Regulatory Issues

Written on: January 1, 2017 by Doug Raymond

Happy New Year!

 CARB Date Code
Let’s start with my friendly reminder about Product Dating/Date Coding. Remember, date code information needs to be reported to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) every year by your company if you do not use CARB’s standard date coding. California Section 94512 (b) product dating specifically requires that all consumer products to be sold into the state display the day, month and year the products were manufactured or a code indicating the date. CARB has been increasing its activity on investigating and levying fines for non-compliance of this section.

The date or date-code information should 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. It should be represented as: 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 CARB Enforcement on an annual basis, on or before Jan. 31 of each year.

CARB Multi-Purpose Lubricant technical report
As stated last month, CARB is expecting a technical report from Multi-Purpose Lubricant manufacturers by March 31, 2017. A form will be available in early January for manufactures to fill out; all required information will be listed on the form.

Most important is the manufacturer’s ability to comply with the Dec. 31, 2018 future effective date volatile organic compound (VOC) limit of 10% for Multi-Purpose Lubricants. It is vital to let CARB know now if you cannot produce a viable product at 10% VOC. Do not wait. The March 31, 2017 deadline for the report is to allow time for CARB to make any adjustments if the 10% limit is not technically or commercially viable.

This is your opportunity to let CARB staff know how your reformulation is going. More info to come on this.

Second LVP Study Finished
The second of two studies has been completed. Remember, CARB has been having research studies done in an effort to determine if low vapor pressure (LVP) compounds contribute significantly to the formation of ground level ozone in California.

CARB staff is in the process of reviewing the results of the study and will report their findings to the board. Highlights of the report include the fact that some of the compounds were heated significantly just to get the compounds to evaporate to be able to test them. This is certainly not real life testing. Next, it was observed that the use of some LVPs actually lowered the amount of ozone produced. Thus, there may be a net reduction of ozone formed by using certain LVPs…wouldn’t that be interesting?

We will need to wait and see if CARB staff proposes any changes to the use of LVPs due to this study.

Ozone Transport Commission Meeting
The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) held its Fall meeting in Washington D.C. on Nov. 17, 2016. As always, the OTC had a full agenda on numerous items from CARB to Generators to Consumer Products and Paints.

The good news is that any national rule or voluntary rule appears to be dead for now. No mention of moving ahead with the voluntary rule was mentioned. Also there was no mention of revisiting the National Rule mentioned in a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The not-so-good news is that the OTC is considering adopting all of the current CARB Consumer Products regulations by updating its 2014 Model Rule, which has only been adopted by a few states.

Connecticut is in the middle of its rule development and considering adding some changes to the OTC Model Rule. This will be something to work on in 2017.