VGB Deadline Extended

CPSC logoThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently extended the deadline for compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Act’s interpretation of an “unblockable drain” from May 28, 2012, to May 23, 2013.

CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord said the agency’s September 2011 revocation of the original interpretation of that term caused problems for pool operators who relied on the initial guidelines, which stated that affixing an unblockable drain cover over a single main drain rendered that drain unblockable and therefore in compliance with VGB.

In a statement, Nord expressed dismay that after nearly 18 months, the Commission reversed itself and began requiring anti-entrapment systems to be installed on pools with single main drains — even those with the unblockable drain covers the CPSC had originally approved.

“Responsible pool owners and operators spent their limited (often public) funds complying with the federal mandate before the reversal. The reversal negated their efforts to comply with the P&SS Act.

“The reversal was substantively wrong: the staff’s analysis showed that a properly installed unblockable drain cover was the best protection against the hazards of entrapment.”

Nord went on to criticize the Commission’s failure to hear public input about the proposed changed, and said the reversal betrayed “lack of gravity” on the Commission’s part.

Nord was one of three commissioners who voted for the extension, with the lone dissention coming from Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

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