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Association News

WWPA Reports Wood Production Down
The Western Wood Products Association (WWPA) has come out with sobering wood production statistics. Western lumber production totaled 2.191 billion board feet through February, off 20.3 percent compared to the first two months of 2007. Production in the Coast region was down 21.4 percent through the first two months of the year. Inland production was down 16.9 and, and board feet coming from the California Redwood region was down 28.0 percent from January-February 2007. February production in the West totaled 1.025 billion feet, down 24.9 percent from the February 2007 total.

AF&PA’s 48th Annual Capacity Survey
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) released its 48th Annual Survey of Paper, Paperboard, and Pulp Capacity. The Survey indicates that U.S. capacity to produce paper and paperboard edged down 0.6 percent in 2007 to 97.1 million tons. U.S. paper and paperboard capacity contracted at an average annual rate of 0.7 percent from 2000 to 2007. The capacity declines of recent years reflect weak demand for some paper and paperboard grades. However, U.S. exports of paper and paperboard have increased briskly during the past year while imports have eased, helping to support domestic production.

Looking ahead to the projection period, the Survey shows paper and paperboard capacity declining 0.7 percent in 2008 and subsequently rebounding 0.2 percent in 2009, and 0.3 percent in 2010. To view a synopsis of the Survey, go to www.afandpa. org/Temp/2008_Capacity_Survey_ Final_Commentary.pdf

AEM Names New Director From Caterpillar
Douglas R. Oberhelman, Group President of Caterpillar Inc., has been named to the Board of Directors of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the North American-based international trade group for companies that manufacture equipment, products, and services used worldwide in the agricultural, construction, forestry, mining, and utility fields.

As an AEM director, Oberhelman will help set the guidelines and operating policies of the association, on behalf of its members, in areas including technical and safety services, market information and equipment statistics, global public policy, trade shows, international support services, education and training, among others.

AF&PA Statement on Clean Water Restoration Act
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) is concerned that S.1870, the Clean Water Restoration Act, would dramatically change the scope of the Clean Water Act and could have potentially adverse consequences for private forest landowners, wood products and paper mill operations throughout the country, as well as the very operations that provide clean and safe water.

The Senate legislation, and its identical companion bill in the House of Representatives, would change the term “navigable waters” to “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act, resulting in ambiguity around the jurisdiction of the law. The seemingly insignificant change would classify ponds commonly used to ensure clean and safe water as “waters of the United States,” thereby preventing the mills from using them to achieve water quality standards. The legislation could actually impede forest management if that activity happens to be near any wet area.

For wood products facilities, the legislation could require permits for ditches, culverts, and log ponds, imposing additional hurdles on facilities.

Our companies are taking voluntary steps to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions, and have spent more than $25 billion dollars on improving water quality alone.

“Our forest landowners and manufacturing operations require regulatory certainty for water quality compliance,” said AF&PA President & CEO Donna Harman. “Changing the terms of the Clean Water Act in this manner creates confusion and could actually disrupt the process of ensuring clean and safe water.”

NTEA Announces New Criteria for Member Verification
The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) announced new criteria for its Member Verification Program (MVP) beginning July 1, 2008. Since the program’s inception in 2005, 363 companies have achieved MVP status. But periodically, requirements are modified, and criteria are updated to set higher standards, and ensure that the program is relevant. Effective July 1, 2008, the new requirements are that a prospective member must qualify in five of six of the following criteria: (1) Manufacture Registration (required criteria), (2) Vehicle Certification (required criteria), (3) Product Liability Insurance (required criteria), (4) Certified Employees (NEW required criteria as of July 1, 2008), and (5) one of the two optional criteria: (a) Quality Assurance Program or (b) Safety Program (NEW Criteria).

Effective July 1, 2008, manufacturers (those who manufacture a product but do not install bodies or equipment requiring an Intermediate, Final, or Altered State Certification Label) must qualify in five of six of the following criteria: (1) Product Liability Insurance, (2) Certified Employees (NEW required criteria as of July 1, 2008), (3) Installation and Operating Instructions (NEW required criteria as of July 1, 2008), Warranty Program (New required criteria as of July 1, 2008), and (4) one of the two optional criteria: (a) Quality Assurance Program or (b) Safety Program (NEW Criteria). For details visit www.ntea.com.