Contacts: Jerry Martin/Allan Hirsch                                                                      April 6, 1995
(916) 322-2990

Release: 95 - 8


ARB Approves Emissions Limits for Aerosol Spray Paints

        The California Air Resources Board has approved a rule that requires a 60 percent reduction of ozone-forming emissions from aerosol spray paints by 2000.

        The new ARB rule limits emissions from 35 types of spray paints and is expected to cut up to 60 percent of the 30 tons (18 tons) of smog-forming Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted each day through spray paint use. The aerosol paint rules augment existing consumer product measures that reduce pollution from 27 types of common household products, including antiperspirants, oven cleaners and hairsprays.

         Air Resources Board Chairman John D. Dunlap, III said, "Reducing emissions from consumer products, including spray paints, is a big part of our overall strategy to achieve and maintain clean air standards in California."

        "We fully expect U.S. EPA's approval of this and all other elements of the State Implementation Plan adopted by the Board last fall," he added.

        The new rule is the first regulation adopted that is included in the State Implementation Plan (SIP) adopted by the ARB in November 1994. As part of that plan, officials from the ARB, USEPA and the local air quality districts in the six California SIP areas are required by the 1990 federal Clean Air Act to demonstrate how they expect to attain clean air standards. Most local air quality districts included in the SIP have added the pollution gains from this rule in their local air pollution control plans.

        As with previous consumer product rules the aerosol paint regulations are set in two tiers. Tier one will require manufacturers to cut about 12 percent, about three tons of pollution reduction per day, of the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from all new aerosol paints manufactured for sale in California after January 1, 1996. That reduction will amount to about 3 tons of VOC per day, with another 15 tons per day cut occurring when the rule's second tier is implemented on December 31, 1999.

        The first phase of the ARB rule is modeled after an existing San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District rule that was implemented in 1991. In addition, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (metropolitan Los Angeles) has also considered adopting a local rule. An added feature of the ARB rule is that it provides uniformity for aerosol paint rules throughout the state.

        In addition to its pollution reduction requirements, the new rule also allows an 18 month sell-through period for existing products and a restriction on the use of toxic compounds and materials that deplete the upper atmospheric ozone layer. Administrative requirements for labeling and reporting information, exemptions for specific products like auto body undercoatings and anti-static sprays, and compliance test methods are also contained in the new rules.

        The ARB has adopted 27 consumer products regulations since 1989, when the first rules were adopted that reduced 80 percent of all VOC emissions from aerosol deodorants and antiperspirants. Two later sets of rules adopted in October 1990 and January 1992 added 26 new classifications of common household products to those rules, including hairsprays that alone emit more than 23 tons of VOCs into the California air each day.

        Also, in 1994 the ARB approved an Alternative Control Plan (ACP) that allows consumer products manufacturers to average their VOC emissions across an entire product line and not just for an individual product. The ACP gives manufacturers added flexibility in meeting the rules by permitting them to concentrate on high polluting or high volume products without the added burdens of controlling low polluting or low sales volume products. To alleviate the concerns that the ACP can cause some market inequities for small companies with limited product lines, the ARB has agreed to monitor the use of ACPs carefully and immediately address any problems that may occur.

        In addition to these rules, the ARB has committed to cutting another 55 percent of the VOC emissions from all consumer products by 2010. The ARB is expecting to achieve further reductions from these products through the use of market-based programs and efforts to better determine the ozone-forming potential of some compounds contained in paints and solvents.

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