As expected, coatings manufacturers will have to begin accounting for the VOCs in their colorants and toeing some other new environmental lines under long-awaited rules adopted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
The changes are contained in SCAQMD’s venerable Rule 1113, established in 1977 and updated last week after more than two years of drafts and discussions.
SCAQMD is one of the nation’s most stringent regulatory bodies on paint and coatings emissions and is considered a bellwether for national air quality actions.
VOC Content Targeted
Rule 1113 regulates VOC content of architectural coatings, which in this context includes bridge, factory, structural, roadway, pavement, roof and related coatings. The rule applies to manufacturers, distributors, specifiers, and end users.
|Mastic coatings are among those targeted for VOC content reductions.|
Such coatings comprise one of the largest single non-mobile sources of VOC emissions in the South Coast district.
The rule includes high-performance anti-graffiti coatings, fire-proofing coatings, primers, waterproofing sealers, undercoaters, bond breakers, concrete curing compounds, concrete surface retarders, form release compounds, specialty primers and traffic coatings.
The changes to the updated rule, detailed in 355 pages, reflect the standard’s most significant overhaul since 2006, officials say.
SCAQMD says the changes to Rule 1113 will reduce VOC emissions and clarify implementation issues by:
• Removing outdated language;
• Clarifying existing definitions and requirements;
• Creating several new categories with VOC limits;
• Reducing the VOC content limits of certain architectural coating categories as of 2014;
• Adding VOC limits for colorants added at the point of sale as of 2014;
• Changing the Averaging Compliance Option (ACO) by immediately lowering ceiling limits; limiting coating categories that can be averaged as of 2012; and eliminating the option in 2015;
• Generally prohibiting the use of Group II exempt solvents;
• Specifying labeling requirements to improve the visibility of the VOC content;
• Removing reporting requirements that are now redundant with Rule 314;
• Changing the Small Container Exemption (SCE) to clarify that it applies only to VOC limits and to prohibit “bundling” of coating retail sales;
• Amending the exemptions for stains used above 4,000 feet; and
• Removing the exemption for adding 10% VOC by volume to lacquers.
The rule will also end the longstanding practice of “storing” high-VOC coatings at work sites. SCAQMD says some contractors keep large quantities of high-VOC coatings at a work site, claiming that they will be using the products later at a job outside the region. Agency inspectors later return to find the coating in use at the site.
Holding the Line
The final version of the rule is similar to a draft released in January. Coatings manufacturers, however, did manage to fend off one change: that of lower VOC limits on primers, sealers and undercoaters. Those products will keep their current VOC limit of 100 grams per liter. The industry had lobbied hard against reducing that level, saying it would make it difficult to formulate high-performance products.
Many coatings types will see lower VOC content limits, however. Effective Jan. 2, 2012, driveway sealers and sacrificial anti-graffiti coatings (now limited to 100 g/L) will drop to a limit of 50 g/L.
In addition, effective Jan. 1, 2014:
• Concrete surface retarders (now 250 g/L) will drop to 50 g/L;
• Fire-proofing coatings (now 350 g/L) will drop to 150 g/L;
• Form-release compound (now 300 g/L) will drop to 100 g/L;
• Graphic arts (sign) coatings (now 500 g/L) will drop to 150 g/L;
• Mastic coatings (now 300 g/L) will drop to 100 g/L; and
• Metallic-pigmented coatings (now 500 g/L) will drop to 150 g/L.
The amendments will affect 198 coating manufacturers and 3,436 retail outlets selling paints in the Los Angeles, four-county area. SCAQMD says the changes will cost about $9 million a year and could cost the region up to 21 jobs a year through 2015.