CARB, Environmental News, and a Dangerous Precedent from SCAQMD

Written on: May 1, 2014 by Doug Raymond

Finally, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released its 15-day changes to the amendments from the September 2013 board hearing. The changes can be found at and include modifications made to some definitions and test methods. Please review all the double underlined changes, as these are the ones that CARB will accept comments on. As expected, the staff made some changes to the Single Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser definitions. They changed the word “or” to “and.” Therefore, the definition reads “a product that is designed and labeled…”
The next change was to clarify that product categories that already have an existing volatile organic compound (VOC) category limit are not eligible for this definition. For example, there already exists a VOC category limit for Brake Cleaners, so you cannot label your product as solely a “Brake Cleaner” and think that the product is not regulated. This definition was intended for products that have a sole function and are not part of general purpose or multi-purpose product categories. These are the type of products the Industry thinks of as “Specialty Products.”
I suggest everyone review the changes to determine how these changes may affect their company.
Comments needed to be submitted to CARB by April 18 and hopefully readers saw this notification on Spray’s website. If you are reading it here for the first time, you will notice the deadline has passed.

CARB staff is planning a comprehensive survey for 2014 and is hopeful that data for the new survey can be collected electronically.
This survey will be more comprehensive than past ones and staff is proposing that there will be no grouping of products, LVPs or fragrances. Therefore, this survey may take more time to complete than past surveys.
We need to work closely with CARB to make sure all information requested is useful. The timing of the survey’s release is still up in the air. CARB staff would like to release the survey by Summer; however, I believe Industry will need more time to review and comment on the draft survey proposal. Fall is a more likely time for the survey to be released.

As reported last month, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is working on amending two rules. The first is Rule 1168: Adhesives and Sealants. This is the first time SCAQMD staff is adding that all uses of Consumer Product Adhesives and Sealants not previously regulated by CARB be regulated by this rule. This is an absolutely horrible precedent for the Consumer Product Industry. The rule is moving forward and is to be adopted in June 2014 if it stays on track.
The second to be amended is Rule 102 with the addition of HFO-1233zd to the list of exempt Solvents. If this amendment is adopted, HFO-1233zd will be VOC exempt from District rules. This rule is scheduled for adoption in May 2014.

The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) will hold its next meeting in Washington, DC on May 10. We will see if there is an update from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Consumer Product Rule at that time.

Remember, the EPA will be looking into its significant New Alternatives Policy Program this Summer. The EPA is proposing delisting several HFCs, namely HFC 134a in Consumer Aerosols, but allowing HFC 134a to be used in Technical Aerosols. Industry is currently working on the definition of a Technical Aerosol. If you have any suggestions for definitions, forward your comments to me.

Green Chemistry
On March 13, the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) released the initial Priority Products list and candidate chemicals. A Priority Product is a consumer product that contains one or more chemicals known as Candidate Chemicals that have a hazard trait that can harm people or the environment. This initial Priority Products list is the first set of product chemical combinations to be named for consideration by DTSC to be regulated under the Safer Consumer Products regulations. Publication of this draft list of products imposes no new regulatory requirements on manufacturers until DTSC finalizes it by adopting regulations.

The Priority Products and Candidate Chemicals are:

  • Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Systems containing unreacted diisocyanates
  • Children’s Foam Padded Sleeping Products containing Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP)
  • Paint & Varnish Strippers and Surface Cleaners with methylene chloride

Finalizing the initial Priority Products list could take up to two years and the proposed initial list will be finalized with the adoption of regulations for each Priority Product. Prior to initiating formal rulemaking, DTSC will hold public workshops on the proposed Priority Products; the rulemaking process may take up to one year. The first workshop is scheduled for May 7 in Sacramento, CA.