Regulatory Issues

Written on: December 1, 2019 by Doug Raymond


On Nov. 7, California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff held a public workshop to reveal its proposal for the next round of rulemaking. CARB has been reviewing Consumer Product categories since April of 2019 to determine which categories will be designated for volatile organic compound (VOC) reductions.

The CARB process has been very comprehensive. Staff surveyed over 400 product categories from over 1,500 product manufactures. In all, approximately one million products were reviewed. This year, CARB started with 49 product categories that contained 0.5 tons per day (tpd) of emissions or more. After 11 work group meetings, staff eliminated 32 product categories; this left 17 product categories. Staff held three workgroup webinars to review these 17 categories.

CARB, due to its State Implementation Plan (SIP) commitments, needs to get VOC reductions from Consumer Products. The SIP commitments are 2.4–4.8 tpd statewide by 2023 and 9.5–11.9 tpd statewide by 2031. Note the 2031 requirements are inclusive of the 2023 requirements and not in addition to them. This amount of emission reduction is significant and will be difficult to achieve.

The current proposal contains six product categories and a sunset of the fragrance exemption. The categories to be regulated are the following:

Manual Aerosol Air Freshener. This will be a completely new category. CARB is proposing to combine the Single Phase Aerosol Air Freshener and the Double Phase Aerosol Air Freshener into one category. Both of these categories have been in place for a long time. This new category will have the following limits:

By Jan. 1, 2023                                        By Jan. 1, 2031

• VOC standard of 10% by weight        • VOC standard of 5% by weight

• VOC reduction: 1.0 tpd                       • VOC reduction: 1.8 tpd

In addition, a new category for automatic Air Freshener products will be created at 30% VOC. If you are in this category, you need to review this proposal and comment. This is a significant change for Air Fresheners.

Hair Finishing Spray

By Jan. 1, 2023                                       By Jan. 1, 2027

• VOC standard of 50% by weight      • VOC standard of 45% by weight

• VOC reduction: 1.1 tpd                     • VOC reduction: 2.7 tpd

This category has not been regulated since 1999. The proposal is seeking significant reductions.

No Rinse Shampoo

By Jan. 1, 2023                                      By Jan. 1, 2027

• VOC standard 50% by weight          • VOC standard 45% by weight

• VOC reduction: 0.7 tpd                     • VOC reduction: 0.9 tpd

This is the first time this category has been regulated. Considering it only has 1.3 tpd of VOC emissions, it seems that trying to get 0.9 tpd of emission reductions will be difficult to achieve. In addition, dry conditioners and foams will be included in this category.

Personal Fragrance Products (20% or less fragrance)

By Jan. 1, 2023                                       By Jan. 1, 2027

• VOC standard of 65% by weight        • VOC standard of 50% by weight

• VOC reduction: 1.7 tpd                       • VOC reduction: 5.8 tpd

This category will achieve almost half of the VOC emission reductions needed for total reduction.

Aerosol Crawling Bug Insecticide

By Jan. 1, 2023                                      By Jan. 1, 2027

• VOC standard of 10% by weight        • VOC standard of 6% by weight

• VOC reduction: 0.4 tpd                      • VOC reduction: 0.9 tpd

Aerosol Crawling Bug Insecticide is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered product. A company would need to go through the Federal and State registrations twice in four years, incurring a great deal of expense and wasted time. Does it make sense to regulate the product twice in four years?

Charcoal lighter material

By Jan. 1, 2023

• Any new product would need to comply

By Jan. 1, 2027

• All products must comply with this standard

• VOC reductions: 0.4 tpd

• 2% Fragrance Exemption

By Jan. 1, 2027

• Sunset 2% exemption

• VOC reduction: 0.33 tpd

CARB will evaluate the need to maintain some type of fragrance exemption for General Purpose Cleaners & Degreasers.

This sums up the current proposal, which aims to achieve 4.9 tpd VOC reductions in 2023 and 12.8 tpd of emissions in 2027. These reductions are well above what is required by the SIP.

CARB has a list of nine other product categories to review if these categories do not achieve the required emission reductions.

CARB also stated it will review any toxic air contaminates in these products and is also willing to consider reactivity limits if industry is willing to assist with maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) limits and speciation test methods.

CARB will also be working on definitions and updates to Method 310.

Comments about these proposals were due to CARB by Nov. 27, 2019 at

CARB’s Proposed Next Steps:

Late 2019: Publish updated final survey data summaries, update consumer products emission inventory.

Early 2020: Additional Workgroup meetings

• Specific to proposed regulatory categories

• Regulatory definitions

• Fragrance exemption

• Other topics as needed

Spring 2020: Third public workshop: refined draft regulatory proposal, draft regulatory language. An additional workshop will be added if needed.

Ongoing: Meet individually with interested stakeholders

Late 2020: Board consideration of proposed regulatory amendments. SPRAY