weeks we’ve attended several meetings regarding the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and garnered some valuable information for IAAPA members.

Since 2008, the main focus of the CPSC has been implementing the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act (CPSIA) and the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB). As IAAPA members know, both laws have had a sweeping impact on the attraction industry in the United States.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s activities will continue to present a number of challenges for IAAPA members and many other industries this year. The CPSC has published 41 Federal Register notices (essentially 41 rules) concerning the CPSIA, and will publish 12 more rules in the next few weeks, including a revision of the definition of “children’s products,” and a rule on testing for children’s products. The Commission is also looking at cadmium limits under the CPSIA.

In 2010, the agency will turn from implementation of the laws to enforcement. The proposed FY2011 budget (which will take effect in October 2010) includes requests for additional compliance officers, field investigators, technical specialists, attorneys, and a coordinator for state and local authorities. The agency has also requested an additional 16 employees for import surveillance, and $100,000 for the destruction of goods refused at ports of entry by CPSC.

One of the most significant issues that will occur in FY2011 is the creation of the public database under CPSIA. This will allow reports by consumers, health care providers, and safety officials. Manufacturers will have an opportunity to comment on items in the database. CPSC will prioritize safety issues within the database. Potential problems with this database include duplicate submissions, misidentifications, malicious reports from competitors, and other misuse.

VGB Update for Waterparks
Another piece of legislation that has had a big impact on IAAPA members is the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB). The CPSC is also wrapping up implementation on this piece of legislation and shifting priorities to education and enforcement.

On March 1, CPSC Commissioners cast a series of votes on the implementation of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. We’ve uploaded details on the votes and statements from Chairman Tenenbaum and Commissioners Moore, Adler, and Northup to our Waterpark Safety Page and encourage waterpark members to read them.

The CPSC’s FY2011 budget contains an additional $1 million for pool and spa safety education, to bring the total amount to $8.1 million since the law was enacted. The CPSC is expected to roll out its grant program to help states and municipalities enact model pool legislation and educate citizens about pool safety.

The CPSC will vote on the state grant program and the model legislation in the coming weeks. IAAPA waterpark members should watch their e-mail boxes for a notice when those votes take place.

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