Regulatory Issues

Written on: January 1, 2020 by Doug Raymond

The year 2020 promises to be very active in the regulatory arena. Several areas of the country will be active with volatile organic compound (VOC) regulations and a few states will be active with hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) regulations. Then, of course, there is Canada, which has been unusually quiet for many months.


As detailed last month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will continue its activities on a new amendment to its regulation. CARB staff has targeted several product categories for its initial attempt to comply with its State Implementation Plan (SIP). These product categories include:

• Manual Air Fresheners (this is a new category that combines  Single & Double Phase Air fresheners)

• Hair Finishing Sprays

• No-Rinse Shampoos

• Personal Fragrance Products (20% or less fragrance; this includes Body Sprays)

• Aerosol Crawling Bug Insecticide

• Charcoal Lighter Material

• Sunsetting the 2% Fragrance exemption

If you have any products in these categories, you should be fully involved in this process. CARB’s SIP commitments are 2.4–4.8 tons per day (tpd) statewide by 2023 and 9.5–11.9 tpd statewide by 2031. The 2031 requirements are inclusive of the 2023 requirements, not in addition to them. Currently, CARB’s draft proposal achieves 12.8 tpd, which is more than the SIP commitments require. Thus, there should be some room to negotiate with CARB staff on its proposal. However, you need to be involved in the process.

Two issues in this rulemaking could affect every company. First, the sunsetting of the 2% fragrance exemption affects all companies that use fragrances in their products. Currently, there is a 2% exemption for fragrance, which means you can add up to 2% fragrance in your product and not count any of the VOC content of that fragrance toward the content of your product to meet a VOC limit. When this exemption is sunsetted (removed), each company will need to find out what the VOC content is of the fragrances they use to ensure that their product continues to meet the applicable VOC limit. This will be a significant amount of work for the manufacturer/marketer, as well as the fragrance supplier.

Secondly,  CARB is looking to modify some definitions. A change in a definition is significant. CARB is proposing to hold its next Definition Workshop on Jan. 15. This is not a finalized date as SPRAY goes to press.

One issue CARB has brought up is enlarging the scope of what CARB Enforcement can use to determine a product’s category, meaning what claims are made for the product. CARB is proposing using a company’s website/internet presence to determine what claims are used for the product. This proposal is full of issues, so we need industry involvement.

Remember what happens at CARB spreads across the country. Stay tuned—it should be a lively discussion.


Do not forget that the Colorado State Consumer Products regulation becomes effective May 1. Colorado adopted Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) Model Rule 4. Prepare now.

New Jersey

New Jersey is considering adopting amendments to its Consumer Products regulation. These amendments would be OTC Model Rule 5. New Jersey would be the first State to go to Model Rule 5, which is very strict. However, New Jersey is willing to give 2–3 years before an effective date and then not revisit other amendments for a long time. This appears to be a good proposal.

New York

New York has announced it is considering an amendment to the State’s Consumer Product regulation. There is no indication of when or what will be proposed; maybe it will be like New Jersey’s. We can at least try for some consistency.


As stated earlier, Canada has been quiet on its proposed regulation. We will need to wait and see what happens up North regarding Consumer Products regulation. SPRAY