Monday February 13, 2023
Commissioners Send Updated 6(b) Proposal Out for Comments
Commissioners voted 3-1 February 8 to publish the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) on revising CPSC's 6(b) rules. The negative vote was from Commissioner Richard Trumka, who said his reason was that the proposal did not go far enough in eliminating unrequired barriers to CPSC sharing information.
Meanwhile, two amendments from Commissioner Peter Feldman failed 2-2 with Trumka and Commissioner Mary Boyle opposing. Boyle said that while she did not disagree with the feedback questions that Feldman sought to add, she preferred to keep questions broad to avoid inadvertently filtering out input. Trumka did not give a reason why.
Feldman's questions would have sought comments on:
In explaining her opposition, Boyle also suggested that commenters could and were likely to address those issues.
The new NPR is an update of one created in 2014. The goal is to align CPSC's rules with the law; there is a belief that CPSC imposes extra restrictions on itself.
Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric wrote (bit.ly/3lmUD1d):
"CPSC is the only federal safety agency with this statutory restriction. As long as 6(b) remains in law, the CPSC cannot adequately inform the public of unreasonable risk of injury associated with products that are often already in consumers’ homes. That is why moving forward with the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking today is so critical – the CPSC can and should provide as much detailed safety information as possible under our statute so that consumers can make informed decisions for themselves and their families."
Feldman wrote (bit.ly/3Yjn6nj):
"Under this proposal, the Commission may endorse existing third-party information, such as news reports. In doing so, CPSC must decide whether information is accurate and not misleading …My amendment asked the threshold question of whether the Commission should engage in this sort of content selection, and if so, what standards and safeguards should apply."
"The proposed rule also would give the Commission additional flexibility to publish information from SaferProducts.gov. My amendment asked if it would better serve the public interest to release this information regularly rather than selecting specific items to release occasionally. I am interested in learning if periodic and routine information sharing would provide for more neutral and transparent dissemination."