Regulatory Issues

Written on: April 1, 2019 by Doug Raymond


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff has announced that it will be starting its next Consumer Product rulemaking on April 12, 2019. Over the past 30 year, CARB has regulated over 120 categories of Consumer Products. These regulations have reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from Consumer Products by about 50% and CARB continues to reduce VOC emissions from Consumer Products. CARB’s 2016 State Implementation Plan (SIP) requires a 1–2 ton per day (tpd) reduction by 2023 and 4–5 tpd by 2031 in the South Coast. Thus, statewide, these emission reductions will be doubled.

Also on April 12, CARB will hold a public workshop to discuss its options to reduce VOCs from Consumer Products. Its staff will need to figure out which product categories can reduce their VOC content. This will be very difficult to do because, as mentioned above, CARB has been reducing VOCs in Consumer Products for 30 years and many categories have been reduced two or three times already. It will be interesting to see which categories staff targets for reductions.

In addition to VOC limits being increased or reduced, remember the regulation will be “opened” and definitions or test methods can therefore be modified. Also, restrictions on toxic compounds or global warming compounds can be added. On March 9, CARB staff released a database concerning toxic compounds per category. This will likely be discussed on April 12 as well.

CARB plans to adopt this new rulemaking by the end of 2020, giving us about 18 months to develop commercially and technologically feasible regulations!


As reported last issue, Colorado is developing a Consumer Products VOC rule. On March 6, the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) held a conference call to request more information on products to try and determine which Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) Model Rule to use. Currently, industry is pushing for Model Rule Two; the CDPHE wants Model Rule Four.

Industry wants OTC Model Rule Two because it is the rule that most states are using. Also, Colorado currently is using the National Rule. To move all the way to Model Rule Four is a big jump and could cause problems with consumers of these products.

Industry is currently providing more detail to CDPHE; the next meeting in Colorado is April 18.


On March 5, the Canadian Consumer Specialties Products Association (CCSPA) hosted a meeting with Environment & Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on its development of a Consumer Products VOC regulation. This process started last year and continues. The biggest issue right now is that the ECCC does not want to use CARB definitions. This is a significant problem for the industry, which has spent close to 30 years developing and tweaking these definitions. At the March 5 meeting, ECCC asked for specific examples where definitions should be changed.

Currently, Canada is planning to adopt the CARB regulation with the following exceptions:

  • Excludes products solely for manufacturing use
  • Excludes pesticides
  • Excludes windshield washer fluid
  • Multi-purpose lubricants will be at 25% VOC
  • Paint thinners will be at 30% VOC
  • Acoustical sealant category added at 10% VOC limit

I will keep you informed on any changes.


The Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO) will have a meeting April 15 and there are rumors that the next Model Rule will be considered. I will report back after this meeting.

New York

There is also speculation that New York may begin a VOC regulation in the near future. Again, I will report back.

Dept. of Toxic Substance Control

On Feb. 15, 2019, the Dept. of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) released a Product-Chemical Profile on Nail Products Containing Toluene to explain the scientific, regulatory, and policy bases for adopting nail products containing toluene as a Priority Product subject to the Safer Consumer Products regulations. DTSC hosted a workshop in Scaramento, CA on March 13 to receive public input. To submit comments and view related material regarding this proposal, click here

The close of the public comment period was extended from March 15 to April 1, 2019. DTSC will consider both verbal input at the public workshop and written comments submitted during the public comment period as we finalize the Product-Chemical Profile in preparation for rulemaking. SPRAY