Written on: October 1, 2013 by Doug Raymond
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) amendments to the Consumer Products Regulation and the Aerosol Coatings Regulation are still the top priority for Industry. The board hearing was held Sept. 26, 2013. There are significant changes to both regulations, therefore Industry needed to closely review the documents for all changes. This is very tedious and in the review process, each change needs to be analyzed to determine how the change could affect the industry or our products. Many times, our review interpretation is not the same as, for instance, CARB enforcements’ interpretation.
Whether Industry supports the changes or not, it at least needs to understand the change for enforcement purposes. The changes to the Aerosol Coating regulations will spawn a new round of CARB enforcement actions when these amendments become effective. Remember, in the future, all aerosol coatings will be regulated under this rule. Therefore, if you market aerosol coatings, make sure that your label claims are in sync with your category code or you may be subject to an enforcement action. This is particularly important for Aerosol Specialty Coatings because these coatings have a significant higher Maximum Incremental Reactivity (MIR) limit. Enforcement will be reviewing these products to ensure that they do not have general claims. Bottom line: review your product labels carefully.
On the Consumer Products regulation, the Aerosol Adhesives limits will be very, very difficult to meet. Currently, there are three years to comply with the limits. Industry should begin now to evaluate reformulation options to ensure that these limits are technologically feasible. If the limits are not feasible, we need to approach CARB on this issue. Likewise, changes to the Multi-purpose Solvent and Paint Thinner category for the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) are difficult to meet. In addition, some further clarification is needed on a few issues surrounding these categories.
Industry was able to get some other issues clarified in the regulation. The Dry Lubricant definition clarified that Dry Lubricants are not considered as other lubricants. Likewise, the Single-use definitions for General Purpose Cleaner and General Purpose Degreaser clarify that not all cleaners and degreasers are General Purpose but are Specialty Cleaners. Industry comments at the Board hearing need to reflect these changes.
The Ozone Transportation Commission (OTC) had its last Stationary Source Committee hearing in Washington, DC on Sept. 12. Hopefully, from that meeting we can get an update on the states movements toward adopting the new Consumer Products Model Rule. More to come on that topic.
The Green Chemistry regulation in California—called the Safer Consumer Product Regulation—will become effective Oct. 1, 2013. However, only partially, as some sections were sent back out for comment. We will need to wait and see how this plays out. Nonetheless, the regulation will become effective in the future. Now we need to wait and see which products and which chemicals of concern are targeted by the agency.
EPA SNAP Meeting
On August 22, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted a stakeholder meeting on the Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP) program. The focus of the meeting was on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The plan is “to encourage private-sector investment in low-emissions technology by identifying and approving climate-friendly chemicals while prohibiting certain uses of the most harmful chemical alternatives.” The target appears to be HFC 134a and refrigeration. However, consumer aerosols were mentioned a couple of times. EPA plans to have more meetings on this issue and break the meetings up by sector, with refrigeration going first, followed by the other sectors such as foams, aerosols, etc. This is another issue to monitor to ensure our products are not unfairly treated. SPRAY