February 2020

Regulatory Issues

The year 2020 has started off very busy in the regulatory arena.

 CARB

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is continuing with amendments to the Consumer Products Rule. By the end of 2020, CARB staff plans to take amendments to its Executive Board for approval. This means that Industry has about eight months to work with staff to develop a reasonable rule. CARB staff needs two to three months to go through its process for an adoption. Thus, if the Board meeting is set for November 2020, CARB staff will complete its final draft by August 2020. After that time, it is unlikely that they will make any significant changes.

This is not a lot of time. CARB has released a draft set of product categories and corresponding volatile organic compound (VOC) limits. It is highly recommended that you review these categories and VOC limits. If your company makes any of these products, then you should be involved in the process. To date, there has not been a significant amount of push-back from Industry on this proposal. Thus, CARB may be thinking that Industry is amenable to the proposal. The current proposal will push the limits of technology; therefore, anyone involved in these product categories needs to speak up. Now is your opportunity—do not wait. The closer we get to the adoption date, the tougher it will be to change the current proposal.

Likewise, CARB is “opening” up the regulation, so now is the time to ask for changes to definitions. Is there a definition that is confusing, contradictory or just plain wrong? Now is the time to ask for modifications. Staff members may not agree, but then again, maybe they will. This regulation has taken 30 years to develop—surely there are parts that need some work. This opportunity does not come along often, so now is the time.

Prepare for a workshop this month (February) to discuss the proposal and the definitions.

CARB Date Code

This is my annual, friendly reminder concerning Product Dating/Date coding.

Remember, date code information needs to be reported to CARB every year by your company if you do not use CARB’s standard date coding. California Section 94512 (b) product dating specifically requires all consumer products to be sold into the state to display the day, month and year the product was manufactured or a code indicating the date. CARB has increased its activity to investigate and levy fines for non-compliance of this section.

The date or date-code information shall be located on the container or inside the cap/cover so that it is readily observable or obtainable (by simply removing the cap/cover) without irreversibly disassembling any part of the container or packaging. Information may be displayed on the bottom of a container as long as it is clearly legible without removing any product packaging.

CARB’s standard code has to be represented separately from other codes on the product container so that it is easily recognizable, i.e.: YY DDD = Year Year Day Day Day. A manufacturer who uses this standard CARB code to indicate the date of manufacture does not have to report this code.

Failure to register a date code is subject to a fine. Every year the fine amounts seem to go up. Your date code explanation needs to be submitted to CARB Enforcement on an annual basis, on or before Jan. 31 of each year. Send to [email protected].

Colorado

Reminder: the Colorado State Consumer Products regulation becomes effective May 1, 2020. This regulation uses the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) Model Rule 4.

Updates

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

There has been no movement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on releasing a new rule on HFC-134a usage. Therefore, numerous states are moving on this issue.

California

California adopted the old EPA Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rule along with all exemptions; it became effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Vermont

Vermont adopted the old EPA SNAP rule along with all exemptions; it became effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Washington State

In progress. The Washington State Dept. of Ecology, Air Quality Program held a meeting on Dec. 17, 2019 that called for a labeling provision. Industry is working with the agency to remove or modify.

Maryland

In progress. The Maryland Air Quality Control Advisory Council (AQCAC) held a meeting on Dec. 16, 2019 that questioned exemptions. Industry is currently working with the agency.

Delaware

In progress. The Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) held a meeting on Dec. 18, 2019. The comment period was open through Jan. 17. Delaware appears to be on a fast track with a draft rule to be published in March. There is currently no issue with the exemptions.

New York

The New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservatory (NYSDEC) has proposed a regulation that uses SNAP Rules 20 and 21. This is similar to the States mentioned above. The proposed effective date for aerosols is Jan. 1, 2021. Three public workshops will be held in March 2020 with comments due by March 16, 2020.  SPRAY