Regulatory Issues

Written on: November 1, 2018 by Doug Raymond

California Legislation

In September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed in to law Senate Bill (SB) 1013. Senator Ricardo Lara authored SB1013 to put in place the original U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP) rules 20 and 21. The SNAP rules had placed prohibitions that restricted the use of HFC-134a in aerosols with the exceptions of a short list of aerosol product categories where the use of HFC-134a is acceptable. By signing SB-1013, the SNAP rules become effective 1/1/2019. However, because the SNAP rules had an effective date of 7/20/2016, SB1013 is actually in effect retroactively.

Because SB1013 is codifying the Federal Rule, California will adhere to the same effective date and sell-through dates outlined in the Federal Rule. The effective date for prohibition on aerosols was 7/20/2016 and there was an unlimited sell-through provision. This means that any aerosol product produced before 7/20/2016 with HFC-134a is compliant to be sold. However, aerosol products made after 7/201/2016 with HFC-134a and not on the exception list may not be compliant to be sold in the state of California.

At this time, it does not appear that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will adopt its own rules on this issue anytime soon. Possibly in the future, CARB will incorporate this bill into its rules. Therefore, these prohibitions on aerosol products will become law without most of the industry having been made aware of SB1013.

Other States on HFC-134a

Other states are developing plans to address climate pollutants for greenhouse gases, specifically HFCs—that means the use of HFC-134a in aerosols. In September, New York, Connecticut and Maryland announced plans to develop individual state rules on this issue.

Canada on HFC-134a

Canada had adopted its own version of SNAP in 2017, which became effective in 2018. The aerosol restrictions part of the rule becomes effective 1/1/2019. The Canadian rule has an exception list similar to the SNAP rule. However, several aerosol product categories were omitted from the list, such as Energized Dusters, products for sensitivity testing smoke detectors, refrigerant flushes and a few other product categories. Environment & Climate Change Canada (ECCC), the agency dealing with this regulation, could not get this amended to add the above-mentioned aerosol product categories to the exception list.

If you sell aerosol products into Canada that are not on the exception list, there is a process that the ECCC has implemented in the rule that may allow you to continue selling these products. A company can apply for an Essential Purpose Permit to continue selling aerosol products not on the exception list. The permit process appears easy and a permit can last up to three years. Therefore, a company should file for an Essential Purpose Permit soon to prevent any disruption in the sale of its products.

Canada and VOCs

ECCC is also working on a Consumer Products volatile organic compound (VOC) regulation. Industry is working with ECCC to try to get a reasonable rule developed. ECCC is planning to adopt all the current CARB limits, except Windshield Washer Fluid and the future effective limit for Multi-purpose Lubricant at 10%.

The biggest issue with the current Canadian proposal is that the ECCC is not copying the definitions from the CARB regulation. These definitions have been developed and refined over almost 30 years of work. Now ECCC wants to simplify the definitions. This is a very big problem.

Ozone Transport Commission

The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) had its first online stakeholders meeting. The Stationary Source committee reviewed Model Rule V with very little changes. The Model Rule V will be posted to the OTC website. However, no state has proposed this Model Rule yet. We will likely see more Model Rules pop up starting next year.

California VOC

Industry can expect CARB staff to release the final survey data from the 2015 survey this fall. Rulemaking will likely follow in the first quarter of 2019.

Colorado VOC

The Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) will hold a stakeholder meeting to discuss Consumer Products and Architectural Coatings in November in Denver, CO. Here we go again with new agencies regulating Consumer Products.  SPRAY