Summary: H.R.4952 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (07/16/1990)

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 1990 - Title I: Amendments to Acts - Amends the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) to set a 12-month deadline, subject to extension, on the issuance of any proposed consumer product safety rule after the date of publication of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

Requires a feasibility study on requiring entities subject to the CPSA to pay amounts to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to defray the costs of Commission services to the entities.

Amends the CPSA, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), and the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA) (the Acts) to: (1) allow the Commission to terminate a rulemaking or regulation proceeding and rely on a voluntary standard only if such standard is in existence; (2) allow (in some circumstances require) the Commission to devise procedures to monitor voluntary standards compliance; and (3) require the Commission to grant or deny a petition to initiate a rulemaking within a reasonable time after the petition is filed, with the Commission prohibited from denying a petition on the basis of a voluntary standard unless the standard is in existence and other requirements are met.

Amends the CPSA to direct the President, in making appointments to the Commission, to at least consider individuals with experience in the safety of consumer products or in related fields.

Revises quorum requirements applicable to periods in which there are vacancies on the Commission.

Creates the position of Director of Compliance, makes the Director an officer of the Commission, and requires the Director to be an attorney. Makes certain existing positions officers of the Commission and removes the pay cap on those positions. Allows the Chairman, with the approval of the Commission, to remove officers.

Amends the FHSA and the FFA to empower an attorney general of a State who alleges a violation under those Acts to bring a civil action for enforcement.

Amends the CPSA to add to the list of reasons a manufacturer must notify the Commission about that of: (1) apparent failure to comply with a voluntary standard; and (2) the product's being the subject of a civil action. Prohibits the Commission from disclosing information about a civil action.

Amends the CPSA to increase, and the FHSA and the FFA to establish, basic and maximum civil monetary penalties for prohibited acts. Requires increases in the maximum penalties for inflation.

Amends the CPSA to require the Commission to annually establish an agenda and priorities for Commission action under the Acts under its jurisdiction.

Requires, subject to exception, a presiding hearing officer to transmit any settlement offer to the Commission.

Directs the Commission to establish a product surveillance program in cooperation with other appropriate Federal agencies to: (1) carry out its responsibilities under this Act; and (2) prevent the entry of unsafe consumer products into the commerce of the United States.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 through 1992.

Title II: Related Provisions - Directs the Commission to: (1) study and report to the Congress on whether a special flammability standard is needed for sleepwear (other than for children); and (2) pursue its pending proceedings to establish a safety standard for cigarette lighters. Revises the CPSA definition of "amusement ride." Includes amusement rides expressly within the framework of such Act, subjecting them to public disclosure and inspection requirements and to notification and remedy provisions applicable to substantial product hazards when serious injury occurs. Directs the Commission to issue rules in this regard by July 1, 1991.

Directs the Commission to: (1) report to the Congress on its activities to reduce exposure of individuals to an enumerated list of indoor air pollutants; (2) issue a consumer product safety standard to require cautionary labeling in connection with certain toys intended for use by children at least three years old; (3) submit to the Congress a report including specified information about particular products that pose a major hazard to children; and (4) conduct a survey to determine compliance with voluntary industry manufacturing guidelines designed to reduce the entrapment of children in reclining chairs and report the results to the Congress. Requires the Commission to initiate proceedings to establish a safety standard for reclining chairs if a substantial lack of compliance is found.

Deems certain provisions of this Act to be a consumer product safety rule issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission under specified provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

Requires each automatic garage door opening system manufactured after certain dates to: (1) conform to a specified Underwriters Laboratories standard; (2) include an electric sensing edge located on the edge of the door, designed when activated to cause a closing door to open and to prevent an open door from closing; (3) include an optical sensor or other functionally equivalent non-contact sensor designed to do the same; or (4) include a device found to provide equivalent protection from entrapment.

Requires labeling on the packaging and on the system indicating the month and year of manufacture. Requires manufacturers to notify the public of the entrapment hazards of automatic garage goor openers and advise owners of such systems to test them for the automatic reverse feature required by this Act.

Bans all three-wheel all-terrain vehicles in the following ways. Provides that, for purposes of specified provisions of the CPSA, three-wheel all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) which are not subject to a specified consent decree shall be considered banned hazardous products for purposes of sales by manufacturers, distributors, or dealers. Makes it a violation of specified prohibitions under the CPSA for three-wheel ATVs which are subject to such consent decree to be manufactured for sale, offered for sale, distributed in commerce, or imported into the United States for sale in interstate commerce in the United States. Makes such ban effective 30 days after the enactment of this Act. Directs the Commission, before the ban becomes effective, to notify all manufacturers of three-wheel ATVs.

Provides that sales of new three-wheel (ATVs) will be permitted in the future if the Commission: (1) promulgates a consumer product safety standard applicable to them; (2) formally relies upon a voluntary consumer product safety standard applicable to them; or (3) accepts as satisfactory a voluntary standard for such vehicles developed under the Consent Decree.

Directs the Commission to promulgate lateral stability standards for ATVs, or accept satisfactory voluntary standards. Requires semiannual reports to the Congress until such a standard is established.

Requires the Commission to study bittering agents in hazardous products and their effectiveness in deterring ingestion. Directs the Commission to report on the status of the study to the Congress.