Regulatory Issues

Written on: September 1, 2019 by Doug Raymond

July was a very busy month for the consumer products industry. From July 10–12, it held meetings with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to educate the staff on numerous product categories, such as Hairspray, No-Rinse Shampoo, Sunscreen, Hair Dye, Body Sprays, Air Fresheners, Candles, Laundry Products and Antiperspirant/Deodorant, to name a few. The presentations were informative and well presented. More importantly, CARB staff members (rule-writers, lab personnel and enforcement) were attentive and asked some very good questions.

Due to the fact that many product categories contain scents, Industry also provided a very thorough review of fragrances and their chemical makeup. Overall, the meetings were positive and provided an educational opportunity for CARB staff.
On July 17, CARB staff had its first workshop on Definitions. This workshop was the Industry’s opportunity to present to CARB definitions from the regulations that need to be modified, clarified, dropped or added. Unfortunately, only CARB and I presented definitions to be worked on. CARB gave everyone until Aug.15, 2019 to provide feedback on the current definitions.
Of the definitions that CARB put forward, the toughest issue will be that CARB wants to be able to use your website claims to be able to categorize your product. This could be a potential problem. Currently, CARB can only use your product label to determine a product category. Concerns include:

• The possibility of old information on a website;
• Products sold nationally may potentially have different claims than in California;
• Overall website management.

CARB’s next step is to reduce the current 47 product categories that are over 0.5 tons per day (TPD) to something more manageable, such as 15–20 categories. This activity should start this month.
The “definitions issue” will continue and likely will run on a parallel path starting in September, as well. As a reminder, CARB needs to get four TPD of volatile organic compounds (VOC) reductions by 2023 and an 8–10 TPD total by 2031. This rule-making is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2020.

On July 18, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) held a hearing to approve the new VOC limits for Consumer Products and Architectural & Industrial Maintenance (AIM) Coatings. The New Regulation 21 uses the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) Model Rule IV for Consumer Products and OTC Model Rule II for AIM Coatings. These new limits will become effective in Colorado on May 1, 2020. This rule was adopted unanimously by the board and gives Industry only eight months to comply.

The rule was adopted after numerous meetings with staff and AQCC. This was a very detailed and restrictive process. Even after arguments to provide a phase-in approach to the rule, staff decided to move to the Phase IV and Phase II model rules directly. Because of State Implementation Plan (SIP) restraints, staff would not compromise on the effective date, hence Industry has only eight months to comply.

New Jersey
The next state to update its Consumer Products regulations is New Jersey. The NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection will hold a stakeholder meeting on Sept. 6 in Trenton and propose the regulations be updated with more stringent VOC limits. More about this in an upcoming issue.

Environment & Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is moving ahead with its Consumer Products VOC regulation. Comments on the proposed regulation are due by Sept. 19, 2019. The rule is still in poor shape. While we have managed to get the VOC limits straightened out, the definitions are still not clear. If ECCC wants to be in line with CARB regulations, then it needs to modify the definitions to align with CARB.
We have more work to do, but we are running out of time. SPRAY