Consumer Products Rule

 

Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg and Richmond Areas

Please see  9 VAC 5-20-206 for the designated areas.

  • Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, and Stafford
  • Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park
  • Richmond area; Charles City County, Colonial Heights City, Chesterfield County, Hopewell City, Hanover County, Petersburg City, Henrico County, Richmond City, Prince George County

 Please select the appropriate Consumer Product Rule Article(s) below based on the product and manufacture date. 

Part I - Special Provisions

  • Part I - Special Provisions (Sections 10 to 50)

Part II - Emission Standards

  • Article 1 - Emission Standards for Portable Fuel Containers Manufactured Before August 1, 2010 (Sections 60 to 150)
  • Article 2 - Emission Standards for Portable Fuel Containers Manufactured On or After August 1, 2010 (Sections 160 to 270)
  • Article 3 - Emission Standards for Consumer Products Manufactured Before August 1, 2010 (Sections 280 to 390)
  • Article 4 - Emission Standards for Consumer Products Manufactured On or After August 1, 2010 (Sections 400 to 510)
  • Article 5 - Emission Standards for Architectural and Industrial Maintenance Coatings (Sections 520 to 610)
  • Article 6 - Emission Standards for Adhesives and Sealants (Sections 620 to 750)
  • Article 7 - Emission Standards for Asphalt Paving Operations (Sections 760 to 850)

The purpose of this regulation is to control the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) within five cities and five counties in the greater metropolitan Washington, DC area in Northern Virginia, as well as one city and one county in the Fredericksburg area and the Richmond Virginia area.  This regulation also limits the manufacture, distribution, and sale of consumer products that contain certain toxic compounds and the ozone-depleting substances that reduce the protective upper atmosphere ozone layer.

Similar Consumer Products regulations are already effective in Maryland and Washington DC, and in other nearby states that have ground-level ozone problems, such as Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does this regulation apply to me?

What is my deadline for compliance?

How do I know if a VOC content limit applies to my product?

How do I determine the VOC content of my product?

How will DEQ determine if my product complies with the VOC content limit?

Are there applicable regulatory limits other than the VOC content limits?

What do I do if my product is not compliant?

Are there administrative requirements that might apply as well?

Where do I send required reports, applications and other written submissions?

Where can I find answers to other common questions?

Who at DEQ can I contact for additional information or help?

 

Does this regulation apply to me?

Requirements in Chapter 45 applies to you if you (1) sell, supply, offer for sale or manufacture for sale (2) any consumer product that (3) contains volatile organic compounds (4) within the affected area.  All four criteria must be met in order for this regulation to apply to you. 

Ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Is my relationship to the product one of the following?  This regulation may apply to you if one or more of the following four statements are true:
    • Your company manufactures or repackages the product.
    • Your company supplies or distributes the product.
    • Your company is a retailer that sells the product or offers the product for sale.
    • You are an individual (such as a contractor or a salesperson) that manufactures or repackages the product for the sale, supplies or sells the product, or offers the product for sale.
    “Manufacturer”, “distributor”, and “retailer” are defined in the appropriate Article(s) of the Consumer Products Rule.
  2. Is my product a “consumer product”? The regulation may apply to you if you are involved in the business of providing a “consumer product” that will ultimately end up in the hands of consumers or institutional users of the product. “Consumer product” is defined as a chemically formulated product used by household and institutional consumers including, but not limited to, detergents; cleaning compounds; polishes; floor finishes; cosmetics; personal care products; home, lawn, and garden products; disinfectants; sanitizers; aerosol paints; and automotive specialty products, but does not include other paint products, furniture coatings, or architectural coatings.  (The product types listed in this definition are just examples; it is not an exhaustive list.) The terms “consumer”, “consumer product”, “household product”, “institutional product” and many of the other terms used in the paragraph above are defined in the appropriate Article(s).
  3. Does my consumer product contain VOC? The regulation may apply to you if the consumer product that you provide contains volatile organic compounds (VOC). In part, the definition of “volatile organic compound" in  9 VAC 5-10-20 states that it is “any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions…” There are many carbon-containing compounds that are specifically excluded from this definition of VOC because those compounds are only negligibly photochemically reactive.  Refer to the regulatory definition of “volatile organic compound” in  9 VAC 5-10-20 for a complete listing of the compounds excluded from this definition. The consumer product itself might be formulated with VOC, or it might contain fragrances, color additives, blowing agents or propellants that contain VOC. Manufacturers provide VOC content information on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and Certified Product Data sheets.  These sheets may be provided with shipping documents or may be available from the manufacturer upon request.  Many consumer products have containers or other packaging with the VOC content information on the product label.
  4. Does my consumer product end up for sale in the affected area? The regulation may apply to you if your consumer product is sold, supplied or offered for sale within the “affected area”, which is the “Northern Virginia VOC Emissions Control Area” and/or the "Fredericksburg VOC Control Area" and/or the "Richmond VOC Control Area defined in 9 VAC 5-20-206. Any manufacturer or distributor that can document that their product is intended ONLY for shipment and use OUTSIDE of the “affected area” and has taken reasonable precautions to ensure that this is so, is NOT subject to this regulation. If you answered “yes” to all four of the above questions, then this regulation applies to you.

