Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA Blogathon

In an effort to flood the "blog waves" with information about the CPSIA, Chichiboulie thought it would be a great idea to pick a day and have as many people writing about this as possible. As readers of my blog you are probably already aware of what this will mean for my business. Right now I am CPSIA compliant through August 14th. After that date I will have to close my doors if the law isn't amended or repealed. I simply cannot afford to pass the huge costs of testing onto my customers.

That being said, I've already written a great deal about this law. So today I thought I would write about my experiences in dealing with Congress, and trying to persuade them that this law is devastating to many small businesses around the country. My senators are Jeanne Shaheen and Judd Gregg, and my representative in the House is Paul Hodes. I started a letter writing campaign back in November, and did not find too much satisfaction in the written word.

Mr. Hodes' office wrote back a form letter relating only to his support of the law, and my concerns were totally ignored. No doubt my letter did not make it past a junior staffer. I decided to call his office, and those of my Senators last week, and finally I was able to speak to the legislative aides. They stated that they had received many calls and letters about it, so that is definitely a good thing.

I then received a letter dated January 22 from Paul Hodes office that at least addressed my concerns a little more. Unfortunately this communication contained statements that are totally wrong:

"The lead requirements do not apply to already manufactured goods."

Unfortunately this has been the most challenging aspect of this whole mess. If our own leaders who voted for this debacle don't understand the actual verbiage and subsequent decisions rendered by the General Counsel for the CPSC, Cheryl Falvey, then how do they expect us to comply with the law?

In fact, in a letter written to Michael Brown dated November 14th, 2008, Ms. Falvey reiterated a previous decision on the lead ruling as it relates to current inventory, and stated that everything that wasn't tested as of February 10th would become a "banned hazardous substance." How can our congressional representatives not know these basic facts?

In my opinion Nancy Nord, who is the head of the CPSC, is interpreting this law as broadly as possible not only because she is compelled to do so, but is also creating confusion so that we all force Congress to change it. She knows, given her budgetary constraints, that it is impossible to enforce it. Her only chance is to have enough people make a stink about it to Congress to force an amendment. Let's hope it works.


The Clever Kitty said...

Thanks for joining the blog-in! I've been following your blog for awhile now, and you've been doing a great job with your CPSIA posts. Thank you so much!

myminimocs said...

excellent - thank you for sharing this information - together hopefully we can make an impact and get this law amended and focused back onto it's original intent - keeping our children safe!

devon industry said...

I also received a response via letter from my Congresswoman, Zoe Lofgren. It was what I expected I guess - a brief summary of what the law is intended to do, followed by the suggestion to write the CPSC who is 'currently seeking public comments on proposed legislation', then she included the CPSC website address (as though I didn't already have it). Not much meat there, though I was surprised to get a letter at all. I totally agree with you and really do wonder how much our Congress Members know about the proposed law or what it will mean to so many of us.

Winklepots said...

Thank you so much for helping to spread the word about this poorly written law. It affects us all. Here's hoping it's amended soon to minimize the damage being done. It's so sad that the people we're counting on to make the changes are ignoring what we're saying. Let's hope we can get through to them.