Regulatory Issues

Written on: July 1, 2012 by Doug Raymond

Green Chemistry

The Dept. of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) in California released their informal Draft Green Chemistry Regulation for a short preview on May 18 and asked for comments by May 29. The Draft Green Chemistry Regulation was released in June to begin the formal rulemaking process. This preview was to the Green Chemistry Alliance (GCA) and others to receive informal comments.

When the formal release is made of the Green Chemistry regulation, which is called the Safer Consumer Products regulation, industry will need to be very vigilante in reviewing and commenting on this regulation. Issues to review in the regulation are:
• Number of compounds on the list of Chemical of Concerns (COC). Currently, the list of COCs is in the thousands. This is far too many COC. We should narrow this list down to the most toxic COC first, and then perhaps add other chemicals to the list.
• DeMinimus level, or alternative analysis threshold, as DTSC calls it. This level is set at 0.01% for a COC. This level is very low for manufacturers and marketers to be able to monitor for unintentionally added compounds. This level needs to be moved to something more reasonable.
• Requirements for becoming a certified Alternative Assessment (AA) Assessor should be able to be done by in-house laboratory personnel. The best people to provide assessments on your company products are your own lab personnel. Thus we need to ensure that the requirements to become a certified assessor are not so strict as to prevent our own personnel from performing this function.
• Industry will need to closely review Confidential Business Information (CBI) that is required to be released. This is extremely important to all.
• One of the biggest concerns is what product and COC combination will be on the list. The
agency should release what product/COC combination they are considering. It is difficult to
comment on unknown factors.

These are just some of the issues with this proposed regulation. Every marketer and manufacturer that sells in California should review this regulation. Remember, it could be your product with a COC that is targeted by DTSC. Then you will need to perform an Alternative Assessment on your product.

Even more disturbing is that California is already running a legislative bill to be able to initiate a fee on manufacturers required to submit an alternative assessment. The regulation has not even been formally released and the state is already setting up a fee structure. This fact should be very unsettling to the manufacturing community

As stated last month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has changed its priorities for this summer. The only issue CARB will be working on over the summer months is expanding the Type A areas for Windshield Washer Fluid. Starting in the late summer or early fall, CARB will once again begin work on the aerosol paints and aerosol adhesive categories. In addition, CARB will be reviewing the Paint Thinner and Multi-purpose Solvent categories. More importantly, the low vapor pressure (LVP) exemption will likely be discussed.

On May 24, 2012 the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) met for their annual meeting. The OTC considered two Model Rules:
• Consumer Products Model Rule
• Degreasing Model Rule

The Consumer Products Model Rule netted the OTC 18-27 TPD of volatile organic compound (VOC) reductions with the inclusion of the Paint Thinner and Multi-purpose Solvent categories. The Degreasing Model Rule netted the OTC 81 tons per day of VOC reductions. No small container or use exemption was added.

OTC has changed the terminology from “adopt” to the model rules being “deemed complete.” The rules were voted on and passed unanimously by the committee. Now, each state will begin their own process to update their regulations to add new categories and limits. The anticipated effective date for the Consumer Product Rule is Jan. 1, 2014.