The American Coatings Association recently announced that the California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Governing Board approved the district’s 2012 Air Quality Management Plan, or AQMP. The plan, which outlines the its strategies for meeting the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for PM 2.5 and ozone, establishes control strategies for different source categories, including binding emissions reductions targets for architectural coatings.

ACA staff attended the 2012 AQMP hearing and urged the Governing Board to remove the proposed VOC reduction control measures – CTS-01, CTS-02, CTS-03, and CTS-04 – from the 2012 AQMP, considering that the district is not required to address ozone in the 2012 plan. ACA stressed the significant strides the paint and coatings industry has made in reducing its products’ VOC emissions in the past, noting that the district should focus on other source categories for further emissions reductions instead of unfairly targeting the coatings industry.

At the meeting, SCAQMD staff discussed the most recent updates to the outline for the next five years, detailing the district’s proposed measures to bring the Los Angeles Air Basin into attainment with federal ozone standards. The approved 2012 AQMP commits to a reduction of two tons per year for architectural coatings and includes three proposed control measures: 1) reduce the volatile organic compound (VOC) content in flat, nonflat, and primers, sealers and undercoaters from 50 grams per liter to 25 grams per liter; 2) evaluate potential changes or the elimination of the small container exemption; and 3) increase the transfer efficiency of paint spray guns.

ACA worked with district staff and engaged in the development of the draft plan, submitting written comments and providing oral testimony at regular stages during the process. In doing so, ACA successfully convinced SCAQMD to reduce its VOC reduction commitments for architectural and industrial maintenance (AIM) coatings from four tons per day to two tons per day. ACA also worked with district staff to consider a range options for amending the small container exemption in the future, instead of the outright elimination of this critical compliance option for coatings manufacturers.

The complete release is available online.