Regulatory Issues

Written on: July 1, 2019 by Doug Raymond

Multi-purpose lubricant
As of July 1, 2019, any Multi-purpose Lubricant product manufactured must meet new volatile organic compound (VOC) standards in California, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The new limits are either 10% VOC by weight or the Alternate Compliance option of 0.45 maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) content with a maximum of 25% VOC.
If you did not register your product 90 days before July 1, 2019, you must then register your product after July 1, 2019 and wait 30 days to sell the new reformulated product into California.

New Rule Development
On April 12, CARB kicked off a new rulemaking. CARB staff has identified 47 categories out of 491 categories that have more than a half of ton per day of emissions that could be targeted for emission reductions. In May 2019, CARB had four calls with Industry that covered 16 categories and will have had 11 calls altogether going into July. These calls are an attempt to share information and be able to whittle down the 47 categories to a number deemed reasonable for regulation. So far, Industry has been very reluctant to disclose any information to CARB staff during these calls.
Whether you are involved with these categories or not, you should pay attention to what is happening with each category. The simple reason is that this is a zero sum rulemaking—what one category does not give up in emission reductions means that another category will then need to provide further emission reductions. CARB staff stated before each call that the goals it needs to achieve are the following:

• 2–4 tons per day emission reductions statewide by 2023
• 8–10 tons per day emission reductions statewide by 2031
• This is cumulative, not additive, therefore the desired total is 8–10 tons

CARB is open to reactivity and other emission reduction strategies.
Also, further meetings will be scheduled in July to discuss definitional changes and other issues such as low vapor pressure (LVP) exemptions and fragrance exemptions. Josh Berghouse of CARB is leading this entire rulemaking, which is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2020.

On May 21, 2019, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (CAQCC) held a status conference meeting in Denver to discuss the adoption of its new Regulation No. 21, which proposes to regulate Consumer Products and Architectural & Industrial Maintenance Coatings (AIM).
At the meeting, CAQCC explained the timeline for Regulation No. 21 adoption. There was also a discussion of changes to the regulation. Several Industry members were present who expressed the following concerns:

• Rules for Consumer Products and AIM Coatings, currently together, need to be separate.
• CAQCC should adopt the regulation in steps, such as Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) Model Rule 2, followed by OTC Model Rule 4.
• Finally, the effective date needs to be at least a year after adoption. The next meeting was June 18 and the hearing for adoption is July 18. The proposed effective date is May 2020.

New York
On May 29, 2019, the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation Division of Air Resources (DAR) announced that it will be revising its Consumer Products Regulation. DAR had a very short webinar on this issue. It appears DAR will be proposing going to OTC Model Rule 4, which is not the strictest rule. DAR said the rule will be out soon and that the effective date is proposed for Jan. 1, 2021. DAR plans to have the rule adopted by the end of 2019. More to come.

On May 8, 2019, Industry once again met with Environment & Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on its proposed Consumer Products VOC Rule. Industry is still pushing ECCC to adopt all CARB definitions to the Consumer Products VOC rule. ECCC is proposing to shorten or eliminate the definitions altogether. So far Industry and ECCC agree on the following:

• The exclusion of products solely for manufacturing
• The exclusion of Pesticides
• The exclusion of Windshield Washer Fluid
• Acoustical Sealants at 10% VOC
• Multi-purpose Lubricants at 25% VOC
• Multi-purpose Solvents at 30% VOC
• Paint Thinners at 30% VOC
• Unlimited sell-through of products

We have made a lot of progress but there is still more to do.

Washington State
In May, the State of Washington passed legislation on the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The restrictions are the same as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) original Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP) rule. This means that the restrictions on aerosol products are the same as the SNAP rule before the rule was vacated.
The effective date is Jan. 1, 2020. More information to come.

EPA SNAP Rule Rewrite
According to conversations with the EPA, the new SNAP rule is moving slowly through the EPA process. There will be more information to come on this, also.  SPRAY