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What is my deadline for compliance?

The applicable compliance dates are dependent on geographic locations and are specified in Article V as follows:

  • July 1, 2005, for the Northern Virginia VOC Emissions Control Area
  • January 1, 2008, for the Fredericksburg VOC Emissions Control Area
  • March 1, 2014, for the Richmond VOC Emissions Control Area

It is unlawful to supply, sell, or offer for sale within the affected area any consumer product containing VOC that was manufactured on or after the applicable compliance date unless it is compliant with the VOC content limits and other requirements of each applicable Article(s).  (Any noncompliant consumer product that was manufactured before the applicable compliance date may continue to be offered for sale until they are all sold).

On and after the applicable compliance date, it is unlawful to manufacture a VOC-containing consumer product that will be supplied, sold or offered for sale within the affected area unless it is compliant with the VOC content limits in Table 45-5A Article 5 and “other requirements” of the applicable Article(s).

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How do I know if a VOC content limit applies to my product?

The VOC content limits for applicable consumer products are listed in Table 45-5A of Article 5.

Not every consumer product falls into a product category that has an applicable VOC content limit.  For example, aerosol paints, insulation foams and PVC piping adhesives are consumer products.  As such, they are technically subject to the consumer products regulation, but they have no VOC content limits assigned in Table 45-5A in Article 5.

The following consumer product categories currently have VOC content limits assigned.  Remember, only those consumer products that contain VOC are subject to this regulation.

Adhesives, aerosol                                                                                    

Adhesives, construction, panel, and floor covering                                                         

Adhesives, general purpose                                                                                                

Adhesives, structural waterproof                                                                                         

Air fresheners                                                                                                                          

Antiperspirants                                                                                                                        

Automotive brake cleaners                                                                                                   

Automotive rubbing or polishing compounds                                                                   

Automotive waxes, polishes, sealants, or glazes                                                            

Automotive windshield washer fluids                                                                                 

Bathroom and tile cleaners                                                                                                  

Bug and tar removers                                                                                                            

Carburetor or fuel-injection air intake cleaners

Carpet and upholstery cleaners

Charcoal lighter materials

Cooking spray, aerosols

Deodorants

Dusting aids

Engine degreasers

Fabric protectants

Floor polishes/waxes

Floor wax strippers, nonaerosol

Furniture maintenance products, except solid or paste

General purpose cleaners

General purpose degreasers

Glass cleaners

Hair mousses

Hair shines

Hair sprays

Hair styling gels

Heavy-duty hand cleaners or soaps

Insecticides

Laundry prewash

Laundry starch products

Metal polishes and cleansers

Nail polish removers

Non-selective terrestrial herbicide (only non-aerosols)

