Regulatory Issues

Written on: March 1, 2023 by Doug Raymond

Currently, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is working on developing a survey for product categories, due out this year. I believe the survey will concern cleaning products, disinfectants, sanitizers and possibly hand sanitizer, as well. We will need to wait and see which product categories CARB decides to target.

CARB staff is also working on the guidance document for the new Innovative Compressed Gas Propellant Product and Innovative Liquefied Gas Propellant Product category.
Remember, these two provisions were finalized during the 15-day comment period following the 2021 CARB Executive Board meeting.

These two provisions were established to allow manufacturers a way to reformulate products to meet more stringent volatile organic compound (VOC) limits. The provisions are only available for the Finishing Hair Spray, Dry Shampoo and Personal Fragrance Product categories. The new Innovative Product Exemption (IPE) provisions were developed as a way to discourage the use of more HFC-152a and to promote further use of compressed gases, such as CO2 and nitrogen. However, through this process, the provisions also morphed into the use of reactivity.

The use of the Innovative Liquefied Gas Propellant Product exemption can lower the need for HFC-152a, as well as provide a mechanism to use more Liquefied Propellant in a product. This alternative way to reformulate utilizes the concept of reactivity and may turn out to be a simpler pathway to reformulate a company’s products.

CARB developed these provisions as alternative ways to reformulate and provide Industry with the ability to innovate. The original IPE was developed to assist Industry in formulating products that may contain more VOC per product, but due to the way the product is used, the emissions are equal to or less than a standard product.

CARB has also provided Industry with a table that consists of representative formulas for three product categories: Finishing Hair Spray, Dry Shampoo and Personal Fragrance Product. This is of significant benefit to the aerosol industry. By CARB providing these representative product formulations, it relieves Industry of the burden of having to conduct long and expensive consumer testing to show what a representative product is. This removes most of the cost—shouldered by the manufacturer—that had been part of the original IPE.

Now, if a new IPE Liquefied product meets or has a lower Maximum Incremental Reactivity (MIR) than the representative product formula in the table, your product is almost done being reformulated. Remember, the new IPE product must achieve a 50% greenhouse gas reduction from the original formula and the product must perform similarly to the original formula.

CARB is in the process of developing a detailed guidance document to assist manufacturers in using the IPE provision for compressed and liquefied gases. CARB staff will likely be finished with this guidance document by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

If your company produces a Finishing Hair Spray, Dry Shampoo or Personal Fragrance Product, an in-depth review of the new IPE provision will likely benefit your product reformulation.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) has finalized its rulemaking to update Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3745-112, Consumer Products Rules. As a reminder, this update aligns its VOC regulation for consumer products from the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) Phase II Model Rule to the OTC Phase IV Model Rule.

Companies will need to comply with the updated VOC limits on July 1, 2023; this gives companies only four months to comply. Remember, there is an unlimited sell-through for product produced before the effective date. SPRAY