Release 00-13      

June 22, 2000


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730

ARB Cuts Smog-Forming Emissions from Spray Products,
Revises Architectural Coatings Measure

       SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today amended its regulations covering 35 types of spray paints to require manufacturers to focus on how much ozone every volatile organic compound (VOC) will create when it is emitted into the atmosphere.

       Dr. Alan Lloyd, ARB Chairman said, “These amendments represent a new approach to control smog-forming emissions that reflect the latest scientific thinking regarding the contribution of various VOCs to ozone production.”

        Today’s amended regulation establishes limits based on the abilities of individual VOCs to react and change into ozone, called “reactivity-based limits.”  Previously, all industrial air quality regulations set limits to control emissions by specifying the total amount of VOCs contained in a product. The new regulations will take effect June 1, 2002 for general coatings, such as interior flats, and January 1, 2003 for specialty coatings, such as marine paints.

        The amendments recognize that each VOC has a different potential to form ozone once it is emitted.  By understanding the differences in various ozone-forming abilities of individual VOCs, the new regulations will allow manufacturers to choose VOCs according to the amount of ozone they are expected to create.
       Alan Lloyd said, “The new strategy may be less expensive than the old one and will allow manufacturers more flexibility in formulating their products without sacrificing any air quality benefits.”
       The Board also revised a suggested control measure (SCM) for paints, stains and similar products, collectively called architectural coatings, that can serve as a model for local air quality districts that are considering updating their rules.  The SCM will provide a blueprint and uniformity for the state’s air districts that have not yet adopted such rules.  To date, 17 local districts have adopted paints and coatings rules.

        The SCM’s revision also allowed the ARB to update its existing SCM to reflect the latest coatings technology.  Architectural coatings account for 130 tons per day of VOCs or about 8 percent of California’s non-motor vehicle related emissions.

        The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.  ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.  The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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