Oven cleaners

Paint removers or strippers

Penetrants

Rubber and vinyl protectants

Sealants and caulking compounds

Shaving creams

Silicone-based multi-purpose lubricants, except for solid or semi-solid products

Spot removers

Tire sealants and inflators

Undercoatings (only aerosols)

In certain cases, some of the consumer products listed above are specifically excluded from having to comply with the VOC content limits:

  1. Air fresheners whose VOC content (other than exempt VOC) is composed entirely of fragrance VOC and Low Vapor Pressure VOC (as defined in the appropriate Article(s) do not have to comply with the VOC content limit for air fresheners pursuant to the appropriate Article(s).
  2. Air fresheners and insecticides containing at least 98% paradichlorobenzene do not have to comply with the VOC content limits for air fresheners or insecticides pursuant to the appropriate Article(s).
  3. Adhesives sold in container sizes of 1 fluid ounce or less do not have to comply with the VOC content limit for adhesive pursuant to the appropriate Article(s).  Additional package size exclusions are included in the definition in the appropriate Article(s). 
  4. Bait station insecticides (containers enclosing an insecticidal bait that is not more than 0.5 ounce by weight) do not have to comply with the VOC content limits for insecticide pursuant to the appropriate Article(s) 
 

How do you tell if your product fits in one of these product categories? 

The definitions of these product categories are very specific.  It is NOT always easy to tell if your product is one of these just by looking at the NAME of the category.

It is recommended that you rigorously follow the following procedure to determine if one of these product categories applies to your product:

  1. Make a list of ALL of the possible product categories from the list above that MIGHT apply to your product.
  2. Refer to the definition of ONE of the product categories on your list that MIGHT apply.  These definitions are provided in the appropriate Article(s).
  3. Compare the characteristics listed in that definition with the characteristics of your product.  If they match, then the definition applies.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for EACH of the other possible product categories that MIGHT apply.  If more than one definition applies, the most restrictive standard will apply to that product (except for products that are also general purpose cleaners, antiperspirants or deodorants).
If you need help making this determination, contact DEQ for assistance.  (While DEQ is available to advise you, determinations of product applicability will not be made over the phone.)

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How do I determine the VOC content of my product?

Obtain VOC content information from the manufacturer 

Manufacturers are the best source of VOC content information for their products.  However they will have to provide the information in terms of the proper units (percent VOC by weight) for you to determine if the product is compliant.

Typically, manufacturers make the VOC content information available though product labeling, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or Certified Product Data Sheets.  Manufacturers may also provide this information over the internet, inside product packaging, or directly to you upon request.

Most distributors, retailers, and other persons who supply, sell, or offer consumer products for sale will probably use this means of verifying and demonstrating compliance with this regulation.

Calculate the VOC content from the weight of ingredients

If you have to determine the VOC content of your product from the formulation of the product itself, how you do so depends on what information that you have available to you about what goes into the product. 

Generally, you must determine the total weight of all of the VOCs (less the weight of any exempt or excluded VOCs) in one unit of the consumer product (either a can, package, bottle, batch or some other unit), and then divide that number by the total weight of that unit of consumer product (less the weight of the container, applicators and any packaging). Then multiply the result by 100 to get the “percent VOC by weight.”

Some rules to follow when calculating the VOC content of a consumer product:

