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specifications that explicitly prohibit the use of carpet fiber made of recovered materials.
EPA understands that a few Federal agencies currently have specifications that
preclude the use of polyester carpet for performance reasons. For example, the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers has a specification that requires the use of only nylon or wool carpet, and
thereby prohibits the purchase of polyester carpet. `According to an agency contact, this
specification was written because the agency believed that only nylon or wool carpet could
meet their performance requirements. The U.S. Navy has a specification that precludes the
use of any carpeting containing synthetic materials (e.g., polyester, nylon or polypropylene)
for use on ships, due to concerns of flammability in the event of a fire. The Agency
recognizes that there may be valid reasons for precluding the use of polyester carpet in some
applications, such as described above for the U.S. Navy; however, EPA encourages
procuring agencies to review their specifications to ensure that the use of polyester carpet
and, thus, carpet containing recovered materials, is not unnecessarily precluded.
c. Impact of government, procurement. The primary use of carpet in government
installations is for commercial, high-wear, applications. The selection of carpet type. is a
decision made by each individual procuring agency. As discussed in the previous section,
there are applications in government installations, including commercial and heavy-wear
applications, where polyester carpet is used. Other possible uses of polyester carpet
containing recovered materials include conference rooms and private offices. Use of
polyester carpet containing recovered materials will create both a market for this item and
demonstrate its performance characteristics.
4. Designation
In 40 CFR 247.12(d), EPA is designating carpet made of polyester fiber for use in
light-wear and moderate-wear applications. The designation does not include polyester carpet
for use in heavy-wear or severe-wear applications; however, procuring agencies are
encouraged to evaluate the suitability of polyester carpet in these applications. The
designation applies where the procuring agency determines that polyester carpet has suitable
performance characteristics for a particular application. This designation does not preclude a
procuring agency from purchasing carpet made of other materials, such as nylon, wool, or
polypropylene. The designation, simply requires that a procuring agency, when purchasing
polyester carpet, purchase this item made with recovered materials.
G. Floor Tiles and Patio Blocks
1. Background
In the CPG, EPA proposed designating floor tiles and patio blocks made with
recovered rubber or plastic (see 59 FR 18874, April 20, 1994). In the proposed rule, EPA
also requested comment on whether there were any specifications that prohibit the use of
recovered materials in the manufacture of floor tiles or patio blocks (see 58 FR 18374, April
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