Finally, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Consumer Product regulation on Sept. 17, 2014. This action finalizes the amendments and the U.S. Secretary of State has endorsed the rule. Thus, all amendments are final. This process has taken almost a year. The new volatile organic compound (VOC) limits for some of the Aerosol Specialty Coating categories become effective on Jan. 1, 2015. Make sure that if you have products in this category, you check them for compliance.
The CARB Consumer Products survey is out and you need to review this document. Anyone that sold consumer products into the state of California in 2013 that are listed in the survey needs to report their product to the state. The deadline to file is March 1, 2015.
CARB had a webinar on its Consumer Products Reporting Tool (CPRT) on Oct. 15 to ask questions on the survey or the CPRT. More on this webinar next month.
On Dec. 15, 2014, the staff will have another webinar. Register for that here. This survey is extremely important, as all information is used for rule making. Therefore, the more accurate the findings, the better.
CARB Enforcement has been busy. In 2013, CARB leveled fines of close to $1.6 million on Consumer Product violations. In the first six months of 2014, CARB has settled fines of $409,000 on Consumer Product violations. Make sure your products are in compliance, as CARB staff is out looking for violations.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) staff hosted a symposium called Assessing & Managing Toxic Risk from Alternative VOC Compounds at SCAQMD Headquarters in Diamond Bar, CA on Oct. 29. Recently, SCAQMD has been faced with a variety of issues regarding the potential toxic risk posed by compounds proposed for exemption.
The symposium included presentations from experts from the regulatory, industrial, academic and environmental communities exploring critical issues from different perspectives. The objective was to provide SCAQMD with expert advice and potential future direction regarding the analysis and mitigation of potential toxic risks associated with alternative VOC compounds.
More on this symposium next month.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the proposed amendment to the Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP) Program. The rule can be found here.
The SNAP amendments 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, pay close attention to these amendments.
On Sept. 24, the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) held a meeting in Washington, D.C. In short, there is no new movement on OTC states. Remember that Utah and New Hampshire adopted the OTC 2014 Model Rule.
Utah’s Consumer Products regulations became effective September 1, 2014. Click here for more information.
and New Hampshire’s Consumer Products amendments become effective January 1, 2015 (http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/legal/rulemaking/documents/env-a4100-adpt-pstd.pdf). Both of these regulations follow the OTC New Model Rule, which as we all know, is modeled off of previous CARB Regulation.
In addition, Utah’s Architectural regulation becomes effective January 1, 2015; this again is the OTC’s New Model Rule.
The Dept. of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) held a workshop to discuss its draft three-year work plan on Sept. 25 in Sacramento, CA. DTSC began the workshop with updates on the current draft priority products. The two that affect our industry are the following:
- Paint Strippers with Methylene Chloride (Update: removed surface cleaners with methylene chloride [this is old news])
- Spray Polyurethane Foam Systems with MDI (Update: Only unreacted MDI and only two-part foams. This means the one-part aerosol foams have been dropped.
The three-year work plan was discussed, which plans to identify which product categories to work on next. DTSC is trying to engage stakeholders, gather data and identify potential Priority Products.
Seven product categories were chosen:
- Beauty, Personal Care & Hygiene
- Building & Household/Office Furniture (includes Paints, Adhesives & Sealants)
- Fishing & Angling Equipment
- Office Machinery
Several members of the public testified. The fishing industry was well represented, stating there is no proof of any harm to the environment. The non government agencies (NGOs) basically wanted more products sooner. The military wanted an exemption for military use and equipment and two groups wanted food packaging to be included.
Comments were being accepted up until Oct. 13 here.
The final work plan is to be released in January.