  1. If dilution is recommended by the manufacturer on the label or in any product information or advertising, then the VOC content must be calculated AFTER the recommended dilution for comparison with the VOC content limits:
    • For dilution with water or other non-VOC solvents, the VOC content is only calculated after the MINIMUM recommended dilution (i.e. when the least amount of water that is recommended is added).
    • For dilution with solvents containing VOC, the VOC content is only calculated after the MAXIMUM recommended dilution (i.e. when the greatest amount of VOC solvent that is recommended is added).
  2. The weight of any VOC that is used in operating or applying the product, such as “type C propellant,” must be included in the calculation of total VOC. However, the weight of any applicators such as sponges, wipes, towelettes or swabs (like the rest of the container and packaging) should NOT be included in calculating the total weight of the product.
  3. Certain carbon-containing compounds are not VOCs as defined in 9 VAC 5-10-20 and should NOT be included in the calculation of the weight of VOC.
  4. Do NOT include the weight of any Low Vapor Pressure VOC (LVP-VOC) in calculating the weight of VOC in the consumer product.
  5. Certain amounts of certain VOCs may be excluded from the calculation of VOC content for specific categories of consumer products.  These are described in the appropriate Article(s)  Briefly:
    • Do not include the weight of ethanol VOC in the calculation of the MVOC content for antiperspirants and deodorants.
    • You may exclude the weight of fragrance VOC up to 2.0% of the weight of any consumer product from the calculation of VOC content of that type of consumer product.
    • You may exclude the weight of colorant VOC up to 2.0% of the weight of any antiperspirant or deodorant from the calculation of VOC content of that type of consumer product.
    • You may exclude the weight of any VOC that contains more than 10 carbon atoms per molecule and for which the vapor pressure is unknown or that has a vapor pressure of 2 mm Hg or less at 20 degrees Centigrade, from the calculation of VOC content for any antiperspirant or deodorant.

Test the VOC content 

If the VOC content information of a consumer product is not available from the manufacturer in terms of percent VOC by weight and if the VOC content cannot be calculated from product formulation information provided with the product, then testing a sample of the consumer product may be the only way to verify that your consumer product is compliant.  Specific test methods are discussed in the next section.

Responsibilities under this regulation:  Using this information, everyone subject to the regulation should assure themselves that:

  • The VOC content information necessary to demonstrate compliance is readily available to them in terms of “percent VOC content by weight,” and
  • The consumer product is in compliance with the regulation.

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How will DEQ determine if my consumer product complies with the VOC content limit?

Identifying non-compliant consumer products 

DEQ may use any number of resources or methods to identify non-compliant products.  Among those are advertising literature, shipping information, information on container labels, Material Safety Data Sheets and other safety information, or Certified Product Data Sheets and other product use information.  DEQ may also sample consumer products at any point in the supply chain and have them tested by an independent laboratory.  Or DEQ may simply ask you to provide the necessary information to DEQ in terms of the proper units (percent VOC by weight).

If product literature or other information states the VOC content of the consumer product in terms other than percent VOC by weight (the same terms as the regulatory VOC content limits), then DEQ may request the information in terms of the proper units.  However, if that information is not immediately available, DEQ may make reasonable assumptions concerning the product and convert the stated VOC content to units of percent by weight for comparison with the standard in order to determine compliance. 

Once DEQ has identified a consumer product that is not in compliance, each person that is subject to the regulation for that product may be considered by DEQ to be out of compliance pending a demonstration that the product is, in fact, compliant.

Demonstrating that a consumer product is compliant with the VOC Content limits.
Once a consumer product is identified by DEQ as non-compliant, the burden of demonstrating compliance rests with the persons or companies subject to the regulation for that consumer product.  Compliance might be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

  1. By demonstrating that the consumer product is not subject to the VOC content limit. 
    DEQ will entertain arguments as to why the product does or does not meet the definition of a product category for which a VOC content limit is assigned.  DEQ will make the final determination of applicability.
  2. By demonstrating that the consumer product is compliant by the formulation of the product.
    DEQ may accept product formulation as an adequate demonstration of the actual VOC content of the consumer product if the manufacturer keeps and provides sufficient records that meet the requirements of the regulation (refer to the appropriate Article(s) for more information).  Proper labeling of the product (i.e. usage, recommended dilution, etc.) will usually be considered as part of an adequate demonstration (refer to the appropriate Article(s) for more information for dilution labeling requirements).   However, if product records appear to demonstrate compliance with the VOC limits, but these records are contradicted by product testing performed using the approved test method, then the results of the approved test method will take precedence over the product records and may be used to establish a violation.
  3. By demonstrating that the consumer product is compliant by testing the product. 
    DEQ will normally accept the results of appropriate approved test methods for determining compliance with VOC content limits.  Testing to determine compliance with the VOC content requirements of this regulation shall normally be performed using California Air Resources Board (CARB) Method 310.  Testing to determine compliance with the certification requirements for charcoal lighter material shall be performed using the procedures specified in the South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1174 Ignition Method Compliance Certification Protocol.  (Read more about these requirements and for the document references for these test methods in the appropriate Article(s)).
  4. By demonstrating that the consumer product is compliant by another means approved by the DEQ.
    Contact DEQ if the approved test methods would not provide results representative of the true VOC content of your consumer product.

