The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published final rules on March 24 that establish restrictions for the use of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in aerosol spray paints.
Similar to the regulations in place in California, the new rules are reactivity based, whereby the VOCs are regulated by how likely the compounds are to form ground-level ozone. Currently, most VOC regulations for automotive products are mass based, which means that the standards are based on the amount of VOCs in the product and by their actual effect on the environment. The EPA estimates that new regulation will result in reductions of 3,100 tons of VOCs per year.
According to the EPA, companies that manufacture lacquers, varnishes, enamels, epoxy coatings, oil and alkyd vehicle, plastisols, polyurethane, primers, shellacs, stains and water-repellant coatings will be affected by the rule. Companies would have until Jan. 1, 2009 to comply, but a company may seek an extension if it has not previously manufactured, imported or distributed in California or elsewhere any aerosol coating product that complies with applicable California regulations. The regulations include labeling requirements, as well as recordkeeping and reporting requirements for companies selling regulated products.
To obtain a copy of the new rule, e-mail Aaron Lowe at [email protected].