Regulatory Issues

Written on: October 1, 2021 by Doug Raymond

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its 15-day notice of changes to its Consumer Products Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) regulation on Aug.19, 2021. This item had gone to the CARB executive board in March 2021; the executive board then directed staff to make changes to the following section of the regulations:

• 94510 Exemptions: Staff clarified the fragrance exemption and added a definition of monoterpene and a table with specific monoterpenes.
• 94511 Innovative Products: Staff added to this section the Liquefied Propellant product provision, which uses the concept of Reactivity. Thus, hair spray, dry shampoo and personal fragrance products will be able to utilize the concept of Reactivity through the Innovative Product Exemption (IPE) to comply with the new 2023 VOC limits  Manufacturers will need to use the CARB “Representative Product Formulations” to comply. CARB added this provision to allow manufacturers another pathway to comply with the new VOC regulation other than using hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that have Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. This new provision allows manufacturers to have more flexibility in the reformulation process, which in turn allows for the development of more effective and efficient products for the consumer. In addition, using the IPE process allows CARB to monitor and maintain much-needed VOC emission reductions. The use of Reactivity also allows for the insurance that ozone formation is maintained. This is a big step forward for the use of Reactivity.
• 94513 Reporting Requirements: Personal fragrance product manufacturers will be subject to a reporting requirement.
• 94542 Definitions: CARB will reference “LVP” (low vapor pressure) in all of its regulations to maintain consistency.
• Test Method 310: This change clarifies the VOC definition.

All comments were due to CARB on Sept. 3; this was 15 days from the Aug. 19 notice of changes. CARB staff spent a significant amount of time on these changes and should be commended for its work in using Reactivity. Our next move should be to expand this provision beyond hair spray, dry shampoo and personal fragrance products.

2022 Scoping Meeting
CARB continues to work on what it calls a “Scoping Plan.” This plan aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. Industry needs to monitor how this will affect its use of HFCs in the future. Reporting on this issue will be ongoing.

Other State VOC Regulations
As reported before, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is working on possibly updating its Consumer Product VOC regulation. Comments on Early Stakeholder Outreach were due on Sept. 8; timing for the regulation has yet to be provided. As an Industry, we need to continue to strive for consistency and relay this information to the agency.

Michigan & Oregon
Reports are that Michigan and Oregon will be working on a VOC regulation later this year or early next year. Michigan has a VOC Rule adopted by reference Phase II Model Rule of the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC). Oregon has yet to establish a Consumer Product VOC rule. The question is will Oregon follow Utah and Colorado by moving to OTC Phase IV Model Rule? We will need to wait and see. SPRAY