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Are there applicable regulatory limits other than the VOC content limits?

Yes, there are limits on certain substances contained in some consumer products:

  1. “No person shall sell, supply, offer for sale, or manufacture for sale an antiperspirant or a deodorant that contains a compound that has been defined as a toxic pollutant in 9 VAC 5-60-210 C. (Refer to Section 112(b) of the Clean Air Act for the original federal list of HAPs and to 40 CFR Part 63, sections 63.60, 63.61, 63.62 and 63.63 for changes to that list.)
  2. ”Effective as of the applicable compliance date specified in the appropriate Article(s), no person shall (i) sell, supply, or offer for sale an aerosol adhesive manufactured on or after the applicable compliance date, or (ii) manufacture for sale an aerosol adhesive that contains any of the following compounds: methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, or trichloroethylene.”
  3. “For a consumer product for which [a VOC content limit is] specified [in Table 45-5A of Article 5] …, no person shall sell, supply, offer for sale, or manufacture for sale a consumer product which contains any of [a short list of] ozone-depleting compounds… .”  (Refer directly to the appropriate Article(s) for that list of ozone-depleting compounds and limits.

Other requirements apply only to specific types of products:

  1. No person shall manufacture for sale, sell, supply, or offer for sale a coal lighter material product unless at the time of the transaction:
    1. The manufacturer has demonstrated that the product has been tested and has met the standard for those products (either through having a currently effective CARB certification or submitting the test results directly to DEQ for certification);
    2. The manufacturer or distributor has been issued a current certification by DEQ;
    3. The product continues to meets the formulation and other requirements of the DEQ certification; and
    4. The product usage directions remain the same as those provided to DEQ for the certification.
  2. Also regulation contains some limits on dilution ratios for floor wax strippers.

Notification and reporting requirements from the appropriate Article(s) may also apply. (refer to the appropriate Article(s) for more information).

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What do I do if my product is not compliant?

  1. Reformulate the product to be compliant (with the VOC content limits in Table 45-5A in Article 5 or stop providing the product for sale within the affected area.

    Because it is unlawful to supply, sell, or offer for sale within the affected area any noncompliant consumer product containing VOC that was manufactured on or after the applicable compliance date, you should stop supplying, selling or offering any noncompliant product for sale if it was manufactured on or after the applicable compliance date.  If you discover a noncompliant product manufactured on or after the applicable compliance date, it should be removed from shelves immediately and not sold within the affected area.  (Noncompliant consumer products that were manufactured before the applicable compliance date may continue to be offered for sale until they are all sold.

    On or after the applicable compliance date, it is unlawful to manufacture a noncompliant VOC-containing consumer product that will be supplied, sold or offered for sale within the affected area.  If you are a manufacturer and you have reformulated your product so that it is compliant, you may provide the reformulated product (appropriately labeled) to be supplied, sold or offered for sale within the affected area.  If you are a manufacturer of consumer products, and you are unable to reformulate your product, then you must take reasonable precautions to ensure that the noncompliant product is not supplied, sold or offered for sale within the affected area.
  2. Obtain a temporary waiver from compliance with the standards.

