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New VOC Rules Reach Beyond Manufacturers

10.01.2010

By Jennifer Thompson, Attorney, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

On September 1, 2010 the Indiana Air Pollution Control Board (“APCB”) final adopted the Volatile Organic Compounds (“VOC”) Architectural and Industrial Maintenance Coatings Rule (“AIM Rule”) (LSA #06-604) and the VOC Consumer and Commercial Products Rule (“CCP”) (LSA #07-351). Both rules were recommended to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management by the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (“LADCO”) to reduce VOC emissions from the upper midwestern and eastern portions of the United States because VOCs contribute to the formation of ozone. The rules (including the VOC content limits, labeling, record keeping and reporting requirements) were based on the Ozone Transport Commission (“OTC”) model rules. The OTC is a multi-state organization created under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) to develop regional solutions to the ground level ozone problems in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Once the AIM and CCP Rules are in effect, Indiana will be able to receive credits for VOC reductions to assist in meeting the 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (“NAAQS”).

It is important to note that both rules extend liability and compliance management beyond the manufacturers and distributors of AIM coatings and consumer products. The AIM Rule applies to any person who supplies, sells, offers for sale, manufactures, or solicits the application of any AIM coating in Indiana. The CCP Rule applies to any person who sells, supplies, offers for sale, or manufactures consumer products for use in Indiana. Thus, a company that applies coatings to its facilities, or hires a contractor to apply coatings to its facilities will have a new CAA obligation to use compliant coatings. Additionally, retailers in Indiana will be held accountable for offering for sale only CCP meeting the VOC content requirements as set forth in the CCP Rule.

Because some manufacturers will experience difficulty in complying with the new VOC content limit requirements, the implementation date of the CCP Rule has been set for June 1, 2011. The implementation date of the AIM Rule has been set for October 1, 2011.

The AIM Rule and CCP Rule are available at: http://www.in.gov/idem/6585.htm.

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