Written on: October 1, 2017 by Doug Raymond


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has finished its review of the Multi-purpose Lubricant reports.

On Oct. 12, 2017 CARB Staff held a public workshop to discuss the upcoming future effective limit of 10% for 12/31/2018. This has been an ongoing issue for nearly a decade.

To summarize past actions by CARB on this issue: In 2008, it approved amendments to the Consumer Products Regulation establishing two technology-forcing limits for MPL products; a 25% volatile organic compound (VOC) limit effective Dec. 31, 2013 and a 10% VOC limit effective Dec. 31, 2015. Because the limits were technology-forcing, the regulation included a provision requiring staff to conduct a technical assessment to determine feasibility of the VOC limits prior to their implementation. In a 2013 rulemaking, CARB approved a three-year extension for the 10 percent VOC limit for Multi-purpose Lubricant products to Dec. 31, 2018.

Staff has completed a technical assessment to determine the feasibility of the 10% VOC limit and will present its findings at the workshop. Staff will also discuss a proposal to allow manufacturers to meet an alternate limit based on reactivity of the products.

The reactivity alternative is interesting. When the original limits were being developed a reactivity limit was considered. Reactivity is a solidly scientific way to regulate VOC emissions and should be used more often for VOC limits in Consumer Products.


On Sept. 7, 2017 the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) held its regularly scheduled meeting in Washington D.C. At the meeting the Stationary & Area Source (SAS) committee announced that a Work Group will be formed to update the current Consumer Product Model Rule. This activity will be worked on during the first quarter of 2018.

Currently, the SAS committee is considering adding all Consumer Product categories that are currently effective in the CARB regulations, excluding the following categories:

  • Anti-seize Lubricant
  • Cutting or Tapping Oil
  • Gear Chain or Wire Lubricant
  • Rust Preventative or Rust Control Lubricant

Also, the 10% future effective limit for Multi-purpose Lubricant would not be in the model regulation because it is not yet effective. This is a good opportunity to get involved if some of the current CARB Consumer Products category limits are difficult to meet or produce inferior products. Categories such as the new aerosol adhesives or perhaps the non-aerosol General Purpose Cleaner and degreaser limits of 0.5% should be argued to not be included. Again, this will be our opportunity to comment on this rule.


Maryland is proceeding with their Consumer Product Rule. The problem with the Maryland rule was the effective date of 1/1/2018. Maryland is going to maintain this effective date, however, it has stated that there will not be any enforcement of the rule until 5/1/2018. Maryland is doing this because its process of adopting the rule was too far along to change the effective date. Thus, Maryland decided to have enforcement discretion of not enforcing the rule until 5/1/2018.

New York

New York State plans to develop a Consumer Product Rule this fall. We can expect to work with the state later this year on their rule. The problem with this is that OTC, as reported above, will be working on a new Model Rule next year. This means that the OTC states will have a patchwork of regulations: the old Model Rule, the current Model Rule and the Future Model Rule to be developed next year. OTC needs to work with the states to fix this patchwork of rules.

California Legislation

As we go to press, two legislative bills are expected to be adopted into law: SB 258 on ingredient disclosure and AB 1120 on Butane. More to come next issue; by then we will know if these bills were adopted. SPRAY