This year is starting off very busily. We have the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) issue with low vapor pressue (LVPs). Now, SCAQMD will begin work on CTS-01, CTS-02 and CTS-03. CARB has resumed work on its rule development currently scheduled for a July board hearing. Utah has started a VOC rule development on Consumer Products. Additionally, Canada has finally resumed its work from years ago on a rule development, and last but not least, the revised Green Chemistry Regulation has been released by DTSC. Busy, busy, busy!
The Low Vapor Pressure (LVP) volatile organic compound (VOC) issue is near and dear to most Consumer Products manufacturers. LVP VOCs will now be studied by CARB todetermine if any change is necessary. This was the decision that came from the SCAQMD Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP).
However, CARB, in its current rulemaking, is considering modifying the LVP-VOC definition for Multi-purpose Solvents and Paint Thinners in this year’s rule development. This change would be made before any studies could be started. This makes no sense. Industry should be appalled that the CARB staff would consider any wholesale changes to any category until the study that CARB management has agreed to do is done.
I should not need to remind everyone, but if any category has the LVP-VOC provision removed, then consider what category will be next. Perhaps your product’s category will be the next category targeted. This is a very slippery slope.
CARB Rule Development
CARB had its most recent workshop on the rule development for Aerosol Coatings and Aerosol Adhesives on Feb. 26, in Sacramento, CA. Additionally, CARB will release its work on LVP-VOC for certain categories as discussed above.
During this rulemaking, I encourage you to address any outstanding issues that you feel need modification while the rule is “open.” For example, the General Purpose Cleaner definition is vague as to all the products that the category encompassed. If you read this definition, it appears to encompass “kitchen cleaners.” However, this category encompasses all hard surface cleaners for home, office, schools, garages, institutions, etc. This is just one example. There are at least a half dozen more definitions that could use modification to make the definitions clearer to the regulated community and avoid undue enforcement actions.
The Dept. of Environmental Quality for the State of Utah released a draft of a Consumer Products VOC regulation on Jan. 16. On Feb. 6, its board held a public meeting to consider the proposed draft.
It is anticipated that the Dept. of Air Quality (DAQ) will have published a proposed regulation by March 1 for a 30-day comment period. The proposed regulation is likely to be similar to the current adopted Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) rule.
The Government of Canada published Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Certain Products Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part 1, on April 26, 2008. Environment Canada (EC) consulted with stakeholders on these proposed Regulations, which included approximately 100 product categories and sub-categories. Comments regarding the 2008 proposed Regulations and further suggestions submitted through subsequent consultations have resulted in additional revisions.
On Feb. 7, 2013, EC held a one-day consultation meeting on the proposed VOC regulation for Consumer Products.
More specifically, the meeting was to inform the public and interested stakeholders of the revised proposed regulations for VOCs in certain products. The meeting gave the public and interested parties an opportunity to provide input with regard to the proposed regulations. The proposed administrative requirements, such as reporting and record-keeping were discussed. In addition, the feasibility and timelines for the implementation of the proposed regulatory requirements were discussed.
Environment Canada intends to align product categories with California’s regulations, where appropriate. The proposed regulations would establish concentration limits for products including personal care; automotive and household maintenance products; adhesives, adhesive removers, sealants and caulks; and other miscellaneous products.
The proposed regulation by EC will need some significant input. On the bright side, the VOC categories and limits are the same and EC is open to the idea of the Alternative Control Plan, a variance option and an Innovative Product Exemption. These latter three are all new issues for EC. On the downside, the definitions are vague. More work will be needed here. The good news is that the regulation is being proposed to be effective Jan. 18, 2018. This means we have time.
The Safer Consumer Products regulation developed by the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) has revised the text of this Green Chemistry regulation. The text was released on Jan. 29, 2013 and we had 30 days to comment. Comments were due on Feb. 28, 2013.
The original text was released on July 27, 2012, followed by a public hearing on Sept. 16, 2012. DTSC accepted comments until October 2012.
Copies of the revised text can be viewed at: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/LawsRegsPolicies/Regs/index.cfm and http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/SCPRegulations.cfm.
It appears, as DTSC is serious this time, this is probably our final comment period.