Regulatory Issues

Written on: July 1, 2022 by Doug Raymond

Last month, I shared a reminder about the California Air Resources Board (CARB) amendments to the Consumer Product volatile organic compound (VOC) regulation. However, a small wrinkle in the regulation has occurred. In the middle of May, Industry was notified that the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) in California is reviewing the CARB Consumer Products VOC Regulation and has requested that CARB make some small modifications to Method 310, the test method for Consumer Product regulation.

On May 23, CARB released a second notice for a 15-day change document. The deadline to comment was June 7, 2022. Again, the changes to this section were minor, for example, the difference in a word change from “will” to “may.” These changes were originally made to allow CARB Enforcement more flexibility in rule enforcement. As they say, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

I am told this 15-day notice will not affect the current effective date of Jan. 1, 2023. This will be confirmed every month through the effective date.

There is no news on the 2022 State Implementation Plan; another meeting should be held soon.

The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) held its Annual Spring Meeting in New Jersey on June 2. While nothing official was announced, it is rumored that New Jersey and Washington, D.C. may be thinking of updating the Consumer Product VOC rules. We know that Ohio is updating its rule and Colorado has stated it may update its rule. In addition, Michigan, and now New Jersey and Washington, D.C., may also update their rules. If these States start to move, it will be a very busy rest of the year. The only bright spot would be that maybe we could finally get some regulatory consistency among States.

Washington State held a third meeting on its hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) rule. If you remember, its newest rule, Chapter-173-443, bans the sale of small cans of refrigerants for use in automobiles. Industry is trying to preserve these small cans of refrigerants for use by auto technicians in recharging cars. The next meeting is July 6 of this year.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has requested information from Industry on the development of the new regulation under the American Innovation & Manufacturing Act (AIM), specifically on technology transitions that will be restricting the use of HFCs in specific applications. Remember, the Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) and National Aerosol Association (NAA) petitioned EPA to maintain exclusions in the original Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rule.

EPA is now reviewing all of the original use exceptions. Industry will once again have to defend these uses. EPA wants to publish a draft rule by the end of this year, which is very aggressive timing.

Many of you have already responded to HCPA or NAA. However, if you have not, it is not too late. Please review the following and respond to Nicholas Georges at or this author at Thank you in advance for any information you can supply pertaining to the following:

• Do you use HFC-245fa?
• What is the application(s) and is it essential to use this chemical?
• What potential alternatives to this chemistry exist for your application(s) and what is preventing you from changing to it?

• Do you use HFC-134a in any of the previously allowed applications under the SNAP Rules 20 and 21?
These applications are:
■ Cleaning products for removal of grease, flux and other soils from electrical equipment or electronics;
■ Refrigerant flushes;
■ Products for sensitivity testing of smoke detectors;
■ Lubricants and freeze sprays for electrical equipment or electronics;
■ Sprays for aircraft maintenance;
■ Sprays containing corrosion-preventive compounds used in the maintenance of aircraft, electrical equipment or electronics, or military equipment;
■ Pesticides for use near electrical wires, in aircraft, in total release insecticide foggers or in certified organic use pesticides for which EPA has specifically disallowed all other lower-global warming potential (GWP) propellants;
■ Mold release agents and mold cleaners;
■ Lubricants and cleaners for spinnerettes for synthetic fabrics;
■ Duster sprays specifically for removal of dust from photographic negatives, semiconductor chips, specimens under electron microscopes and energized electrical equipment;
■ Adhesives and sealants in large canisters;
■ Document preservation sprays;
■ U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-approved metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) for medical purposes;
■ Defense sprays;
■ Wound care sprays;
■ Topical coolant sprays for pain relief; and
■ Products for removing bandage adhesives from skin.
o What potential alternatives have you tried to utilize and why were they not acceptable?
• Do you use HFC-134a in a defense spray, such as a bear spray or pepper spray?
o What potential alternatives have you tried to utilize and why were they not acceptable?
• Do you use HFC-134a in any other application(s)?
o If so, what is that application(s)?
o What potential alternatives have you tried to utilize or why is HFC-134a essential to your application? SPRAY