June 2015

CARB looks to reduce greenhouse gases, CA pushes for ingredient disclosure

regssCARB
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a concept paper on May 7 concerning a way to reduce greenhouse gases in a shorter time frame than by working on carbon dioxide reductions. CARB’s concept is to reduce what they are calling Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP), which includes methane, black carbon and fluorinated gases (refrigerants, insulating foams and aerosol propellants).

CARB is stating that working aggressively to reduce gases with extremely high global warming potentials could make dramatic climate impacts over a period of days to about ten years. CARB estimates that methane, black carbon and fluorinated gases may be responsible for as much as 40% of global warming to date.

CARB is working on a fast track with this issue. The initial draft strategy is to be developed this summer with public workshops beginning as early as last month.

Obviously, methane and black carbon reductions will not affect the aerosol industry, even though listening to how they are going to reduce methane from farming might be entertaining. Our real focus will be on the fluorinated gases. CARB is proposing an 80% reduction of these compounds by 2030 for new refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. CARB is proposing to take earlier actions reducing these compounds in commercial refrigeration.

The concept paper targets hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), but does not specifically list which compounds CARB will be looking for reductions in. However, CARB does mention aerosols in its reduction efforts by specifically stating: “In particular, the use of HFCs in foams, aerosols and transportation could be quickly addressed.”

HFC usage is broken down in the concept paper this way:

  • 8% Aerosol – Residential
  • 3% Aerosol – Commercial, Industrial, Transportation
  • 6% Foam
  • 1% Solvent & Fire Suppression
  • Refrigerant use makes up the remainder

As stated earlier, CARB is on a fast track on this issue. The timetable is as follows:

  • May – release concept paper
  • May 27 – first workshop
  • Summer – draft strategy & workshop
  • Fall – draft proposal strategy
  • Fall – present draft to board
  • Spring 2016 – Final strategy to board for approval

The concern is that other policies affecting certain HFCs, such as The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, would be affected by this concept paper. In it, CARB states that California already has some of the strictest rules on HFCs. In addition, CARB usually acts on smaller sources first such as aerosols. To review this concept, visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/shortlived/shortlived.htm.

California Legislation
More from California; there is an ingredient disclosure legislative bill called Assembly Bill 708 moving through the California Legislature. Currently, this bill affects cleaning, automotive, air care and floor maintenance products. AB708 would become effective Jan. 1, 2017 and require the manufacturer of designed consumer products for retail sale in California to disclose ingredients contained in the product and a web address on the product label. It would also require the manufacturer to post the product ingredient information and certain additional information about any potential health impacts on the manufacturer’s website, along with a prescribed statement.

This bill went to the Assembly Committee on May 13 and will continue to move through the legislature unless it is stopped. We need to have a grass roots effort to curtail this bill. If you have interest in stopping AB708, feel free to contact me.

OTC
The Ozone Transport Committee (OTC) had a meeting on April 27 and I’m happy to report that there is still no movement on EPA’s part to add the OTC model rule to the national rule or Consumer Products rule.

Remember, Delaware is in the process of amending its rule on Consumer Product using the OTC’s latest model rule.