On Jan. 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected an appeal by The Natural Resources Defense Council, Honeywell and Chemours on the Court’s original decision to overturn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ban on HFC-134a, among other compounds in aerosol products.
On Aug.8, 2017, The Court stated that EPA had overreached its authority and vacated the original 2015 EPA Rule, Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Rule 20. SNAP Rule 20, which became effective in July 2016, banned most uses of the compound HFC-134a in aerosol products. EPA did not file an appeal but the three entities above did, only to have it denied on Jan. 26, 2018. We have to wait and see if any of these entities continue the appeal process to the U.S. Supreme Court. It appears that at least one party will appeal this decision. In the meantime, the original rule (the HFC-134a restrictions) stays in place and continues to be enforceable.
However, with this decision we have already seen the state of California begin a process to adopt a regulation similar to the SNAP rule. We, as an industry, need to ensure that all of the original exemptions for the uses of HFC-134a in aerosol products are maintained. More to come on this issue.
California Air Resources Board
Work continues at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on the amendments to the Consumer Products Regulation on Multi-purpose Lubricants (MPL). Following a workshop in January, CARB staff is currently working on reviewing comments on the proposed Alternative Compliance Option for MPL. This includes a reactivity option. We will likely see the final draft document in April in preparation for the May 2018 Executive Board hearing.
Currently, there are no new changes to CARB’s proposal. The option is a 0.45 maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) limit with a 25% mass-based volatile organic compound (VOC) cap instead of a 10% mass-based limit. The 10% mass-based VOC limit is still in place if manufacturers choose not to use the reactivity limit. Both limits are due to become effective in July 2019. This is a 6-month delay to the original effective date.
If you make or sell MPL, you should review these amendments on the CARB website: CARB
CARB staff should be releasing the Consumer Products Survey data sometime in the second quarter of 2018. This data will need to be reviewed very thoroughly by the aerosol industry for any glaring errors. There will be a significant amount of data released because the last three surveys were the most comprehensive ever completed by the industry.
Remember, the surveys were from a three-year period and required all Consumer Products sold into California in 2013, 2014 and 2015 to be reported. CARB expects to release 2013 and 2014 data first, followed by 2015 data a month or two later.
This has been an enormous task for the industry and for CARB staff, who had to review all of the data submitted in an attempt to consolidate it. No small task. Again, industry needs to be diligent in reviewing this information in a timely manner.
Dept. of Toxic Substance Control
Dept. of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) posted its 2018–2020 Priority Products Work Plan in February. There are seven categories that DTSC will focus on:
- Beauty, Personal Care and Hygiene Products
- Cleaning Products
- Household, School and Workplace Furnishings/Décor
- Building Products and Materials Used in Construction and Renovation
- Consumable Office, School and Business Supplies
- Food Packaging
- Lead-Acid Batteries
Two categories were dropped: Clothing Products and Angling Equipment.
DTSC staff will focus on the following cleaning product Candidate Chemicals:
- Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs)
- 2- Butoxyethanol
- methyl ethyl ketone
DTSC held a public workshop regarding the Draft Work Plan on Feb. 26 in Sacramento, CA. The purpose of the workshop was to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the Work Plan. Review it here
Ozone Transport Commission
The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) is still working on developing another Model Rule. We have not seen a draft yet. We will need to review this Model Rule and comment. The big question is should OTC have another Model Rule if the previous Model Rule has not been adopted? SPRAY