    A person who cannot comply with the requirements set forth in the appropriate Article(s), because of extraordinary reasons beyond the person's reasonable control may apply in writing to DEQ for a waiver.  Among other things, the application must contain a proposed compliance date and a schedule for achieving compliance as expeditiously as possible.  Other application requirements and the standards for granting a waiver are set forth in in the appropriate Article(s).

    The review process requires a public hearing and may take several months to complete once DEQ receives a complete application.
  3. Get an Alternative Compliance Plan (ACP) approved for your products. An “alternative control plan” is an approved emissions averaging program for the purpose of achieving emission reductions equivalent to those achieved by the regulation.  It requires significant monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements to demonstrate compliance with the plan.  Application and review requirements may be found in the appropriate Article(s).

    The review process for an ACP application may take 18 weeks after DEQ receives a complete application.  If the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has issued a currently effective ACP for the same group of consumer products, and the ACP application submitted to CARB and the subsequent CARB approval are consistent with the application submitted to DEQ, that process may be expedited.
  4. Get an Innovative Product Exemption (IPE) approved for your product. An “innovative product exemption” is for a consumer product that is not in compliance with an applicable VOC content limit, but due to some characteristic of the product formulation, design, delivery systems or other factors, the use of that product will result in less VOC emissions than another representative product that complies with the limit.  An IPE requires significant testing, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements to demonstrate compliance with the exemption requirements.  Application and review requirements may be found in the appropriate Article(s). 

    The review process for an IPE application may be expected to take 90 days after DEQ receives a complete application.  If the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has issued a currently effective IPE for the same consumer product, and if the IPE application submitted to CARB and the CARB approval are consistent with the application submitted to DEQ, the exemption approval process may be expedited.
  5. Apply to the State Air Pollution Control Board (through DEQ) for a variance from the standards for your product.

    A variance is a plan for achieving compliance with the regulatory standard and consists of a temporary standard, sufficient enforceable conditions to ensure compliance with the temporary standard, and enforceable milestones toward compliance with the regulatory standards.  Application and review requirements may be found in 9 VAC 5-170-140  and Section 10.1-1307.01 of the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law.

    The review process for granting a variance includes a public comment period and a public hearing and requires approval of the board.  Approval may take from six months to a year after DEQ receives a complete application.

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Are there administrative requirements that might apply as well?

Requirements for consumer products subject to a standard

The following administrative requirements, notifications and reporting requirements apply to consumer products subject to a standard - please see applicable Article(s):

The date of manufacture must be clearly displayed. 
Any consumer product that is subject to one of the VOC content limits or other standards in an applicable Article(s) must have clearly displayed on the container or packaging, the day, month and year that the product was manufactured, or a code that indicates that date.  Products with less than 0.1% VOC by weight and products subject to regulation under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 USC Section 136-136y) do not have to comply with this requirement.  (Refer to the applicable Article(s)).

Additional labeling requirements
Aerosol adhesives have some additional labeling requirements, which are detailed in the applicable Article(s).

Requirements regarding Information that must be supplied to DEQ:

Date code information when requested 
For products subject to a standard (see applicable Article(s), if a date code is used on the label instead of the date of manufacture, then an explanation of the date codes must be supplied to DEQ, if the explanation is requested - please see the applicable Article. 

Product information when requested 
For ANY consumer product (regardless of whether or not it is subject to a standard) product information must be supplied to DEQ upon 90 days written notice.  Examples of the kinds of information that might be requested (and therefore should be kept accessible in less than 90 days) are listed in the applicable Article(s).

Annual reports
For any product that is subject to one of the VOC content limits and which contains either perchloroethylene or methylene chloride, annual reports of certain product information are required, due by March 1st of the following year.  An example form in MS Word can be found under Air Compliance Forms.

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Additional Consumer Product Questions

  1. Date by which compliance is required. 

    Question:  By what date do the consumer products that I do business with have to comply with the new standards?

