A brief recap of the most prominent issues on the aerosol industry’s regulatory landscape

Written on: May 1, 2015 by Doug Raymond

regs header may

The aerosol industry has been working on numerous issues this year. The following will be a short summary of each issue. Industry has been busy!

Survey work
Even though the deadline for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Consumer Products Survey has come and gone, there are still manufacturers and marketers working on completing the survey. Also, numerous formulators are working on a survey sent to them after the deadline. CARB has been willing to provide extensions for the late surveys, however they prefer submissions be received as soon as possible.

Remember, the survey data is extremely important. The more accurate the data, the better our next rulemaking should go.

LVP Studies
The Low Vapor Pressure (LVP) compound studies being performed by CARB are still active. The researchers have completed one study and now the industry is reviewing the final results. Industry scientists need to review and comment on the study. This work is ongoing.

The second study will likely not be completed until next year. The industry is working with these researchers to supply them with sample product for the further studies. This is a very important issue and needs our constant monitoring; this issue is a game changer.

Statewide Pre-emption
One of the most important issues that the industry faces is the statewide pre-emption of Consumer Products by CARB. District regulations continue to creep towards consumer product regulation. Industry has been working on this issue for years. However, in the last couple of months, meetings with District personnel indicate promising outlooks for the future. The industry needs to continue to work with the Districts and CARB on mainlining one statewide Consumer Product rule. Work will continue.

Future Regulations
Industry met with CARB staff to discuss future regulation of Consumer Products. Command and Control regulation on Consumer Products has not been very successful in the last couple of rulemakings. Reductions in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions have been very difficult to achieve. Now is the time to work with CARB staff and discuss new, innovative ways to achieve Consumer Product emission reductions. Industry and CARB need to have more discussions on these issues.

Ozone Standard
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has solicited comments on lowering the Ozone Standard from 75ppb to either 70ppb or 65ppb. The Ozone Standard is what drives all U.S. states to reduce the amount of ozone in their areas.

If or when the EPA reduces this Ozone Standard, it will mean that more states will be out of compliance and states currently out of compliance will be even more so. What does this mean for the industry? More states will adopt consumer product regulation. The states already out of compliance will need to look for new lower limits to get even more emission reductions.

Currently, the industry is working on ways to persuade EPA that now is not the time to lower the Ozone Standard. EPA should delay any new ozone standard until all current regulations become effective and then determine if more regulations are needed.

EPA SNAP Amendments
EPA Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Amendments were proposed last year. EPA received comments on its proposal and the biggest issue was the banning of HFC-134a in all consumer products and some technical products. Industry is still waiting to see how the EPA will deal with the comments from industry and if any extensions will be granted. The EPA’s original proposal was for HFC-134a to be prohibited after 1/1/2016 in numerous product categories. Industry requested a delay until 2017 or 2018 depending on the product category.

We continue to wait and hopefully will hear something by June—otherwise, timing will be critical if the EPA sticks to its original proposal.

Green Chemistry
The Dept. of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) in California has been working on its Safer Consumer Products Regulation for more than a year. Its future work plan should be finished soon and its guidance for Alternative Assessment (AA) is also supposed to be completed soon. Work will then begin on the original products and compounds targeted last year. Look for more activity this summer.