Regulatory Issues

Written on: May 1, 2020 by Doug Raymond


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff had two workgroup meetings planned for March 10 and March 19.

The March 10 meeting was on Hair Care Products, Personal Fragrance Products (<20% Fragrance), Manual Aerosol Air Fresheners and the sunset of the 2% Fragrance Exemption. Approximately 27 Industry members attended in person with many more on the phone-it was the largest in-person group in attendance for this rulemaking so far.

CARB staff started with Hair Care Products and expressed its desire to have all products (Hair Finishing Spray, Dry Shampoo, Dry Conditioner, Hair Shine and Temporary Hair Color) have the same volatile organic compound (VOC) limit by 2031. This was the first time this was mentioned in this rulemaking.

Industry had comments on the definition of Hair Finishing Spray, Dry Shampoo and Dry Conditioner. No meaningful dialogue was had on VOC limits.

There was significant discussion of the Personal Fragrance Products (<20% Fragrance) category. However, no consensus was reached on a VOC limit or definition.

Next on the agenda was the newly created category of Manual Aerosol Air Fresheners, which combines the old Single Phase and Double Phase air freshener categories. Industry appears to accept these CARB-proposed limits, except for possibly some subcategories.

The final discussion was the sunsetting of the 2% fragrance exemption. Like the Personal Fragrance category, there was significant discussion but no consensus between CARB and Industry.

If you have products in the above categories or an interest in the 2% Fragrance Exemption, you are urged to comment to CARB, which is currently seeking comments on this rulemaking from Industry.

Remember, this is a zero sum game for the rulemaking, meaning what one category does not achieve in emission reductions, another category must compensate for with a larger reduction. Currently, CARB is required to get 2.4-4.8 tons per day (tpd) statewide emission reduction by 2023 and a 9.5-11.9 tpd by 2031 (total, not in addition to) 2023 statewide emission reductions.

From listening to Industry, I gather there does not appear to be a consensus to achieve the required tonnage emission reduction.

During the March 10 workgroup meeting, CARB stated that no reactivity limits would be considered for any product categories. This is both disappointing and discouraging. In February, CARB agreed to give Industry equivalent Maximum Incremental Reactivity (MIR) values for the VOC limits. This provided some hope that CARB would consider reactivity. Remember, with the use of reactivity, the reduction of a product category MIR value always means a reduction in ozone production. This cannot be said for the use of mass base limits. If reactivity is important to you, please let CARB know your thoughts. Send comments to Joe Calavita at or Ravi Ramalingam at

The March 19 workgroup meeting was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as CARB having some technical issues. CARB did post information on its website pertaining to 310 Test Method proposed changes. Industry should review these proposed changes and comment here.

The next CARB meeting was a webinar on April 14 and a CARB workgroup meeting on April 20. More on this in next month’s column.

More meetings as follows:

* June or July 2020: CARB staff’s final proposal; there is still the ability to change the proposal but it may be difficult.

* July or August 2020: Final Workshop.

* September 2020: Release of amendments for comment; this is the start of formal rulemaking and there will be 45 days to comment.

* November 2020: Board Hearing; Industry has three minutes to comment on staff proposals.

As we go to press, CARB is on schedule. However, my belief is that, given the COVID-19 pandemic, some activities may be delayed until the first quarter of next year. We will need to wait and see.

Regulations on Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 

Numerous States have started to implement regulations or legislation on HFC-134a. Currently, there are 16 States with activity on HFC-134a, all of which are in different stages of adoption. The good news is that most States are copying the original U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program rule. However, these States’ activities need to be monitored to make sure that no undue provisions affect our products. Below is a short summary of each State’s activity:

* California: Regulation finished and effective 1/1/2019.

* Vermont: Regulatory action likely before summer 2020.

* Washington State: Emergency Rule effective. Regulatory rule activity is ongoing and will likely be proposed before the end of April. We are trying to avoid a labeling provision.

* New Jersey: We had a conference call on March 26. Aerosols are not included yet.

* Oregon: Working on legislation.

* Hawaii: Working on legislation.

* Maine: Working on legislation.

* Colorado: Regulatory proposal; current activity includes a proposed rule needed to modify reporting requirements.

* Connecticut: Regulatory proposal; activity this summer.

* Delaware: Regulatory proposal; virtual public hearing held on April 23.

* Maryland: Regulatory proposal; activity started in April.

* New York: Regulatory proposal; ongoing activity.

* Massachusetts: No language yet, but plans to finish by 2020.

* Rhode Island: Plans to work on a regulatory proposal in 2020.

* Pennsylvania: We are likely to see language this summer.

Please stay safe…             SPRAY