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b. Product quality. Two commenters expressed concern that remanufactured toner
cartridges are of poorer quality than new cartridges. One commenter stated that GSA's
Standard Procedure does not establish the technical performance standards necessary to
ensure consistent quality.
EPA disagrees with the commenters. EPA's research shows that tests conducted by
an independent testing laboratory indicate that, in general, the quality of remanufactured
cartridges is comparable to that of new cartridges. In fact, when price is considered and all
other factors are equal, remanufactured toner cartridges may be more appealing.
The Agency notes that, as with any product, the quality of a remanufactured toner
cartridge is dependent on the condition of the cartridge itself and the process used to
remanufacture it. EPA believes, that, at this time, the GSA Standard Procedure provides the
minimum steps necessary to ensure product quality. EPA further recommends that, prior to
ordering large. quantities of remanufactured toner cartridges from a single vendor, purchasers
teat the cartridges to ensure they are satisfied with the quality of the product.
c. Actions of Congress. One commenter raised concern that the remanufactured toner
cartridge designation is inconsistent with Congressional intent to streamline the Federal
acquisition process, citing the recent repeal of the toner cartridge preference provision in 42
U.S.C. 6962j.
As noted in section XVI.C.1 above, Section 1554 of the Federal Acquisition
Streamlining Act (Pub. L. 103-355) (FASA) repealed the preference for procurement of
recycled toner cartridges. EPA sought and obtained the following information from
Congressional staff concerning this action.
(i). Background. Section 630 of the Treasury, Postal Service and General Government
Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-123), amended 42 U.S.C. 6962 by adding a new
section requiring Federal agencies to purchase recycled toner cartridges (42 U.S.C. 6962(j)).
The following year, Section 401 of the Treasury, Postal Service and General Government
Appropriations Act, 1994 (Pub. L. 103-123). amended and replaced 42 U.S.C. 6962(j).
Federal agencies were no longer "required" to purchase recycled toner cartridges, but they
were `authorized to give preference to" remanufactured toner cartridges.
As part of the FASA development process, Congress sought to streamline the
acquisition Process by removing unnecessary, and confusing provisions affecting Federal
procurement. One of the provisions included in this effort was the toner cartridge preference
provision at 42 U.S.C. 6962j.
(ii). Congressional intent. According to Congressional staff, Congress believed that by
changing the "requirement" to purchase recycled toner cartridges to a "preference," the 1994
amendment stripped this provision of its regulatory authority. In addition; Congress was
aware of EPA's proposal to designate remanufactured toner cartridges in the proposed CPG
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