Regulatory Issues

Written on: December 1, 2023 by Doug Raymond

At the Western Aerosol Information Bureau (WAIB) meeting in October, Industry received updates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) concerning ongoing activities.
As reported in the last issue, the EPA released its Technology Transitions Final Rule under its American Innovation & Manufacturing (AIM) Act. Allison Cain from EPA’s Technology Transition Branch presented on the Final Rule and its effect on aerosol products. This rule sets specific restrictions for numerous sectors of the Industry. Following are the specific restrictions on aerosol products, which include restrictions on use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), record keeping, reporting and labeling requirements.
HFC restrictions
As of Jan. 1, 2025, EPA is restricting the use of all HFCs with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) greater than 150 in aerosol products. Some categories will have until Jan. 1, 2028, to utilize HFCs higher than 150 GWP. Thus, as of Jan. 1, 2028, all aerosol products can only use HFCs with a GWP of 150 or less. This includes an extension for the use of HFC-43-10mee and HFC-245fa in aerosols until Jan. 1, 2028.
Below are the categories that have the Jan. 1, 2028, extension:
• 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 or in aircraft, in total-release insecticide foggers, or in certified organic use pesticides for which EPA has specifically disallowed all other lower-GWP propellants;
• Mold release agents and mold cleaners;
• Lubricants and cleaners for spinnerets 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 preservations sprays;
• Topical coolant sprays for pain relief; and
• Products for removing bandage adhesives from skin.
Remember, HFC-152a has a GWP of less than 150 GWP, so is therefore not restricted under this rule.
Products manufactured or imported before their respective effective dates of Jan. 1, 2025, or Jan. 1, 2028, have a three-year sell-through period.
Products using an HFC will be subject to a labeling requirement starting Jan. 1, 2025. To comply, the chemical name(s) or American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) designation of any regulated substance(s) or blend containing a regulated substance used must be on the label, in packaging materials or through an on-product QR code. The permanent label must be in English, be durable and the chemical name(s) must be readily visible, legible and displayed on a background of contrasting color. If other packaging material contains the disclosure, it must meet the requirement of the permanent label and be present with the product at the point of sale and import. If a QR code is used, it must direct to the required information and meet all the requirements of the on-product label. The QR code must be functional and include adjacent text to indicate the purpose of the QR code.
Date Code
The regulation requires the full date code or, at a minimum, the four-digit year of manufacture. Clarification would be needed if a volatile organic compound (VOC) date code is sufficient.
Reporting & recordkeeping
Reporting starts Jan. 1, 2025. There are numerous requirements. If you are subject to the Technology Transitions Final Rule, I suggest review of the regulation at
For those wondering, small cans of Automotive Refrigerants are not subject to this rule.
Finally, while this regulation is not ideal, it is much better than the proposal. Thanks to all who were involved.
CARB personnel had a panel of three people at the WAIB conference to discuss its ongoing activities. Ravi Ramalingam, José Gomez and Liang Liu provided a short presentation followed by a Q&A period.
The panel began by discussing the State Implementation Plan (SIP). The new 2022 SIP requires CARB staff to reduce VOC or VOC-equivalent emissions by 20 tons per day (TPD) from Consumer Products statewide by 2037. CARB is proposing to have a rulemaking finished by 2027.
CARB is working on developing a product category survey to send to the Industry. It is considering any categories that might have been affected during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as categories that have not been regulated, categories with toxic compounds and product categories that were dropped in the past rulemaking. Aerosol Coatings will be reviewed, yet again.
CARB is further working on implementing the new Innovative Product Exemption (IPE) provisions for compressed gas and liquefied propellants. Remember, only Hairspray, Dry Shampoo and Personal Fragrance products can use these IPE provisions, which provide the Industry the opportunity to utilize reactivity in these categories. The use of reactivity under these provisions may lead to a better performing product.
Finally, CARB is working on the Personal Fragrance Products technical assessment for the 2031 limits.
Industry asked the panel numerous questions; the most pressing was when will the survey be released? CARB responded with Soon! No one knows what that means, so look forward to working with CARB staff more in the future.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) began work to develop amendments to its Auto Refinish Rule 1151. At the top of the list is a ban of the use of tertiary butyl acetate (tBAc) and para-Chlorobenzotrifluoride (pCBtF) in Automotive Coatings.
On Nov. 7 of this year, SCAQMD had its first work group meeting on this rule. Staff asked for information on these two Automotive Coatings compounds. In addition, it is likely SCAQMD will send out a survey on these coatings.
SCAQMD is planning to have a board hearing to adopt any amendments in 3Q 2024. Therefore, about a year from now, staff plans on completing this rule amendment. This is not a lot of time considering it has not been modified since 2005. There will be more to come on this.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Prosperous New Year! SPRAY