Regulatory Issues

Written on: April 29, 2013 by Doug Raymond


There are changes at the California Air Resources Board (CARB). James Goldstene had been the Executive Officer at CARB since 2007 and has now moved to a new position. Richard Corey is now the new Executive Officer. If Corey’s name sounds familiar, it should. He was at one time the Chief of the Stationary Source Division that was responsible for Consumer Products. Most recently, Corey was Deputy Executive Officer under Goldstene. He is familiar with the challenges of Consumer Products; we look forward to working with him in his new position.

CARB Rulemaking
CARB is in the process of a rulemaking. Aerosol Coatings and Aerosol Adhesives are the categories being targeted for reductions in the volatile organic compound (VOC) limits. For Aerosol Coatings that are being regulated by Reactivity limits, the proposed maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) limits are extremely low for the general categories. These General categories are where the bulk of the VOC emissions are present. The Specialty categories will be capped for their MIR limits due to the low amount of emissions.

Industry and the staff are working on developing a reasonable, or at least technologically feasible, MIR limit for the General Coating categories. In addition, some new Specialty categories were added. When this rule making is adopted, all aerosol coatings will be regulated. What this means is that if your product meets the definition of an aerosol coating and is not specifically exempt from the rule, then the product needs to be placed into a category. This is a new twist to the rule, which was CARB’s intent all along, but now the wording is in place to enforce this concept. Therefore, make sure your products label reflect the proper category they are intended to be regulated in.

Another issue for Aerosol Coatings is the question of when the new MIR values (from Oct. 2, 2010) will be used? Industry is requesting that the MIR values be available for use on the day of adoption.

Aerosol Adhesives proposed VOC limits are very low mass-based limits. The amounts of VOC reductions from these categories is very low. Industry needs to work with CARB to determine if these limits are technologically feasible. Currently, the complying market share is extremely low for these categories.

In addition to the above areas of concern, remember the following:

  • The LVP-VOC issue. CARB has proposed regulating a couple of categories that would remove the LVP-VOC provision. Currently, CARB is proposing a study to research LVPs. On March 21, 2013, industry members supported this research study. Industries position is that no category should have the LVP-VOC provision removed, until the research is finished. Remember, if it is not your category now it may be in the future.
  • HFO 1234ze is under consideration for VOC exemption. The compound is VOC exempt from the EPA. Industry is supporting a VOC exemption.
  • Some category definitions are being changed, especially in the coatings regulation. Review these changes to see how they affect your products.
  • We need category definitions clarified! Now is the time to request changes from CARB.

A workshop was held on April 26 and is likely be the last one. The Board Hearing for this rulemaking is scheduled for July 26, 2013.

Other VOC Jurisdictions
Canada is working on a VOC Consumer Products Regulation and will likely take all of 2013 to take comments and work on changes to their regulation. I encourage you to review their proposal and comment.

Utah is on a much faster track to adopt their Consumer Products regulation. Their comment period closed April 1, 2013. Their proposed regulation is at

Green Chemistry
The rumor is that the Dept. of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) will send out their Green Chemistry Regulation (called the Safer Consumer Products Regulation) for one more comment period. DTSC will likely make some changes on their current rule and then release it for a short, likely 15-day comment period.  Spray