Regulatory Issues

Written on: August 1, 2018 by Doug Raymond



California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff conducted a webinar on June 19 concerning the Consumer Products Survey Data from 2013 and 2014. The scope of the surveys is very impressive. An overview included:

  • 491 categories each year
  • 1,400 companies reporting each year
  • 580,000 products reported each year
  • 5.4 million ingredients for both years

This was a massive amount of data for CARB to collect and review. The webinar lasted a little over an hour with approximately 80 participants. CARB reviewed all of the documents they have released, which can be found here.

CARB staff explained all the columns in the documents and how the numbers were derived. These documents contain a vast amount of information. For example, one document shows the categories and provides volatile organic compounds (VOC) tons per day (TPD) and also provides the ozone created in tons per day. This type of information is extremely interesting and provides the agency and industry the information needed to develop further regulations. This data will allow the aerosol industry to see where the largest VOC reductions will come from. In addition, it allows CARB to accurately account for all emission reductions.

There was a Q&A period after CARB reviewed the documents. One major question was whether CARB categorized products; the answer was “yes.”

CARB is requesting that industry review this data in detail and get back to them with any changes or comments (due by Aug. 1, 2018). I doubt we can do this by the deadline.

Remember this is the data that will be used for the next rulemaking. The presentation can be viewed here

EPA SNAP Rule Begins

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a stakeholders meeting on June 26 in Washington DC at EPA headquarters. The EPA staff from the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Group hosted the meeting. EPA is hosting several sector meetings on this issue and this one concerned Aerosols, Adhesives, Coatings & Inks and Solvents. EPA is soliciting input for its rulemaking to reinstate prohibitions on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) on these products. The original SNAP Rule 20 from 2015 had these prohibitions; however EPA vacated the rule earlier this year due to a lawsuit (that they lost).

The meeting was attended by approximately 20 people, most from industry. Cindy Newburg from EPA began the meeting; her staff then made a short presentation followed by open discussion. All participants voiced a desire to have federal regulatory certainty for the use of HFCs. No one wants state regulations that would result in a patchwork of regulations. Industry stressed the need to maintain all the current exceptions to the rule and asked that other niche products be reviewed, such as defense sprays and medical uses. Also, Industry expressed the desire to align with Canada to the closest degree possible. EPA is willing to consider these niche uses. We therefore must always bring these niche uses to EPA’s attention.

Regarding a timeline, the EPA plans to have a proposed rule finished by the end of 2018. The rule will then need to be reviewed; it will likely be published middle to late 2019.

Regarding lawsuits, several parties filed a petition to the Supreme Court on June 25 in an attempt to overturn the original court ruling that vacated the rule. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) announced that it has filed an additional lawsuit against the EPA for releasing the guidance document that vacated the rule. Stay tuned for more in future columns.  SPRAY