October 2014

Updates on the CARB Survey, SCAQMD Rule 1168, EPA’s SNAP Program and New VOC Laws

CARB

As of 1/1/2015, the new limits for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Specialty Coating Categories (B) become effective. There are two points to consider. The first is that the Specialty Coating Categories (B) was “capped” at the highest MIR values reported in the survey. This is key because if you did not report to the survey, your products may not be compliant. Second, you will need to use the 2010 MIR values, not the 2001 values. There are differences in these values.

I suggest that you re-evaluate all your Specialty Coating products using the new values and checking the values against the new effective dates. To do this you will need to go to the CARB website at http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2013/cp2013/cp2013.htm. These amendments have not been officially approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) yet, thus arenot in current regulations.

Make sure you check your products before CARB enforcement does. It could be expensive if they find an issue first.

Survey

On Sept. 2, CARB released its 2013 Consumer Products Survey. Any company that sold or supplied products on the survey list into California in 2013 is required to fill out the survey. As stated in earlier articles, this is the most comprehensive survey on Consumer Products to date. I suggest you start by reviewing the list of products and go from there. The survey is due to CARB by March 1, 2015. On Oct. 15, 2014, CARB will hold a webinar on the survey. Review the documents by then. The survey can be found at http://www.arb.ca.gov/consprod/regact/2013surv/2013main.htm.

Regarding rulemaking, the rule is only as good as the information we have to use. Please fill out the survey.

SCAQMD

Rule 1168, Adhesives & Sealants has been postponed. TheSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) staff is preparing for a symposium on “Assessing and Managing Toxic Risk from Alternative VOC Compounds.” The staff is trying to determine if compounds exempted from the volatile organic compound (VOC) definition by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be used in the District. SCAQMD does not automatically exempt compounds exempted by EPA. This should be a very interesting symposium. All types of people will likely be present: regulators, industry, academics and environmentalists. It should be a colorful discussion. Rule 1168 will be back!

SNAP

As reported last month, the EPA released the proposed amendment to the Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP) Program. The rule can be found at

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-08-06/pdf/2014-18494.pdf.

On Aug. 27, EPA held a hearing on the proposed rule. One hundred and twenty people showed up. Thirty-eight people spoke, but unfortunately, there were only three or four people who spoke on aerosols. Most were from the refrigerant or foam sectors. Only about five people supported the rule. Comments are due by Oct. 6, 2014. The SNAP amendments mainly focus on the prohibition of HFC 134a in products, including all Consumer Aerosol products. Thus if you need to maintain the use of HFC 134a in your product, comment by Oct. 6.

Green Chemistry

The Dept. of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) is status quo and still working on the Priority Products for its Safer Consumer Products Regulation. The two products that affect our Industry are Spray Foam and Paint Strippers. This process will likely be ongoing for a year or longer. DTSC had proposed two dates to host workshops on their three-year work plan in August, but cancelled them. The workshops will likely be resceduled. This was surprising and frustrating for those of us that planned to attend (and already had plane tickets)!

Newly effective and upcoming VOC regulations

Utah’s Consumer Products regulations became effective Sept. 1, 2014 (http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r307/r307-357.htm)

New Hampshire’s Consumer Products amendments become effective Jan.1, 2015: (http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/legal/rulemaking/documents/env-a4100-adpt-pstd.pdf).

Both of these regulations follow the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) New Model Rule, which is modeled off of previous CARB Regulation.

Utah’s Architectural regulation becomes effective Jan. 1, 2015; this again is the OTC’s New Model Rule.