    Answer:  Consumer products that are subject to the Virginia consumer products regulation must be in compliance with applicable VOC content limits by the applicable compliance date.  However, if your consumer product is also regulated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 USC Section 136-136y), the initial compliance date is one year after the applicable compliance date.  However, any items of product that were manufactured before that compliance date may continue to be supplied and offered for sale until they are sold.
  2. Sell-through provision.

    Question:  I have consumer products in my supply chain or on my shelves that were manufactured before the applicable compliance date and are not in compliance with the new limits.  Can I continue to supply and sell these products in the affected area?

    Answer:  Any noncompliant items of consumer product that were manufactured before the applicable compliance date may continue to be supplied, offered for sale and sold within the affected areas.
  3. Date code reports. 

    Question:  Do I have to submit an explanation of my consumer product date codes to DEQ?

    Answer:  Explanations of date code information must only be submitted if DEQ specifically requests that information.  DEQ will notify you when that information must be submitted.  (Refer to the applicable Article(s)).
  4. Effect on consumers. 

    Question:  How are consumers affected by this regulation?

    Answer:  The end-users of a consumer product are NOT subject to the requirements of this regulation as long as they do not repackage and/or re-sell the product.  Consumers in the affected area may find that some of the products that they normally buy are not available in their area, or are only available as a reformulated product.  A company or government agency that purchases a consumer product for use within the company or agency DOES NOT become a supplier just because it transfers the consumer product from one part of the company or agency to another.
  5. Effect on salespersons and contractors. 

    Question:  How are salespersons and contractors affected by this regulation?

    Answer:  Any salesperson or contractor that offers consumer products for sale within the affected area IS subject to the regulation.  However, contractors that use or apply consumer products as an integral part of their service without reselling the product ARE NOT themselves subject to the regulation, but the consumer products sold to these contractors for their use within the affected area must be in compliance with the regulation.
  6. Products used in manufacturing. 

    Question:  The product that I manufacture (a degreasing product) is sold exclusively to other manufacturers to be used in their manufacturing process.  Is my product subject to this regulation?

    Answer:  Consumer products are for household use or for institutional use for the maintenance and operation of the facility.  Products that are that are incorporated into or used exclusively in the manufacture or construction of the goods or commodities at the site of the establishment, are not consumer products and are not subject to this regulation.  Examples include such items such as mold-release products and non-aerosol adhesives that are used in manufacturing goods or commodities.  Also exempt are those industrial products that are used directly in the manufacturing process but do not actually become part of the finished product but are nonetheless essential to the manufacturing process.  For example, cleaning, degreasing and lubricating products may be exempt from the definition of “consumer products” if the manufacturing process is the only use for these products. Products that may be used at a manufacturing facility that ARE consumer products and do not qualify for this exemption to the definition (and are therefore subject to the consumer products regulation), include products that are used in the general cleaning or maintenance of the manufacturing facility.  Such products are often similar to commonly available household products, and are used to perform tasks (such as cleaning and waxing) that are similar to those performed by household consumers.  Examples include air fresheners, floor waxes, general purpose cleaners and insecticides.  Additionally, products sold to contractors or are marketed elsewhere as consumer products are subject to the consumer products regulation even when they are used in a manufacturing process.  Examples include adhesives and sealants used in the construction trade.
  7. Charcoal lighter material products. 

    Question:  I sell charcoal lighter fluid, “instant-light” charcoal briquettes, paraffin sticks, packages of fat wood and natural charcoal as well as the normal charcoal briquettes.  Are any or all of these products subject to the regulation and if so, which ones? Answer:  A charcoal lighter material product is any combustible product intended to be applied on, incorporated in, added to, or used with charcoal to help ignite or improve the ignition of charcoal.  Products that ARE considered to be “charcoal lighter materials” and are subject to the Consumer Products Regulation include: Charcoal lighter fluids, “bag light” charcoal, “instant light” charcoal, paraffin cubes, waxes, gels, treated kindling or wood chips, fire rings, and other similar products. Items that are NOT “charcoal lighter materials” include: Electrical starters, portable metallic cylinders designed to use paper tinder (i.e. chimney starters), natural gas, propane, “fat wood” (pieces of wood kindling with high naturally-occurring levels of sap or resin) and charcoal products that are not chemically enhanced to improve their lighting characteristics.
  8. Certifying charcoal lighter material products. 

