January 27, 2017

On January 25, 2017, the Commission approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) on Amendments to the Fireworks Regulations. This NPR is a result of a successful process built on collaboration that includes Commission initiative, our excellent expert staff, extensive industry experience and sound regulatory practice.

Even though the Commission issued an Advance NPR in 2006, the agency was not able to focus on fireworks because of other pressing safety issues and the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. We resumed work on this issue after Commissioner Robinson returned from a visit to China, where she saw first-hand how fireworks are made. They are literally made by hand, which adds a real complexity to regulating to specific criteria. After her trip, she offered an amendment for staff to undertake a complete rule review of our fireworks regulations as part of our Fiscal Year 2015 Operating Plan. The Commission approved that amendment.

At the end of 2015, CPSC staff produced an excellent and thorough briefing package with options to modernize and streamline our regulations in furtherance of consumer safety. And that last part is extremely important. While improving our regulations is a worthy cause, I believe that precious resources spent reviewing rules is best spent where we can improve consumer safety.

As Chairman, I have been supportive of using our resources to methodically review the rules we have on our books and was pleased to work with Commissioner Mohorovic to have the Commission revive our rule review process. In particular, I have been interested in those rules that may be outdated or in need of strengthening. This package is a perfect example of how rule review should work. CPSC staff’s proposed revisions and clarifications are aimed at increasing safety, better reflecting the current fireworks market and technologies, reducing testing burdens and promoting uniformity with other federal and industry standards.

It is not easy to accomplish all of those objectives in one package, but I believe this one does so. I want to thank the CPSC fireworks team for their thoughtful and pragmatic approach to enhancing consumer safety through this NPR.

I am proud to support the publication of this NPR and look forward to receiving all of our stakeholders’ comments on what the Commission is proposing.