Regulatory Issues

Written on: July 1, 2018 by Doug Raymond

CARB amendments adopted

On May 25, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted new amendments to the Consumer Products Regulation. The new amendments affect the Multi-Purpose Lubricant (MPL) category. CARB staff has been working on these amendments for more than a year, beginning in 2017 with the Technology Review on MPL. In the autumn of 2017, CARB staff proposed the amendments, which are as follows:

  • The current 10% volatile organic compound (VOC) limit is still in effect;
  • An alternative maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) limit to the 10% is now available;
  • An alternative MIR limit is 0.45 with a 25% mass VOC limit;
  • The original effective date of 12/31/2018 has been delayed until 7/1/2019;
  • Any manufacturer or marketer of MPL products using the alternative MIR limit needs to register the product formula with CARB before selling the product in California;
  • Additionally, manufacturers or marketers of MPL products using the alternative MIR limit will be subject to sales reporting.

The Amendments adopted by CARB obtain the required emission reductions in the State Implementation Plan (SIP) and provide manufacturers and marketers of MPL products much needed flexibility to comply with this technology-forcing limit.

At the CARB hearing, five industry members testified in person and 10 letters in support of the rule were sent in; CARB then unanimously adopted the amendments. The adopted rule now goes to the Office of Administrative Law for finalization.

The other important feature of these amendments is that, for the first time, the concept of reactivity is being used on a consumer product other than aerosol coatings. This is a very good precedent for consumer products. The use of reactivity is a science-based way to reduce ozone production, as any reduction in an MIR value of a product is also a reduction in ozone production. The same cannot be said with mass base reductions.

To sum it up, this was a win for air quality in California, a win for MPL products getting more flexibility and, finally, a win for the aerosol industry’s use of reactivity. Thus, a win-win-win. Savor this—it does not happen often.

This is perfect timing for these amendments to be adopted. As you will read below, CARB has released its survey data.

CARB Survey data released

On June 4, CARB staff released the long awaited data from the 2013 and 2014 Consumer Products survey. The data summaries are very impressive. More than 1,500 product manufacturers or formulators participated, providing CARB with over 300,000 product formulations sold into the state of California. Now, after months of waiting for this information, it is industry’s turn to review this massive amount of data. The survey can be found here

You should begin reviewing this information; the 2015 data will be out this autumn for us to review, but, for now, this data should keep us busy. 


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin work on the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rule. Remember, the original SNAP rule for restricting primarily HFC-134a in Aerosols was vacated this year. On June 26, hosted a series of sector-only meetings, including an Aerosol Meeting; more on this meeting and how EPA is going to handle this issue in a future column.


On June 7, the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) held its spring meeting in Baltimore, MD. The main concern for the aerosol industry was OTC’s newest model rule. It is the 5th version of the Consumer Products rule and was taken from the CARB Consumer Products rule, incorporating all categories and limits that were in effect from the CARB rule as of Jan.1, 2017. That means it contains virtually all the limits, except for those in the MPL category. One other exception was the Windshield Washer Fluid limit. This category limit will remain the same.

In addition, there is a new person in charge of the Stationary & Area Sources Committee: Frank Steitz from the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection. Steitz stated that the OTC will update these rules to the most recent versions and that it is not going to consider Reactivity. Industry needs to form a good working relationship with Steitz. 

DOT Meeting

On May 14, in a meeting set up by the Household & Consumer Products Association (HCPA), the aerosol industry met with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to discuss several issues:

  • Global harmonization of the definition of an aerosol;
  • Reducing barriers to use on plastic aerosols (inclusion of 2.1 gases);
  • Reduce the restrictions on the types of resins allowed for use in plastic aerosols;
  • Water bath testing and alternatives

Read more detail on this meeting in Pressure Points on p.10. Overall, this was a great meeting and a good start to working with DOT.  SPRAY