The Canadian government recently issued new regulations on emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from consumer and commercial architectural coatings, the National Paint & Coatings Association/Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology (NPCA/FSCT) reported. The rules affect paints, finishes, dyes, and varnishes.
The regulations will set maximum VOC concentration limits for 53 categories of coatings. They apply to all products made, imported, sold, or marketed in Canada, and also cover the use of traffic-marking coatings, the NPCA reported.
The requirements, which are similar to requirements in the United States, were established following consultations with industry representatives and other interested parties. The concentration limits and provisions largely align Canada's standards with those of the U.S. Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) Model Rule, the NPCA said.
Implementation dates of the prohibitions applicable to the manufacture and import of affected coatings will be phased in over a five-year period beginning on Sept. 9, 2010, with a subsequent two-year sell-through period for each coating category, according to an accompanying statement by Environment Canada published in the Sept. 30, Canada Gazette, Part II. Unlike in the U.S., compliance dates under the Canadian regulatory system are not determined based on the date of rule publication, but rather, on the date it is "registered" with the Clerk of Parliament—in this case Sept. 9, 2009.
Environment Canada said the final regulations incorporated a number of changes based on comments received during the comment period after publication of the draft regulations in April 2008. A key point that the NPCA said was resolved in favor of industry was a clarification that a product does not have to be in containers and on shelves in order to qualify for the sell-through provision; it simply has to have been manufactured and in Canada by the specified date. Modifications from the proposed draft also include a delay in compliance dates for stains and varnishes and extensions of the small-container exemption to additional coatings categories.
Also in response to industry input, Environment Canada also incorporated short-term permit provisions to allow additional time for small- and medium-sized businesses to dispose of affected products. Also added was an exclusion of tertiary butyl acetate from the definition of a VOC, in response to a request from several manufacturers, the Canadian Paint and Coatings Association, and NPCA/FSCT.
The full text of the finalized Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Architectural Coatings Regulations is available online at www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2009/2009-09-30/html/sor-dors264-eng.html.