Regulatory Issues

Written on: March 1, 2020 by Doug Raymond


Throughout January 2020, California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff continued to work on amendments for its volatile organic compound (VOC) Consumer Products Rule. The following categories are currently targeted:

  • Aerosol air fresheners
  • Hair spray
  • Dry shampoo
  • Personal fragrance products
  • Aerosol crawling insecticide
  • Charcoal lighter material

Also, CARB has proposed to sunset the 2% fragrance exemption. CARB staff is waiting for the aerosol industry to respond to its proposal of Nov. 10, 2019. If you make or sell products in any of these categories, you should be talking to CARB staff members, who welcome comments on the proposal. To date, only four entities have responded per the CARB website. Other companies and associations have met directly with CARB on these categories and issues.

On Feb. 26, CARB held its first workgroup meeting of 2020 on the amendments. The meeting was originally just going to be on definitions—more on this in a future issue.

As an industry, we need to closely monitor any and all changes to definitions, test methods and other provisions that have been used by our industry to make this rule feasible.

Other issues we may need to face include a different calculation for products with compressed gas propellant, as well as more refinements for the 2% fragrance exemption phase-out. CARB may also add products to the Maximum Incremental Reactivity (MIR) tables in the regulation.

From now through July, CARB activity will be fast-paced and ever-changing; if your products are involved, then you need to watch CARB’s activity very closely.

From time to time, people have asked why we spend so much time with CARB. The answer is simple: whatever CARB does is followed by other U.S. States and other countries. Therefore, if we get it right at CARB, we should (in theory) have an easier time in other States and countries.

Multi-purpose lubricants

All responsible parties that have sales of multi-purpose lubricants using the Alternative Compliance option (reactivity limit of 0.45 and max VOC mass limit of 25%) need to report previous years’ sales by March 31 of the following year. This reporting requirement sunsets on April 1, 2023. CARB does not have an official document for this report, so send the report to Mr. Dan Garrett, Air Pollution Specialist ( or to Mr. José Gomez, Manager, Technical Development Section ( Remember that there was an initial reporting requirement that was required before the July 1, 2019 effective date.

Other State VOC regulations

Colorado VOC regulation becomes effective May 1, 2020. Other States, such as New York and New Jersey, have been quiet lately so there is no new information to share.

CARB staff reported that Environment Canada would be at CARB’s Feb. 26 workgroup meeting; more to come.


State activity around the regulation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)—especially for use of HFC-134a—has exploded this year. As you should be aware, California has an effective rule on HFCs that mirrors the original U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rule. The following States have either started on a proposed rule for HFCs or plan to have a proposal soon: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington State and Vermont.

We need to watch these States and their proposals closely; some States have proposed labeling and we need to avoid State-specific labeling at all costs. SPRAY