FCC, EPA and CPSC news

Three interesting regulatory related news stories from Conformity this week.

Story one:
The FCC has turned down a request from alarm system providers who wanted an extension on the availability of the old Cellular Analog Service Requirement. It is still widely deployed as the backup link for alarm systems but the FCC will not extend the deadline past it’s termination date of February 18, 2008. This does not mean all service providers will turn off their systems on that date, it means they have the legal right to turn off their systems then. Full details are in the FCC order. After all the pushing back of deadlines the FCC had to do for analog TV service, I had figured they wouldn’t allow any further moving of this deadline.

Story two:
Safety of products made in China not so good according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). From the Conformity article:

According to the CPSC, about two-thirds of all U.S. product recalls involve imported products. Since products manufactured in China account for approximately 40% of all consumer products imported into the U.S., efforts to curb the importation of defective products from China has become a major agency priority.

See the CPSC report for details of how they’re going to keep us safer. FYI – the link in the PDF report is wrong, the China program plan page is here. While this is a good step it is vitally important that consumers watch out for themselves. If a product looks or feels unsafe, don’t buy it just because it’s cheaper than the alternatives. Remember, in the USA, regulatory action for safety doesn’t usually happen until after someone is harmed.

Story three :
EPA report on the majority of e-waste still going to landfill. From the EPA fact sheet:

About 15-20 percent were collected for recycling. The recycled/disposed split remained fairly constant between 1999-2005. Although recycling continues to increase, the percentage recycled remains constant …

This comes as no surprise to me, e-waste recycling is very inconvenient and/or expensive. If everywhere in the US had easy to use, zero cost, e-waste disposal, the number of items ending up in landfill would likely drop significantly.