American Coatings Association

SCAQMD Adopts Rule 1168 for Industrial Adhesives and Sealants


Last month, California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) adopted its Amended Rule 1168 for Industrial Adhesives and Sealants. ACA was actively involved in rulemaking process, which kicked off in May 2017, after being halted in 2014 when the SCAQMD Board of Directors directed the district to address concerns with tertiary-butyl acetate (TBAC).

SCAQMD will host a working group meeting on Nov. 16 to develop the Guidance Document for Test Methods as mentioned in the rule.

The final rule amends volatile organic compound (VOC) limits and reporting requirements for industrial adhesives and sealants. While some of the amended VOC limits became effective upon adoption of the rule, most become effective on Jan. 1, 2019. ACA will be hosting a member webinar on Nov. 29, to review the final amendments made to the rule.

Industrial applications of adhesives and sealants are subject to air quality regulations in the states and local air districts in California. There is no national rule for industrial adhesives and sealants. In California, the local air districts have jurisdiction over industrial processes while the Air Resources Board (ARB) has jurisdiction over consumer products. Consequently, ARB developed air quality standards for consumer adhesives and sealants and left the regulation of industrial adhesives to the local air districts. In the late 1990s, to provide some guidance to the air districts for this source category, ARB developed and approved the RACT/BARCT Determination for Industrial Adhesives and Sealants. Most of the local air districts in California currently have a regulation focused on this source category. Rule 1168 remains the most stringent regulation for industrial adhesive applications, and it has been embraced by the Green Building community as the “standard” for adhesives and sealants in the construction of new buildings.

During the recent rulemaking process ACA provided detailed comments on some of the air district’s proposed regulated product categories and VOC limits. ACA secured extensions in the compliance date for various adhesive and sealant categories that will have new, lower VOC limits. ACA also urged SCAQMD to implement fair and reasonable reporting requirements that will lessen the burden on industry. District staff were receptive to these comments and finalized changes to the reporting requirements to a less rigorous schedule with a sunset date.

In addition, ACA has successfully convinced district staff to reinstate the exemption for aerosol adhesives and primers. Lastly, ACA persuaded SCAQMD to add a provision in the rule that requires district staff to develop a guidance document that will clarify which product types are tested by which test method specified under the rule.

Contact ACA’s Raleigh Davis or Rhett Cash for more information.