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NYC May Ban Protective, IM Coatings

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More items for Coating Application; Coating Materials

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Protective, fire-resistive, maintenance and other industrial coatings would be banned from sale or application in New York City, if the City Council approves new limits on VOC content next week, coating manufacturers say.

The Council is poised to amend the city’s administrative and building code to limit the type and volatile organic compound (VOC) content of coatings and adhesives that can be applied or sold in the city.


 Photos: ACA

ACA says the bill would have the effect of banning protective coatings, industrial maintenance, fire-resistive and other industrial coatings from sale or application in New York City.

The Council is scheduled to vote on the measure, which has seven sponsors, by Dec. 8. The law would take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Although the measure’s goal is to limit human exposure to VOCs from interior paints and carpets, the effect—intended or not—would be to also ban the sale and application of protective, fire-resistive, traffic marking, dry-fog and industrial maintenance coatings, as well as many categories of adhesives, according to the American Coatings Association, which is fighting the measure.

Vote Looming

The clock is ticking loudly on the bill, Int 0585-2011, which was introduced May 26 and was the subject of a public hearing June 21, along with seven other measures proposed by the city’s Green Code Task Force.

The other measures relate to the use of concrete and cement in construction; the use of recycled asphalt; and indoor air quality issues.

ACA did not testify at the June hearing but submitted comments on the measure last week. The association says the bill would limit sale and application in New York City to 15 architectural coatings and 14 types of adhesive.

Coatings Banned

ACA’s comments “underscored that if this law is passed as written, coatings that are vital to building construction and maintenance will no longer be able to be sold or used in NYC.”

“These include, but are not limited to: fire-resistive coatings (intended to increase fire endurance of interior and exterior steel and other structural materials); protective coatings (for substrates subject to corrosive, caustic or acidic agents; temperatures over 150 degrees F; and repeated heavy abrasion including pipes, pumps, tanks); historic building preservation coatings; parking garage traffic marking coatings; recycled coatings; and interior swimming pool/repair coatings,” the association said in a statement.

‘Burdensome, Confusing, Inconsistent’

ACA said it had, and would continue to, urge the Council to await amendments scheduled to be reviewed later this year by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Those amendments would “result in lower VOC limits” but remain “consistent with other state AIM VOC rules.”

ACA argued that the proposal “goes well beyond establishing green building standards/codes” and establishes a regulation that “directly conflicts with NYSDEC’s Part 205 Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) regulation.”

Many of the Rule 205 coatings VOC limits are already as low as limits in the City Council bill, ACA contends. “As such, there is no need for NYC to implement this duplicative, burdensome, confusing, and inconsistent law,” according to ACA.

Furthermore, ACA is urging the Council to maintain uniformity with the state industrial adhesives rule by incorporating it by reference, rather than adding a local layer of regulations, and to follow the state’s lead on AIM coatings once that effort is finalized.

ACA said it had commented on the state regulation, which tracks the Northeast Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) Model Rule. 

Key Objections

ACA says the coating industry’s concerns with the rule include:

• The Table of Standards is inconsistent with NYSDEC’s current and future AIM VOC limits, as well as with NYSDEC’s recently established industrial adhesives limit.

• The definitions and categories are different from the current state AIM VOC regulations and industrial adhesives rule.

ACA also objects to a provision “forcing commercial establishments” to post the law requirements or provide written notice to consumers.

Finally, ACA notes, it is already unlawful “to apply or solicit the application of a moisture-cured or oil-based polyurethane” inside a residential building.

ACA says it is monitoring the legislation and will attend the Council meeting Dec. 8.


Tagged categories: American Coatings Association (ACA); Coatings manufacturers; Fire-resistive coatings; Laws and litigation; Paint application; Protective coatings; VOC content

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (12/1/2011, 8:16 AM)

The VOC limits in many cases are really not that low. Shellac for example requires hardly any solids at all to meet the requirements.

Comment from Dean Wall, (12/15/2011, 5:13 AM)

So did it get through?

Comment from Mary Chollet, (12/15/2011, 7:50 AM)

Glad you asked, Dean. Check PaintSquare later today and/or PaintSquare News tomorrow for an update.

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