On Jan. 25, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held their executive Board meeting to consider adoption of the South Coast Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP). Remember, this is the AQMP that in December the Industry was successful in removing the provision CTS-04, which proposed to change the definition of low vapor pressure volatile organic compounds (LVP-VOC). Industry was successful in removing this one provision. However, three provisions remain: CTS-01, CTS-02 and CTS-03. These will affect Architectural Coatings CTS-01, Solvents & Adhesives CTS-02 and Mold Releases CTS-03. If your company makes any products in these categories, you need to pay attention to this issue. After the AQMP is adopted, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) will likely begin the rulemaking process.
CARB will be proposing another workshop in late February on their current rulemaking. Remember, CARB staff is proposing to modify VOC limits on Aerosol Paints and Aerosol Adhesives. The current proposed limits are on CARB’s website at http://www.arb.ca.gov/consprod/consprod.htm#whatsnew.
In addition, CARB staff is proposing to modify the LVP-VOC definition for Paint Thinners and Multi-purpose Solvents (same issue as in SCAQMD). As an industry, we cannot allow any change to the LVP-VOC definition. If this definition is changed for these two categories, where will it end? What will be the next category that CARB thinks should not have the LVP-VOC definition apply? The LVP-VOC definition was included in the original consumer products regulations. All VOC limits that have been adopted relied on the LVP-VOC definition. Industry has spent millions of dollars reformulating using LVPs. CARB should not be allowed to arbitrarily determine which categories are allowed to use LVPs and which are not. This will be another significant hurdle the industry faces. We need your support, remember your product category could be the next category CARB “decides” should not get to use LVP-VOC definitions.
First reminder: Your date code information needs to be submitted to CARB by Jan. 31 of each year, if you do not use the standard date code in the regulations. This reminder will be after that date, however better late than never. Failure to supply unique date codes is subject to enforcement fines.
Second reminder: Numerous new limits became effective on Dec. 31, 2012. These new limits are very low, namely General Purpose Degreaser non-aerosol and General Purpose Cleaner non-aerosol. Both limits are now at 0.5% VOC. Pay very close attention to these new limits. Failure to comply is subject to enforcement fines and at these very low limits, fines will add up quickly.
As we go to press, a new draft of the “Safer Consumer Product Regulation” was expected to be released later in January. The Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) has been working on reviewing comments and modify the regulations. Hopefully, some of the Industy’s issues will be addressed, such as too many chemicals of concern, no deminimus level, and confidential business information concerns.
After the new proposed draft regulation is released, industry will likely have only a short time—probably thirty days or less—to review and comment.
New Issue in Utah
Utah is looking to add a VOC regulation on Consumer Products. Currently, only a draft is out. More to come on this issue.