The final conference report for H.R. 4040, now known as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, was issued recently. With the final version of H.R. 4040 expected to be passed by both the House and Senate the President is excepted to sign the H.R. 4040 bill into law in the next few weeks.
The most important provision concerning the coatings industry is the provision that lowers allowable residual lead levels in consumer paints from 600 ppm to 90 ppm. All consumer paints will be required to meet the 90 ppm standard within one year from the date of enactment of the Act. Another noteworthy provision will allow state Attorneys General to file a lawsuit in any U.S. District Court, on behalf of state residents, against a consumer product manufacturer alleged to be in violation of certain provisions of the Act.
There is also a provision offering employees whistleblower protection for reporting alleged violations of the Act to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Finally, there is a provision that discusses whether the Act will preempt similar state laws. The language in the provision is not entirely clear, and will therefore likely be the subject of much litigation in the future.