Regulatory Issues

Written on: August 1, 2019 by Doug Raymond

CARB Rule Development
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) rule development is in full swing. In June, CARB staff held six workgroup calls covering 28 product categories. These categories each had more than 0.5 tons per day of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. CARB staff has made a profile for each of these categories that include the current standard for regulated products, the sales weighted VOC average, the tons per day and reactivity data. CARB staff has reviewed these categories, and for some, provided possible reductions if the product category is meant to be regulated. Overall, the calls have been very informative. CARB staff has amassed a huge amount of data on these product categories.
CARB is continually requesting that manufacturers of these product categories speak with them. By 2023, CARB needs 2–4 tons per day of emission reductions, and by 2031, needs a total of 8–10 tons per day of emission reductions. There is no doubt that CARB staff will achieve its emission reductions goal, so it is better if CARB uses accurate information to make informed decisions. The only way this can happen is if Industry (the experts on its own products) provides information on these product categories. Therefore, Industry has two choices: provide CARB the appropriate information for it to make informed decisions or let CARB make decisions based solely on the data that it has. I believe the latter to be a poor choice for the aerosol industry.
It is important to realize that this is a “zero sum rulemaking”—what one category does not give up in emission reductions, another category will need to provide. Thus, even if your product category is not targeted now, it could be targeted in the near future.
CARB held its last workgroup call on July 2. Next, staff will start to evaluate the 47 product categories to determine which to move forward with in its rulemaking.
On July 17, CARB had a workgroup to discuss changes to the definitions in the Consumer Product Rule. More on this in an upcoming issue.

On June 18, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (CAQCC) held a meeting to discuss its proposed Consumer Product Rule and Architectural & Industrial Maintenance Coatings (AIM) Rule. Finally, after months of commenting, staff has separated the two rules. Before this meeting, staff had combined the definitions for both rules together. This would have been a nightmare to try and comply with. For example, Consumer Products have a low vapor pressure (LVP) exemption; AIM Coatings do not have this provision. Consumer Products are regulated by weight percent, AIM Coatings by volume (grams per liter).
At the meeting, Industry still argued for a phased-in approach and for at least a year after adoption for the effective date.
On July 18, CAQCC held its hearing to adopt this regulation. As we go to press, it appears that Industry will not get a phased-in approach nor will it get the 1-year effective date. It appears as the rule will become final on August 10 if passed on July 18 and the effective date will be May 1, 2020. I will confirm next issue.


On July 6, 2019, Environment & Climate Change Canada (ECCC) posted in Gazette 1 its proposed VOC regulation. There is a 75-day comment period for Industry. As explained in the last issue, besides the lack of clarity in the definitions (which is a huge problem), ECCC has made the other changes we have requested.

The definitional differences are a very tough issue. ECCC is copying a significant portion of the CARB regulation, which only works if the definitions are in place. To adopt the limits without the definitions could cause mass confusion as well as enforcement issues.
Industry needs to push for more clarity in the definitions. SPRAY