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Proposed Voluntary Product Standard (PS) 20-05 “American Softwood Lumber Standard”

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce.


Notice and request for comments.


This notice advises the public that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is distributing a proposed revision of Voluntary Product Standard (PS) 20-99, “American Softwood Lumber Standard.” This standard, prepared by the American Lumber Standard Committee, serves the procurement and regulatory needs of numerous federal, state, and local government agencies by providing for uniform, industry-wide grade-marking and inspection requirements for softwood lumber. The implementation of the standard also allows for uniform labeling and auditing of treated wood and, through a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, labeling and auditing of wood packaging materials for international trade. As part of a five-year review process, NIST is seeking public comment and invites interested parties to review the revised standard and submit comments.


Written comments regarding the proposed revision, PS 20-05, should be submitted to the Standards Services Division, NIST, no later than June 20, 2005.


An electronic copy (in PDF) of the proposed standard, PS 20-05, can be obtained at the following Web site​docvps. This site also includes an electronic copy of PS 20-99 (the existing standard), a summary of major recommended changes, and a form for submitting comments. Written comments on the standard should be submitted to Ms. JoAnne Overman, Standards Services Division, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 2150, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899-2150; fax (301) 975-5414. Electronic comments may be submitted via e-mail to

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Ms. JoAnne Overman, Standards Services Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, telephone: (301) 975-4037; fax: (301) 975-5414, e-mail:

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Under Department of Commerce procedures Start Printed Page 24002established in Title 15 Code of Federal Regulations Part 10, Procedures for the Development of Voluntary Product Standards, and administered by NIST, the American Lumber Standard Committee acts as the Standing Committee for PS 20-99, American Softwood Lumber Standard, responsible for maintaining, revising, and interpreting the standard. The Committee is comprised of producers, distributors, users, and others with an interest in the standard.

Voluntary Product Standard (PS) 20-05 establishes standard sizes and requirements for developing and coordinating the lumber grades of the various species of lumber, the assignment of design values, and the preparation of grading rules applicable to each species. Its provisions include implementation of the standard through an accreditation and certification program; establishment of principal trade classifications and lumber sizes for yard, structural, and factory/shop use; classification, measurement, grading, and grade-marking of lumber; definitions of terms and procedures to provide a basis for the use of uniform methods in the grading inspection, measurement, and description of softwood lumber; commercial names of the principal softwood species; definitions of terms used in describing standard grades of lumber; and commonly used industry abbreviations. The standard also includes the organization and functions of the American Lumber Standard Committee, the Board of Review, and the National Grading Rule Committee.

In addition to format, terminology, updates and general clarification, this revision makes the following major recommendations: (1) Section 2.2, Board measure, adds calculation of board feet for pieces of lumber less than 1″ in thickness; (2) Section 2.12, Heat treated (HT), adds a definition for heat treated lumber; (3) Table 3, Nominal and minimum-dressed sizes of boards, dimensions, and timbers, adds dry timber sizes as shown in amended Table 3; (4) Sections, and, on dry and green size requirements, respectively, adds language that recognizes that lumber shrinks or expands depending on its moisture content; (5) Section 7.3.3, concerning grade marking, defines bundled lumber; (6) Section 10, Board of Review, is reformatted; (7) Section 11.3, Composition of National Grading Rule Committee, deletes old building code organizations and adds new building code organizations represented on the Committee and adds membership to the Committee as indicated; and (8) Appendix A, Commercial Names of the Principal Softwood Species, deletes species groups and adds additional species.

All public comments will be reviewed and considered. The American Lumber Standard Committee and NIST will revise the standard accordingly.

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Dated: April 28, 2005.

Hratch G. Semerjian,

Acting Director.

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[FR Doc. 05-9115 Filed 5-5-05; 8:45 am]