I hope that you all had healthy and happy holidays! Welcome to a New Year—a new year with the same issue: The California Air Resources Board (CARB).
CARB rule development is entering its final phase. It started developing amendments to the Consumer Products volatile organic compound (VOC) regulation in May of 2019. Industry has been working closely with CARB for the past 18 months to develop a regulation that reduces VOCs in our products but allows manufacturers to produce effective and efficient products. Remember, CARB needs to attain emission reductions of 2–4 tons per day (TPD) of VOC emissions by 2023 and 8–10 TPD of VOC emissions by 2031. The 8–10 TPD is inclusive of the 2–4 TPD, not in addition to it. This is no easy feat to accomplish. On Jan. 8, 2021, CARB will publish its 45-day final draft regulation. In March, the CARB Executive Board will vote on the adoption of these amendments.
Thus, Industry needs to comment on the draft final amendments when published. From the Nov. 10 workshop/webinar we can expect the following:
Categories targeted for reductions
• Manual Air Fresheners: a combination of the Single & Double Phase Air Freshener category
o VOC limit proposed 10% in 2023
o Future effective VOC limit proposed 5% in 2027
• Automatic Aerosol Air Freshener: a product used in a dispenser
o VOC limit proposed 30% in 2023
o No future VOC limit proposed
• Concentrated Aerosol Air Freshener: a new product category formed in this rule development
o VOC limit proposed 15% in 2023
o Future effective limit proposed 10% in 2027
• Total Release Air Freshener: a new product category formed in this rule development
o VOC limit proposed 25% in 2023
o No future effective VOC limit proposed
Hair Care Products
• Hair Finishing Spray (Hair Spray)
o VOC limit proposed 50% in 2023
o No future effective limit proposed
o CARB dropped the 45% proposed future effective limit
• Dry Shampoo
o VOC limit proposed 55% in 2023
o Future effective VOC limit 50% in 2029
o CARB modified future effective VOC limit from 45% to 50%
• Hair Shine & Temporary Hair Color
o VOC limit proposed 50% in 2029
• Aerosol Personal Fragrance Products: a new product category formed in this rule development
o VOC limit proposed 70% in 2023
o Future effective VOC limit 50% in 2031
• Non-aerosol product ≤ 7% fragrance: a new product category formed in this rule development
o VOC limit proposed 70% in 2023
• Non-aerosol products with ≤ 10% fragrance: a new product category formed in this rule development
o VOC limit proposed 50% in 2031
Note: For fragrance in non-aerosol products, the percentage changes from 7% in 2023 to 10% in 2031. Also, CARB is proposing a technology assessment in 2025 for personal fragrance products in anticipation of the 2031 VOC limit.
Aerosol Crawling Bug
• Aerosol Crawling Bug category
o VOC limit proposed 8% in 2030
o CARB raised the proposed VOC limit from 6%
• Bed Bug category: a new product category formed in this rule development
o VOC limit would remain at 15% after 2030
Two Percent Fragrance Exemption
The 2% Fragrance Exemption is proposed to sunset as of 2031 for most products except:
• Non-Aerosol General Purpose Cleaners and General Purpose Degreasers
o These two categories are proposed to be granted a 0.25% monoterpene exemption that will be retained after 2031 and effective immediately after the rule is approved
• Air Fresheners, Disinfectants and Sanitizers
o These categories are proposed to retain a 0.25% fragrance exemption after 2031
There were changes to some of the above categories in order to clarify existing and new product categories. You are encouraged to read the draft language of the regulation; see the end of this column for the link.
There are three compounds proposed to be added to the maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) table:
1. Diethyl Carbonate
3. Alkane-Mixed Minimally 90% C13 and higher carbon number
Chlorinated solvents, GWP and PCBTF prohibitions
CARB is proposing to prohibit the use of chlorinated solvents, global warming potential (GWP) compounds greater than 150 and parachlorobenzotrifluoride (PCBTF) in the product categories having proposed new VOC limits.
IPE for compressed gas
CARB is proposing the use of the Innovative Product Exemption (IPE) for allowing the replacement of HFC-152a with CO2, nitrogen or compressed gas as a way to reduce GWP emissions. Currently, as written, the proposal is flawed. Significant work will be needed to make this proposal feasible.
Energized Electrical Cleaner
CARB has modified its proposal for the definition for this category, proposing to prohibit the use of this product in automotive repair shops as well as sales from automotive retailers. While this is draconian wording, remember that since 2001, use of chlorinated solvents in automotive repair shops has been prohibited. The sales prohibition for automotive retailers is unfortunate. However, this wording allows the sale of this product by other compliant retailers. Thus, electricians and others can still purchase this safety product for use around energized equipment and it will remain available.
Aerosol PVC Pipe Cement
This is a new product category formed in this rule development. The proposed 60% VOC limit will be effective as soon as regulation is approved.
A new provision is being added to the Multi-Purpose Solvent definition. This new provision exempts denatured alcohol products to public utilities.
Big News! CARB is delaying work on using the website to classify products. This has been a significant issue for the Industry.
Method 310 has been totally rewritten; industry needs to review all of the changes.
• Comments were due by Nov. 24, 2020
• Jan. 8, 2021: The 45-day public comment period will begin with CARB releasing its final draft
• Feb. 25–26, 2021: There will be a CARB Board hearing for adoption of draft
Now is the time to comment on these draft amendments. Take the opportunity now to review the slides and draft wording. All the documents can be found here. This is likely the final draft and we need to review what is published on Jan. 8, 2021. SPRAY