Regulatory Issues

Written on: May 1, 2018 by Doug Raymond



On April 3, 2018, The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a 45-day notice for amendments to its Consumer Products Regulation. These amendments mainly have to do with the multi-purpose lubricant (MPL) future effective limit.

CARB staff has been developing an Alternative Compliance Option for the MPL future effective limit to provide flexibility for manufacturers in meeting the requirements of the 10% by weight volatile organic compound (VOC) limit for MPL products. The alternative compliance option would allow manufacturers to comply by meeting a 25% by weight VOC limit and a reactivity limit of 0.45 grams of ozone per gram of product. Staff is also proposing to extend the effective date of the existing 10% by weight VOC limit from Dec. 31, 2018 to July 1, 2019 to provide adequate time for manufacturers of MPL products to evaluate their products and decide whether to comply via the alternate compliance option. Additionally, staff is proposing to prohibit the use of compounds with high global warming potentials (GWP) in MPL products.

CARB staff is proposing amendments to the consumer products regulation to achieve three objectives:  The first is to maintain the ozone air quality benefits and the benefits claimed in the State Implementation Plan (SIP) that the 10% VOC limit would achieve. The 10% limit was expected to result in 1.27 tons per day reduction in VOC emissions, which were claimed as part of the SIP submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010. The proposed amendments help ensure that the emissions from products using the alternate compliance option have equal or less forming potential than the 10%-by-weight compliant products.

The second objective is to provide compliance flexibility to manufacturers that would enable them to continue to offer effective products to consumers but achieve similar ozone air quality benefits to those that comply with the mass-based 10% by VOC weight limit.

The third objective is to achieve these goals without significantly impacting compliance costs or increasing the cost of MPL products on the market.

The proposed amendments achieve all of the above. The use of the Reactivity Concept for reducing ozone formation from consumer products is sound science. Any reduction in the maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) value of a consumer product is also a reduction in ozone formation.

The public may present comments in writing from April 6–May 21, 2018 (5pm PT). Additionally the public can comment at the board hearing on May 25 in Sacramento, CA.

Survey data

CARB staff has been working on finalizing the survey results from 2013 and 2014. We will likely see the results in early May (hopefully).

The survey results will give us good insight into the next product categories, which will be targeted for VOC emission reduction in the next CARB rule development, to be completed in the 2020 timeframe. In addition, this survey data should be an update to the actual consumer product emissions in California, unlike the article in Science Magazine that was released earlier this year. By the way, there was no mention of the Science Magazine article was made at the March CARB meeting even though the meeting was in Southern California and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) had the opportunity to comment. This was good news.

CARB Guidance Document on Fragrances

CARB’s Guidance Document on Fragrances is still being compiled. The document explains how to treat certain compounds in your cleaning products. Discussions continue and future meetings are likely. Stay tuned for more information.

Ozone Transport Commission

The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) has been working on developing a new model rule for Consumer Products. The chairman of the Stationary Source Committee for OTC was Ali Mirzakhalili from Delaware. Mirzakhalili has since taken another job and is no longer in Delaware. Now we will need to wait and see when or if a new model rule comes out. More on this in the next issue. SPRAY