Regulatory Issues

Written on: December 1, 2022 by Doug Raymond

As a final reminder, new amendments to the Consumer Product volatile organic compound (VOC) regulation from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) become effective Jan. 1, 2023. Below are the VOC limits and effective dates for each product category.

Category                                                       New VOC limit                   Effective date
Manual Aerosol Air Freshener                               10%                                      1/1/2023
Future effective                                                          5%                                      1/1/2027

    Note: This is a new category. The Single-Phase Aerosol and Double Phase Aerosol will be replaced with the Manual Aerosol Air Freshener Category, plus, the following new Aerosol Air Freshener Categories.

Aerosol Air Freshener Categories
Concentrated Aerosol Air Freshener                      15%                                     1/1/2023
Future effective                                                          10%                                     1/1/2027
Automatic Aerosol Air Freshener                            30%                                     1/1/2023
Total Release Aerosol Air Freshener                      25%                                     1/1/2023

Category                                                          Current VOC limit                   New VOC limit             Effective date
Hair Care Products
Hair Finishing Spray                                                 55%                                            50%                                 1/1/2023
Dry Shampoo                                                              –                                               55%                                  1/1/2023
Future effective limit                                                  –                                               50%                                  1/1/2029
Note: New category VOC limit, not regulated currently
Hair Shine                                                                  55%                                            50%                                   1/1/2029
Temporary Hair Color                                              55%                                            50%                                   1/1/2029

Personal Fragrance Product Current VOC Limit (manufactured before 1/1/2023)
Products with 20% or less Fragrance                                                                       75%
Products with more than 20% Fragrance                                                                65%

Personal Fragrance Product: New VOC limit
(Manufactured between 1/1/2023 and 12/31/2030)                                                                         Effective date
Aerosol                                                                                                                           70%                                    1/1/2023
Non-Aerosol Products with 7% or less fragrance                                                   70%                                     1/1/2023
Non-Aerosol Products with 7% or more fragrance 75% 1/1/2023
Note: New Fragrance levels

Personal Fragrance Product: New VOC limit
(Manufactured after 1/1/2031)                                                                                                               Effective date
Aerosol                                                                                                                          50%                                    1/1/2031
Non-Aerosol Products with 10% or less fragrance                                                50%                                     1/1/2031
Non-Aerosol Products with 10% or more fragrance                                             75%                                      1/1/2031
Note: New Fragrance Levels

Crawling Bug Insecticide                        Current VOC Limit                      New VOC limit               Effective date
Aerosol                                                                               15%                                            8%                                     1/1/2030

Bed Bug Insecticide
All Forms                                                                               –                                             20%                                     1/1/2030
Aerosol                                                                                –                                              15%                                     1/1/2030
Note: Bed Bug is a new category

Aerosol Adhesives                                      Current VOC Limit                      New VOC limit                  Effective date
Plastic Pipe Adhesive                                                      –                                                  60%                                  Immediately

Remember, there is a three-year sell-through. Thus, if your new, reformulated products will not be ready by the effective date, your company may want to produce some extra product in December. Also remember that all product needs to be date coded.

The State of Michigan held a public hearing on Oct. 25 to receive public comments on its new proposal to amend its Consumer Products VOC rule and Architectural & Industrial Maintenance (AIM) coatings VOC rule. Michigan will be moving to the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) Model Rule IV for Consumer Products. Michigan has kept the rule consistent, for the most part, with the Model Rule. After promulgated, Michigan is proposing only five months for the effective date; this is problematic and Industry has requested one year.

For this AIM rule, Michigan will be moving to OTC Model Rule II.

The State of Colorado will hold a rulemaking hearing to consider revisions to several rules in response to a possible non-attainment review.

Of particular interest to our Industry, Colorado will propose revisions to include new and revised VOC content limits for Consumer Products should Colorado not attain the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standard by the applicable severe attainment date. If Colorado becomes a severe attainment area, then the OTC Model Rule V will come into effect within 60 days. The proposed rule is to be heard by the middle of December; more to come on this rule.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) held an Executive Board Meeting to hear public comments on the staff-proposed amendments to Rule 1168.

SCAQMD is amending its Rule 1168, which applies to adhesives, adhesive primers and sealants. The district adopted amendments on Nov. 4. Most aerosol products are exempt from this rule except for one-component foam sealants. The original proposal was for one-component foam sealant to have a VOC limit of 50 grams/liter (g/L) as of Jan. 1, 2023. SCAQMD performed a technical review and is proposing to modify this limit and go to a mass-based limit for aerosols instead of the grams per liter limit (it is about time). This new limit is proposed at 18% for one-component foam sealant by July 1, 2023.

Thus, after its review, SCAQMD staff is raising the VOC limit from 50 g/L to 18%, which is roughly 180 g/L. Also, SCAQMD is allowing six more months before the effective date.

AIM Act proposal
On Nov. 3, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its new proposal to allocate Hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption allowances for calendar years 2024–2028 for the American Innovation & Manufacturing (AIM) Act. Comments will be taken through Dec. 19, 2022. For more information on how to make comments, see Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Allowance Allocation Methodology for 2024 & Later Years.

On Nov. 9, (before this column was written) EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs hosted a stakeholder meeting online to provide information and enable stakeholders to provide input as the EPA prepares for an upcoming regulatory action where it intends to propose under subsection (h), “Management of Regulated Substances,” of the AIM Act.

The AIM Act authorizes EPA to address hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in three main ways:

1. Phasing down HFC production and consumption;
2. Promulgating certain regulations for the purposes of maximizing reclamation; and
3. Minimizing releases of HFCs and their substitutes from equipment and facilitating the transition to next generation technologies through sector-based restrictions

Among other provisions, subsection (h) directs EPA to establish certain requirements for management of certain HFCs and their substitutes. Specifically, subsection (h) directs the EPA to establish regulations to control, where appropriate, practices, processes or activities regarding the servicing, repair, disposal or installation of equipment for purposes of maximizing the reclamation and minimizing the release of certain HFCs from equipment and ensuring the safety of technicians and consumers.

This meeting will likely address the petition submitted jointly by the Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) and the National Aerosol Association (NAA).

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays! SPRAY