SCAQMD, CARB and more

Written on: January 17, 2013 by Doug Raymond

On Dec. 7, 2012 the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) held their board hearing to adopt their Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP). The AQMP included four provisions that would affect Coatings and Consumer Products: CTS-01, CTS-02, CTS-03 and CTS-04.

Provision CTS-04 proposed to change the definition of the Low Vapor Pressure- Volatile Organic Compound (LVP-VOC) definition in the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulation. Industry argued that SCAQMD did not have jurisdiction over the Consumer Product issues, including the LVP-VOC definition.

This industry has a great grassroots effort concerning this issue. At the hearing, industry had 17 people speak in favor of removing CTS-04 from the AQMP and another 20 in the audience ready to speak if needed.

Additionally, numerous SCAQMD board members had been contacted on this issue. Industry was requesting that CTS-04 be removed from the AQMP and Mayor Yates, Vice Chair of the SCAQMD, made a proposal to remove CTS-04 from the AQMP. The entire board accepted the proposal. This means that this provision will not be included into the State Implementation Plan (SIP) commitments. This is a good thing.
Getting the board to remove a staff recommendation is very, very tough to accomplish. It takes hard work, long hours and persistence from many people. The combination of board member meetings, letters to the board, and showing up for the hearing all worked in our favor. Thanks to all that participated, this was a monumental feat and we accomplished it. Not often do we have a victory of this magnitude. Again, thanks to all that assisted and congratulations!

That being said, now we have more work to do. SCAQMD removed CTS-04 from the AQMP, but Dr. Burke, Chair of the Board, will be sending a letter to the Chair of CARB requesting a study on LVP-VOCs. This means that the industry will need to work with CARB and SCAQMD to make sure the science study is done correctly.
The action to remove CTS-04 from the AQMP provides the industry time to work on this study and prevents the CTS-04 from being included into the SIP. This means that there are no mandated time restrictions. However, the industry needs to continue to work to maintain this important provision for Consumer Products. SCAQMD will be sending the letter to CARB in January or February. Thus, we’ve got one win (a big one) but industry needs to stay involved in this issue. The LVP-VOC provision in the CARB rule is necessary. Any change to the LVP-VOC definition will significantly affect the industry’s ability to formulate effective products.

The issue is now back in the CARB arena, which is where it belongs. Again, congrats to all who assisted in this win. Nice way to start 2013.

The CARB staff is in the process of developing amendments to the Consumer Products regulation. Aerosol Coating and Aerosol Adhesive VOC limits are on the top of the list. Other amendments include CARB looking at the LVP-VOC exemption for Multi-purpose Solvent and Paint Thinner. Remember, if one category loses this exemption others will be next. In addition, maybe some definitions will be modified. Also, CARB is considering one compound for a VOC exemption: HFO-1234ze. The next workshop will likely be in February.

Product Dating/Date coding
Remember, date code information needs to be reported to CARB every year by your company if you do not use CARB’s standard date coding. For California, Section 94512 (b) product dating, specifically requires all consumer products to be sold into the state to display the day, month and year the products was manufactured or a code indicating the date. CARB has been increasing their activity on investigating and levying fines for non-compliance of this section.
The date or date-code information shall be located on the container or inside the cover/cap so that it is readily observable or obtainable (by simply removing the cap/cover) without irreversibly disassembling any part of the container or packaging. Information may be displayed on the bottom of a container as long as it is clearly legible without removing any product packaging.
CARB’s standard code has to be represented separately from other codes on the product container so that it is easily recognizable is the following: YY DDD = Year-Year-Day-Day-Day. A manufacturer who uses this standard CARB code to indicate the date of manufacture does not have to report this code.
Failure to register a date code is subject to a fine. Every year the fines seem to go up. Your date code explanation needs to be submitted to Enforcement on an annual basis, on or before January 31st of each year.

Green Chemistry
The Dept. of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) is still reviewing the significant amount of comments submitted to them on the proposed Safer Consumer Products rule. After DTSC finishes reviewing the comments, it is anticipated that the agency will revise the proposed safer consumer products rule, and then send the revised draft out for further comments. As we go to press, it looks like the revised draft may be out as soon as before the holidays. Comment period will likely only be thirty days.