Regulatory Issues

Written on: January 1, 2019 by Doug Raymond

Happy New Year! Expect a very busy year in the regulatory world. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Canada will be developing volatile organic compounds (VOC) regulations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be developing a new Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rule and California and New York ingredient rules become effective.


On Dec. 6, 2018 CARB staff released Draft 2015 survey data for stakeholder review and feedback. This information, as well as the 2013 and 2014 data already released, provided a detailed summary of consumer product sales emissions, VOC content, chemical speciation and reactivity on more than 400 categories of consumer products. More than 1,500 product manufacturers and formulators provided data for these surveys, providing information on more than 300,000 products sold in California.

Industry now needs to review this data for any glaring discrepancies and report them back to CARB staff.

CARB will hold a public webinar to discuss this survey data on Jan. 15 from 9:30am to 11:30am PST.

Remember, this is the information that will be used as CARB develops its next set of VOC amendments to its Consumer Products Rule.

Also, remember that the Multi-purpose Lubricant future effective limit of 10% VOC or 0.45 maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) limit becomes effective July 1, 2019. There are reporting requirements if you use the 0.45 MIR option to comply.


On Nov. 13, 2018, the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment, in conjunction with the Regional Air Quality Council, held a stakeholders’ meeting for the Consumer Products and Architectural & Industrial Maintenance (AIM) Coatings industry. These two agencies will be working together to develop a VOC regulation on Consumer Products and AIM Coatings.

The agencies explained their non-attainment status with the 2008 and 2015 ozone standard and, therefore, their need to develop more ozone reductions in the area. It is mainly the area around Denver that is not in attainment. The agencies are looking to use the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) Model Rules.

The timing for rule development is sometime in first quarter of 2019.


On Nov. 14, 2018, the American Coatings Association (ACA) and the National Aerosol Association (NAA) met with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Colorado. Remember, this is the group that authored the paper in Science magazine that stated Consumer Products and AIM emissions are a significant source of VOC emissions.

Dave Darling from ACA set up the meeting with the Director of NOAA and invited NAA to participate. The meeting opened with an introduction to NOAA by its Director; it appears to be an impressive science organization. Darling then presented AIM emissions data stating that what NOAA had reported appeared high in emissions compared to CARB data. Regarding Consumer Products, the speciation of the products appeared “off,” which led to higher emissions reporting.

Industry suggested that CARB information from its numerous surveys be reviewed. Hopefully, there is a potential for CARB and NOAA to work together to get a better picture of AIM and Consumer Products emissions. Thanks to Dave Darling from ACA for setting up the meeting.


The U.S. EPA is working on a new SNAP Rule. Its original release date was to be January of 2019. This will likely be delayed until possibly March of 2019. After the release, Industry will likely have 60 days to review and comment. The saga continues.

CARB Date Code

This is my annual friendly reminder regarding Product Dating/Date coding. Remember date code information needs to be reported to CARB every year by your company if you do not use CARB’s standard date coding. California Section 94512 (b) product dating specifically requires all consumer products designated to be sold into the state to display the day, month and year the product was manufactured or a code indicating the date. CARB has been increasing its on investigative activity and levying fines for non-compliance of this section.

The date or date-code information should be located on the container or inside the cover/cap so that it is readily observable or obtainable (by simply removing the cap/cover) without irreversibly disassembling any part of the container or packaging. Information may be displayed on the bottom of a container as long as it is clearly legible without removing any product packaging.

CARB’s standard code has to be represented separately from other codes on the product container so that it is easily recognizable. It should be in the following format:  YY DDD = Year Year Day Day Day. A manufacturer who uses this standard CARB code to indicate the date of manufacture does not have to report this code.

Failure to register a date code is subject to a fine. Every year the fines seem to go up. Your date code explanation needs to be submitted to CARB Enforcement on an annual basis, on or before Jan. 31 of each year. Submit it to