SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has begun preliminary discussions of developing a photochemical reactivity-based regulation for architectural coatings, and said a recent meeting represented “a first step in developing a plan for research needs.”

A statewide VOC regulation on aerosol coatings adopted by CARB in June 2000 takes into account relative rates of photochemical reactivity in establishing VOC limits, and CARB said it is investigating the feasibility of incorporating reactivity into regulations on other emissions sources such as architectural and industrial-maintenance coatings. Such a regulation would be the first of its type in the nation.

As a first step in its consideration of a reactivity-based regulation for architectural and industrial maintenance coatings, CARB is considering a research proposal from William Carter of the University of California-Riverside. Carter, regarded as an expert on VOC reactivity, has submitted a proposal for a three-year study aimed at “reducing the uncertainties in estimating the impacts of architectural coatings emissions on photochemical ozone formation and other measures of air quality.” A CARB official said the proposed study will be considered by the Research Screening Committee, a panel of outside experts that advises the agency on research issues.

Under the relative-reactivity concept, various compounds are given different reactivity rates, based on their propensity to react with other atmospheric contributors to ozone pollution, or smog.

CARB does not directly regulate VOCs in coatings, but develops recommendations for such rules for consideration by the state’s regional air-quality agencies.

More information on the issue can be obtained from the CARB website at new.htm.