The Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rule amendments from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were finalized on July 20, 2015. The effective date is one year after the rule was published. This means that as of July 20, 2016, HFC-134a will be prohibited in most aerosol products. As reported last month, there are exceptions to this prohibition. I encourage everyone that uses HFC-134a to review the exceptions in my August 2015 column.
As of Jan. 1, 2016 HFC-125 cannot be used as a propellant. As of Jan. 1, 2018 HFC-134a will be prohibited from aerosol products needing a third-party approval as well as Smoke Detectors used for functionality testing. Numerous technical aerosols will still be allowed to contain HFC-134a. These products can use HFC-134a indefinitely or until EPA amends the rule again. Any product made before the effective date has an unlimited sell-through. This means products manufactured before the effective date can be sold indefinitely. This is clearly spelled out in the regulation.
The proposed original effective date for the prohibition on HFC-134a was Jan. 1, 2016. Thus, some products received a seven-month delay; other products, such as those that are third party certified, received a two-year delay.
In addition, several products were added to the exceptions list. Unfortunately, some products will be phased out that may still need the non-flammability feature of HFC-134a.
It is now time for everyone to review their products and start the reformulation process.
There are several California Air Resources Board (CARB) issues that are ongoing.
The survey process continues. Phase two of three started in July 2015 and the survey information is due Nov. 1. This survey is for all 2014 sales data and any new products not reported in 2013.
The UC Riverside study on low vapor pressure products (LVPs) is still ongoing. Another update from CARB was available late in August.
Short-lived Climate Pollutants
CARB’s newest initiative will deal with Carbon Black, Methane and, of importance to the arosol industry, F-Gases. Meetings should start this Fall.
Delaware, which is one of the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) states, held a hearing on adopting amendments to their Consumer Products Rule. On Aug. 4, Delaware held a hearing on adopting the amendments from the newest OTC Model Rule into Delaware Rule. The meeting was held in Dover, DE and only Joe Yost from the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) and I attended.
Attending for the agency was the rule writer, Gene Pettingill and the Hearing Officer. The agency accepted all comments. Additionally, the public had until Aug. 19 to comment on the proposed changes, after which the agency will respond to any comments. The rule will be finalized with or without changes. The proposed effective date is Jan. 1, 2017.
At the hearing, Pettingill stated that the states of Maryland and New York are working on updating their respective rules.