Yesterday Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), announced at the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization's ("ICPHSO") annual conference that she will not seek renomination when her term expires in October 2013. She took the position in 2009, and her confirmation brought the Commission to three sitting Commissioners for the first time since July 2006.
Much of her term has focused on implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (“CPSIA”) -- since the Act’s implementation in 2008, the CPSC has issued 40 final rules on children’s products, including cribs, toddler beds, and infant swings. Additionally, the CPSC has aggressively pursued litigation to seek recalls, filing four administrative lawsuits in 2012, and sought higher civil penalties for failure to file timely Section 15(b) Reports.
This announcement adds to existing uncertainty about how the Commission will look in 2014. Currently, two of the five Commission seats are unfilled. Commissioner Nord also expects to leave the CPSC in October (her term ended last year, but she is serving an extra year to avoid having an empty seat). Unless Congress acts on the nomination of Marietta Robinson or the White House nominates, and the Senate confirms, a Republican, that would leave only Commissioner Robert Adler on the Commission.