Further Developments Regarding Southern Pine Design Values

Originally published by: SBCADecember 22, 2011

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On Tuesday, December 20, SBCA Legal Counsel Kent Pagel sent a letter to American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC) Board of Review requesting they provide a clear appeal procedure in writing by the end of the week, in the event a party chooses to appeal the decision ALSC makes after the hearing scheduled for January 5. 

In the letter, Pagel asks the ALSC to, “establish a set of written processes or procedures that fully set out how parties who may be affected by either an approval or disapproval of the SPIB Proposal can have a further hearing before the Board approval or disapproval becomes final.”  In Section 10.10 of the American Softwood Lumber Standard, any party affected by an ALSC ruling may file an appeal. Through the Pagel letter, SBCA and other affected parties are attempting to ascertain how ALSC expects that appeal process to work.  Click on the first pdf link below to view the Pagel letter.

Surprisingly, SPIB’s Legal Counsel David Bagwell issued a swift response to the SBCA request in the form of a second letter, which can be read by clicking on the second pdf link.  In the Bagwell letter, SPIB states it, “firmly believes that the Board of Review meeting scheduled on January 5 is the hearing contemplated by Paragraph 10.10 of the American Lumber Standard PS 20.”

ALSC has yet to issue a response to either letter, but given that ALSC has yet to issue a decision of any kind on the original SPIB recommendation, SBCA believes it is unlikely ALSC could characterize the January 5 meeting as fulfilling its obligation to allow for an appeal process.

On a related note, Anthony Forest Products Co. (AFP) in El Dorado, Arkansas, also sent a very well written letter to the ALSC urging the Board of Review to, “step back from the latest deadline on January 5, 2012 to make any final decisions about the proposed reduction of design values of southern pine lumber.”  In this letter, AFP’s President and CEO, Aurbra Anthony, Jr., provides several compelling reasons why a final decision to change southern pine design values should be delayed. 

AFP was involved on SPIB’s Technical Committee during the testing that led to SPIB’s current recommendations, so they are uniquely qualified to provide the observations and concerns they make regarding SPIB’s conclusions. AFP also discusses the numerous direct and indirect consequences associated with what they characterize as, “SPIB’s haste.”  Click on the third pdf link below to view the Anthony letter.  It is important to note that ALSC has designated today, December 22, as the deadline for all comments regarding SPIB’s recommended changes to SP design values.

Finally, a letter from SPIB President James Loy to "Southern Pine Producers Lumber Industry Associates" was published in this week's Component Manufacturing Advertiser Classified Newsletter.  The letter outlines SPIB's established roles and responsibilities and provides historical background on the lumber testing they conducted that led to the current design value recommendations they submitted to ALSC. A copy of that letter can be viewed by clicking on the last pdf link below.

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