WASHINGTON - The California Air Pollution Control Officers Association is circulating a proposal that calls for the enactment of the most stringent VOC limits on automotive-refinish coatings anywhere in the nation, the NPCA reported.

If approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the proposal could be adopted by the majority of the state's air pollution control districts, a situation that the NPCA said could have "drastic consequences for the industry."

The measure would establish VOC limits of 3.5 pounds per gallon for an auto-refinish color base and 2.1 lb/gal for the clear coat, with no averaging of the two coats allowed to meet the combined VOC limit for the two coatings, the NPCA said.

The plan calls for the color base-coat limit to drop to 2.8 lbs/gal two years later. The measure also would affect refinish coatings for "mobile equipment" as well as "motor vehicles," encompassing cars, trucks, buses, vans, trains, construction vehicles and equipment, farm machinery, motorcycles, military vehicles, and even golf carts.

"Aside from the costs associated with having to reformulate tens of thousands of color coats, serious questions arise about the very technological feasibility of the limits," the NPCA said.

More information is reported on the NPCA website, located at www.paint.org.