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THE ALSC SYSTEM. Why Develop a Standard for Lumber? Early grading rules or standards for lumber were developed for regions and small local areas. These.

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Presentation on theme: "THE ALSC SYSTEM. Why Develop a Standard for Lumber? Early grading rules or standards for lumber were developed for regions and small local areas. These."— Presentation transcript:


2 Why Develop a Standard for Lumber? Early grading rules or standards for lumber were developed for regions and small local areas. These regional rules or standards established: Local or regional sizes for lumber. Local or regional nomenclature used to describe the lumber. Local or regional grades for lumber. As the country’s transportation abilities grew, lumber started being shipped between regions causing problems such as: –Sizes from one region would not match sizes from other regions. –Nomenclature used to describe the lumber was different thus created confusion. –Grades of lumber, either in grade name or grade description, used between the regions were different.

3 History of ALSC System First efforts to standardize lumber began in 1922 when Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover responding to a request from the lumber industry offered the cooperation of the Department in activities directed toward simplification, standardization and development of adequate quality guarantees for the lumber consuming public. This cooperation with the Department of Commerce led to the development and publication in 1924 of the first lumber standard known as the Simplified Practice Recommendation R16 Lumber- American Lumber Standards for Softwood Lumber.

4 History of ALSC System continued In 1941 the National Lumber Manufacturers Association (NLMA) entered into a consent decree with US District Court. Decree required NLMA to create an impartial agency to oversee standardization, certification and accreditation for softwood lumber. In 1953 a US District Court found the ALSC, appointed by the Department of Commerce, and the ALSC Board of Review were impartial bodies appropriate to carry out the decree. ALSC continues to operate under the consent decree and the Voluntary Product Standard system of the Department of Commerce.

5 The American Softwood Lumber Standard PS 20 is maintained by the ALSC under Procedures for Development of Voluntary Product Standards developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). PS 20 establishes: –standard minimum green/dry sizes to which lumber is manufactured –nomenclature used to describe lumber –criteria for assigning design values to lumber in consultation with the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory –provisions for lumber grades –provisions for labeling of softwood lumber –provisions for inspection, reinspection and settlement of claims –provisions for the National Grading Rule Committee which is responsible for writing and maintaining the National Grading Rule for dimension lumber PS 20 is unique among standards in that it also provides for a Board of Review for enforcement provisions of the standard. PS 20 American Softwood Lumber Standard

6 ALSC Membership Secretary of Commerce appoints ALSC membership from the following groups: ManufacturersRetailersWholesalers Architects EngineersHomebuilders Wood Using IndustriesWood Treating Industry Consumers Wood Packaging Material Each organization submits its nominee to the Secretary of Commerce. Individual is appointed for 5 year term. At present the ALSC membership has 23 members and 23 alternate members. The ALSC has responsibility to maintain PS 20. The ALSC develops policies to operate under and the Board of Review is responsible for carrying out those policies.

7 Board of Review Comprised of 3 members and each member elected by the ALSC for a 3 year term Has responsibility to certify grading rules and any changes in those rules as conforming with the requirements of PS 20 Has responsibility to accredit agencies to grade under the certified rules and audits each accredited agency for continued conformance to the established requirements. Has responsibility to accredit agencies to supervise labeling of products under 4 accreditation programs 1-Lumber Program 2-Treated Lumber Program 3-Wood Packaging Material Program 4-Wood Pellet Program

8 How the ALSC Program Works The ALSC program is a three tiered program with oversight. ALSC -- establishes policies and procedures that are used to develop a quality control program for the labeling of lumber, treated wood and wood packaging material. ALSC continually reviews these procedures to assure appropriateness. Board of Review – accredits agencies and implements the ALS quality control program. Agency -- provides service to the mills that produce products under the various programs to be stamped as complying with the ALSC requirements.

9 Board of Review Oversight of the Various Programs BOR uses requirements established by the ALSC to accredit an agency to provide supervisory services to mills, plants or facilities that manufacture and label lumber, treated wood, wood packaging material or wood pellet products as meeting the requirements of the ALSC procedures. The BOR monitoring procedures of the 4 accreditation program are very similar in structure. BOR uses a full time staff to continually monitor each accredited agency for compliance with the accreditation requirements by: -Conducting reviews of the accredited agency office and inspection records to determine compliance to the requirements. -Conducting a minimum of 2 surveys per year on each accredited agency to obtain information on the performance of the accredited agency. Surveys are developed by randomly selecting a minimum of 10% of the mills using the services of an agency. -BOR staff makes unannounced inspections at the mills, treating plants, wood packaging material or wood pellet operations for compliance to the requirements. -When problems are encountered the product in question is held for correction by the agency. The agency corrects the problem and furnishes a written report to BOR detailing the steps taken by the agency to correct the problem and prevent recurrence. -When a problem is found the mill is placed on a list for return inspections by ALS staff to assure the agency has addressed the problem. Once accredited if the agency does not meet the requirements of the ALSC, the BOR can de- accredit or suspend the accreditation of the agency. Since 1970 the BOR had deaccredited 4 lumber agencies, 2 treated agencies, 1 heat treat only agency and 1 wood packaging agency. The most recent being in August 2009 when the BOR deaccredited Forest Products Services as a heat treat only agency and a wood packaging material agency treated agency for non- compliance to the requirements.


11 INFORMATION ALSC website address is: ALSC phone number 301.972.1700 ALSC fax number 301.540.8004

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