    Question:  I make a charcoal product that is impregnated with chemical “lighting-enhancers”.   How do I get my product certified for sale in Northern Virginia? Answer:  In order to sell or supply a charcoal lighter material product in the VOC Control Areas defined in 9 VAC 5-20-206, you must meet all of the following requirements:
    • Demonstrate to the DEQ’s satisfaction that a certified laboratory has tested the product and determined that the product emits no more than 0.020 pounds of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) per start upon ignition with charcoal;
    • Be certified by the DEQ and be issued an ACP agreement for the charcoal lighter material product;
    • Meet all of the conditions specified in the ACP agreement; and
    • Properly label the product with usage instructions and the date of manufacture, or a code indicating the date of manufacture.
    In order to demonstrate that the product has been tested and meets the standard, you may either: 
    • Submit to DEQ a copy of a currently effective CARB certification decision for the product, including all conditions established by CARB applicable to the certification; or
    • Apply to DEQ in writing for certification of the product by submitting all of the following documents to the DEQ contact person as stated below:  
      1. The results of a certified laboratory test that demonstrates that the product meets the standard of 0.020 pounds of VOCs per start.
      2. A copy of the text or graphics that will appear on the product’s principal display panel, label, and accompanying literature.  (Note: The usage instructions on the product must indicate the amount of product per pound of charcoal used, unless it is pre-measured and this concentration ratio of product to charcoal must be the same as that used in certification testing.)
      3. A copy of the physical property data and formulation data of the charcoal lighter material.  Examples of physical property data include: for liquids – distillation points, appearance, color, flash point, odor, benzene content, sulfur content; for solids -- distillation points, specific gravity, flash point; for gels – flash point, density, auto ignition temperature.


    Your product must be tested by a laboratory that has been certified to conduct charcoal lighter material certification testing using the procedures specified in the South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1174. 
  9. EPA Requirements.  Question:  Are there separate federal regulations governing consumer products? Answer:  Yes, there are separate federal requirements beginning in 40 CFR 59.201 for consumer products that are applicable to manufacturers, importers and distributors of consumer products.  These requirements apply throughout Virginia, not just in the Northern Virginia area covered by the Virginia regulation.  They do not apply to retailers and persons that sell consumer products or offer consumer products for sale. Generally, the provisions of the Virginia regulation are more restrictive than the federal regulation, so in most cases compliance with the Virginia regulation assures compliance with the federal standards.  The recordkeeping requirements and initial notification requirements of 40 CFR §59.209 are notable exceptions. For further information concerning the federal consumer products regulation, visit the EPA webpage.

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Where do I send required reports, applications and other written submissions?

Any reports, applications, and other written submissions related to the consumer product rule may be submitted by mail to Sherry Tostenson at:

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Office of Air Compliance Coordination
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, Virginia 23218

All applications (certifications, alternative compliance standards, etc.) and required reports require certification by a responsible company official pursuant to 9 VAC 5-20-230.  Specifically, the following statement must be included with all submittals:

"I certify under penalty of law that this document and all attachments were prepared under my direction or supervision in accordance with a system designed to assure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate the information submitted.  Based on my inquiry of the person or persons who manage the system, or those persons directly responsible for gathering and evaluating the information, the information submitted is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, true, accurate, and complete.  I am aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment for knowing violations."

 

Who can I contact for additional information or help?

For general questions concerning the consumer products regulation, compliance with the regulation, applicability of certain consumer products, as well as requests for waivers, variances and other alternative standards (Alternative Compliance Plans, and Innovative Product Exemptions) contact Sherry Tostenson at (804) 698-4050 or by email at Sherry.Tostenson@deq.virginia.gov

Click here for additional information.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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