Whenever the Commission finds on the basis of the investigations or research conducted pursuant to section 1201 of this title that a new or amended flammability standard or other regulation, including labeling, for a fabric, related material, or product may be needed to protect the public against unreasonable risk of the occurrence of fire leading to death or personal injury, or significant property damage, it shall institute proceedings for the determination of an appropriate flammability standard (including conditions and manner of testing) or other regulation or amendment thereto for such fabric, related material, or product.
Each standard, regulation, or amendment thereto promulgated pursuant to this section shall be based on findings that such standard, regulation, or amendment thereto is needed to adequately protect the public against unreasonable risk of the occurrence of fire leading to death, injury, or significant property damage, is reasonable, technologically practicable, and appropriate, is limited to such fabrics, related materials, or products which have been determined to present such unreasonable risks, and shall be stated in objective terms. Each such standard, regulation, or amendment thereto, shall become effective twelve months from the date on which such standard, regulation, or amendment is promulgated, unless the Commission finds for good cause shown that an earlier or later effective date is in the public interest and publishes the reason for such finding. Each such standard or regulation or amendment thereto shall exempt fabrics related materials, or products in inventory or with the trade as of the date on which the standard, regulation, or amendment thereto, becomes effective except that, if the Commission finds that any such fabric, related material, or product is so highly flammable as to be dangerous when used by consumers for the purpose for which it is intended, it may under such conditions as the Commission may prescribe, withdraw, or limit the exemption for such fabric, related material, or product.
The Commission may obtain from any person by regulation or subpena issued pursuant thereto such information in the form of testimony, books, records, or other writings as is pertinent to the findings or determinations which it is required or authorized to make pursuant to this chapter. All information reported to or otherwise obtained by the Commission or its representative pursuant to this subsection which information contains or relates to a trade secret or other matter referred to in section 1905 of title 18, shall be considered confidential for the purpose of that section, except that such information may be disclosed to other officers or employees concerned with carrying out this chapter or when relevant in any proceeding under this chapter. Nothing in this section shall authorize the withholding of information by the Commission or any officer or employee under its control, from the duly authorized committees of the Congress.
Standards, regulations, and amendments to standards and regulations under this section shall be made in accordance with section 553 of title 5, except that interested persons shall be given an opportunity for the oral presentation of data, views, or arguments in addition to an opportunity to make written submissions. A transcript shall be kept of any oral presentation.
A certified copy of the transcript of the record and proceedings under subsection (e) shall be furnished by the Commission to any interested party at his request, and payment of the costs thereof, and shall be admissible in any criminal, exclusion of imports, or other proceeding arising under or in respect of this chapter, irrespective of whether proceedings with respect to the standard or regulation or amendment thereto have previously been initiated or become final under subsection (e).
The Commission shall grant, in whole or in part, or deny any petition under section 553(e) of title 5 requesting the Commission to initiate a rulemaking, within a reasonable time after the date on which such petition is filed. The Commission shall state the reasons for granting or denying such petition. The Commission may not deny any such petition on the basis of a voluntary standard unless the voluntary standard is in existence at the time of the denial of the petition, the Commission has determined that the voluntary standard is likely to result in the elimination or adequate reduction of the risk of injury identified in the petition, and it is likely that there will be substantial compliance with the standard.