The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has indicated that it will initiate a rulemaking to amend the national rule for volatile organic compound (VOC) emission standards for Aerosol Coatings. The rulemaking was listed in the agency’s Spring 2021 Regulatory Agenda. Although a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has not been released yet, the agency had indicated that it expects a final rule by the end of 2021.

Notably, ACA has urged EPA to amend the National VOC rule for aerosol coatings to update its table of Maximum Incremental Reactivity (MIR)  values to align with California’s aerosol coatings rule, adjust the default value, and add several compounds to the rule’s Table 2A. ACA submitted two petitions for rulemaking to EPA in 2017. Since then, ACA has continued to raise and discuss this issue with various offices at EPA.

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to control VOC emissions from specific categories of consumer and commercial products for purposes of reducing emissions contributing to ozone formation and ozone nonattainment. The National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Aerosol Coatings (Aerosol Coatings Reactivity rule) was promulgated on March 24, 2008, and establishes VOC reactivity-based emission limits. Several amendments have been made since rule promulgation pursuant to 40 CFR part 59, subpart E, allowing regulated entities to petition the Administrator to add compounds to the rule. The proposed amendments will update the coating category product-weighted reactivity emission limits, add compounds and corresponding reactivity factors, and amend reporting requirements.

ACA’s Petitions to EPA

In 2017, ACA developed and submitted two petitions for rulemaking regarding EPA’s aerosol coatings rule. The first petition requested that EPA update its table of MIR values, adjust the default value, modify the regulatory language to allow for changing the value of existing compounds, and add several aerosol coatings compounds to EPA’s tables. ACA officially submitted this first petition to EPA in April 2017; however, the agency indicated that the complexity of the requests would be a significant obstacle to completion of a rulemaking. EPA encouraged ACA to submit a streamlined version of the petition and indicated that the agency would consider an expedited rulemaking process.

Consequently, ACA submitted a second petition (pursuant to 40 CFR § 59.511(j)) that just asked EPA to add 16 aerosol coatings compounds to its table of MIR values. ACA petitioned EPA to amend the national VOC rule for aerosol coatings because various aerosol coatings manufacturers subject to EPA’s regulations concluded that several compounds are being used by formulators that are not listed on Tables 2A, 2B, or 2C. It is the intent of industry members and the regulated community to use these compounds in aerosol coatings products.

In its petitions ACA underscored that reactivity factors of each of the compounds have undergone significant scientific study under the direction of Dr. William P.L. Carter and have been peer reviewed by the scientific community. Notably, Dr. Carter’s reports reflect the most up-to-date scientific research available and are widely accepted. His research is also the basis for California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Aerosol Coatings Regulation, which has also assigned MIR values to these compounds.

Since the reactivity factors of the following compounds have been studied, peer reviewed, and accepted, and these compounds are intended to be used by the regulated community moving forward, ACA has urged EPA to add them to Table 2A.

ACA will engage in the rulemaking amendment process and keep its members informed via its Consumer Products Committee.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.