July 2015

Ingredient disclosure, SLCP reduction, EPA Ozone Standard & OTC update

regsjune

California Legislation
Just last month, we reported that there was a legislative bill called Assembly Bill 708 (AB708) moving through the California Legislature. The bill deals with ingredient disclosure and affects cleaning, automotive, air care and floor maintenance products. It would require the manufacturer to disclose the top 20 ingredients on the label by 2017.

Great news: the bill is currently has “inactive” status and won’t move any further this year. However, the bill is still alive and could move again next year, so industry needs to monitor it very closely for any movement. Most likely, the author will start activity on the bill this Fall. Be prepared to deal with AB708 if it comes back next year.

Industry’s main issue with this bill is the lack of protection for confidential business information (CBI). Until something in the bill changes concerning CBI, I don’t see Industry opposition lessening.

Thank you to all that took an interest in this bill. Industry did a good job of working together to oppose AB708.

 CARB
On May 27, The California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a workshop on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP). This is a brand new concept for CARB. The SLCP issue is being developed to assist California with reducing greenhouse gases in an effort to deal with Climate Change issues.

The workshop began with a slide presentation that can be found here.

Approximately 100 people were in attendance and more tuned in by webcast. CARB has targeted three pollutants; methane, black carbon and fluorinated gases; the latter is obviously our focus. CARB believes that by removing high global warming fluorinated gases, they can then meet their goal of staying below a two-centigrade degree climb in temperature.

During the discussion of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), there were numerous comments; the first indicated that any efforts on HFCs should be coordinated with other agencies, especially the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP), which is currently ongoing. It is most important that CARB doesn’t do anything that is not in sync with the EPA on HFCs.

CARB wants on a quick turnaround on this issue. Comments were due on this workshop by June 12. If you currently use HFCs in aerosols, you should monitor this issue. CARB mentions aerosol use in its presentation and states “to remove high global warming potential gases from foams, aerosols, and transportation.”  Therefore, we need to monitor this issue.

Next steps

  • Comments due: June 12, 2015
  • Release initial draft survey strategy
  • Workshops on draft: Summer 2015
  • Release draft strategy: Fall 2015
  • Present draft strategy to board: Fall 2015
  • Present Final draft strategy to board: Spring 2016

We need quick movement on this issue!

Ozone Standard
As reported earlier this year, EPA is proposing to lower the Ozone Standard from 75 parts per billion to 65–70 parts per billion. The EPA Ozone Standard is the driver behind all of our VOC regulations. If the limit is lowered to 65 to 70 parts per billion, that means at least two things will happen. First, states with VOC regulations will look for more products to regulate or lower existing standards. Second, states without regulations will look to adopt regulation because lowering the Ozone Standard will render more states out of compliance.

Currently, there are several bills running through the federal legislature that could delay EPA lowering the limit. There are ongoing legislative hearings and EPA is to make its decision on 65–70 parts per billion by October of this year. Industry needs to be vigilant and support the legislative bills that could delay EPA from lowering the Ozone Standard.

More to come on this issue.

OTC
The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) held its annual meeting on June 4 in Princeton, NJ. OTC has numerous issues to deal with, from cars to generators to boilers to transport of emissions. Consumer Products is just one issue that OTC deals with.

OTC reported that there is still no movement by EPA to adopt the OTC Model Consumer Products Rule. Remember, Utah and New Hampshire have already adopted OTC’s newest Model Rule. Next, Delaware is to release a proposal on a Consumer Products Regulation, either in June or July. Adoption is likely by the end of the year with an effective date of 2017.