Regulatory Issues

Written on: May 1, 2022 by Doug Raymond

There has been a recent flurry of activity concerning volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Ravi Ramalingam, Branch Chief, Consumer Products & Air Quality Assessment Branch, California Air Resources Board (CARB), presented Regulation & Management of Complex Systems on March 28 to more than 240 members of the aerosol industry in Nashville, TN at the Aerosol Summit. Ramalingam described the process to regulate Consumer Products, as well as the new consumer products VOC regulation amendments adopted in March of 2021. Further, Ramalingam discussed the development of CARB’s new State Implementation Plan (SIP). The 2022 SIP strategy currently proposes that Consumer Products be required to achieve a 20-tons-per-day (tpd) equivalent VOC reduction by 2037.

To accomplish this goal, Ramalingam stated that CARB staff is working on ways to streamline data requests to save industry from filling out significant survey data. He did mention that staff will likely be looking at the Hand Sanitizer, Surface Cleaner, Disinfectant and Beauty & Personal Care products categories, as well as reviewing some other categories. Ramalingam stated that staff prefers “larger reductions from fewer categories.” The presentation also noted that the concept of “Reactivity” may have a significant role in this next rulemaking.

Also, low vapor pressure (LVP) VOCs may be regulated as well. Ramalingam clearly stated that the LVPVOC definition will not change.

Reactivity should be a plus for the aerosol industry. However, 20tpd will not be an easy feat; this will be a challenging endeavor, so stay tuned.

Other State VOC activity
On April 7, 2022, the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) held a stakeholder meeting to discuss potential new VOC regulations; this is mainly a new version of the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) model regulations. It is worth remembering that the Colorado Consumer Products OTC Model Rule IV became effective in Colorado in 2021. The ink is not even dry and the State wants to propose going to OTC Model Rule V. If this happens, Colorado will be the first state to adopt Model Rule V, which seems very ambitious.

The plan is for CDPHE to develop this proposal by September of 2022, proceed with rule development and adopt rule proposal in December of 2022. CDPHE staff has indicated that this is a contingency regulation that will be effective in 2027 if the state fails to achieve compliance. It is hard to believe that Colorado will achieve compliance. If any readers believe we should oppose this, please contact me for discussion.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Dept. of Air Pollution Control (Ohio EPA -DAPC) has given notice to amend Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-112, Consumer Products Rules, and update to the Model Rule IV. Currently, Ohio uses OTC Model Rule II. The proposed effective date is July 1, 2023.

Ohio EPA will hold a virtual public hearing on May 6 at 10:30am EDT. Register here.

The Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (MI EGLE) is developing a VOC rule package, including amendments to its Architectural & Industrial Maintenance Coatings (AIM) rule and Consumer Products rule. According to the draft, MI EGLE intends to adopt the OTC Model Rule II for AIM. For Consumer Products, Michigan is considering OTC Model Rule IV (it is currently using OTC Model II). Comments were due by April 13.

The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) and the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Visibility Union (MANE-VU) will conduct their Spring 2022 Annual Meeting on June 2, 2022 (9am–12pm EDT) at the Crown Plaza Princeton Conference Center in Plainsboro, NJ. The hybrid public session will have both an in-person and virtual option. Register for either here.

District VOC Activity: SCAQMD
On April 12, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) held its second workgroup meeting on Proposed Amended Rule 1168: Adhesive & Sealant Applications Rule 1168. The working group met to provide stakeholders an opportunity to work with SCAQMD staff and provide feedback on the rule development process, including the technology assessment. More info here.

AIM Act Update
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held two workshops in March to discuss updates to the American Innovation & Manufacturing (AIM) Act. As always, refrigeration issues dominated the meetings. We in the aerosol industry are hoping that we can have sector-only (Aerosol) meetings in the future. Stay tuned, as this is only the beginning! SPRAY