PPG Fined Over Product Requirement Violations

TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2022

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced last week that it had reached a settlement with global coatings manufacturer PPG Industries, Inc. (Pittsburgh) for selling products that violate the state’s air quality regulations.

California, among other states, have been working to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other gases released from solid or liquid products that contribute to ozone formation. Additionally, VOCs are an element of smog and various health effects, such as lung irritation, shortness of breath and coughing.

VOCs can also irritate asthma and other lung diseases.

According to CARB, PPG sold, supplied and offered for sale paint thinners and aerosol coating products manufactured for use in California that were noncompliant with the state’s fire quality requirements.

In testing PPG’s paint thinner products, officials reported in a CARB investigation that concentrations of VOCs and aromatic compounds exceeded California standards. CARB also found that aerosol coating products exceeded the reactivity limit for clear coatings as specified in state regulation.

Combined, the paint thinners and aerosol coating violations resulted in 5.42 tons of excess VOC emissions, 15.15 tons of excess aromatic compounds and the formation of 2.98 tons of excess ground-level ozone.

“CARB is committed to enforcing consumer product rules to improve the air we all breathe and to help California meet federal ozone standards that protect public health,” CARB Head of Enforcement Todd Sax said. “Manufacturers such as PPG carry the greatest responsibility of supplying Californians with consumer products that comply with emissions standards. Their attention to the legal requirements related to the manufacture, importation and distribution of products significantly impacts California’s air quality.”

As a coating manufacturer, paint companies are expected to be familiar with CARB regulations. In addition to taking sufficient quality control measures and labeling products’ uses for applicable categories, they must also inform distributors and retailers of the products’ compliance.

To resolve the matter, PPG was reported to have fully cooperated with CARB to cease sales of the noncompliant products within the state. In addition, PPG and CARB reached a settlement of $299,000.

Of the $299,000 settlement, $149,800 will be deposited into CARB’s Air Pollution Control Fund, which funds research and projects aimed at improving air quality. The remaining $149,200 is slated to fund a supplemental environment project titled “Side Streets Projects - Woodworking Bus,” which will help pay for new buses to replace diesel-powered vehicles.

Recent PPG Project Awarded LEED

In an emailed press release, the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh (WC&S) recently announced that it was awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for its building renovation.

According to the release, the center’s renovation achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions in areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

To complete the project, WC&S partnered with local architecture and urban design firm, Rothschild Doyno. Collaborative, to create a sanctuary environment for survivors of domestic violence and their children. According to WC&S, Rothschild Doyno Collaborative won the Social Equity in Design Award in 2019 by the American Institute of Architects, Pittsburgh Chapter, for the project.

For construction, Pittsburgh-based contractor Rycon Construction Inc. was brought on to carry out work throughout the entire facility. The team was reported to have completed the project in phases to assure uninterrupted and secure functioning of the vital shelter services provide by WC&S.

In adopting sustainable solutions for the project to meet LEED certifications, Rycon brought on subcontractor Thomarios (Pittsburgh) to select the specific coatings and ensure that they met the necessary VOC requirements.For WC&S, Thomarios was reported to use a variety of PPG coatings.

According to the subcontractor’s LEEDv4 VOC Submittal Form, the following products were used:

  • PPG 6-2 Primer (Product VOC Content 45 grams per liter);
  • Walls and Finish: PPG Speedhide Eggshell (Product VOC Content 43 g/L);
  • Walls and Trim: PPG Speedhide Semi-Gloss (Product VOC Content 42 g/L);
  • Ceilings and Builkheads: PPG Speedhide Flat (Product VOC Content 16 g/L);
  • HM Doors and Trim: PPG Pitt-Tech Plus (Product VOC Content 90 g/L);
  • CMU Walls: PPG Speedhide 6-7 Blockfiller (Product VOC Content 28 g/L); and
  • Exposed Ceilings: PPG Speedhide Interior Dry Fog (Product VOC Content 28 g/L).

Editor's Note: This story was corrected at 7:35 a.m. on May 24, 2022, to reflect VOC measurements of grams per liter.


Tagged categories: Air quality; Emissions; Environmental Control; Environmental Controls; Environmental Protection; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Laws and litigation; NA; North America; PPG; Regulations; Safety; VOC emissions

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