SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued an updated list of coatings-manufacturing companies that will be obliged to pay millions of dollars in new fees based on estimated emissions of VOCs from architectural coatings sold in the state.

Creation of the new fee program was announced last year as part of the state's efforts to deal with a multibillion-dollar budget shortfall. The fees will be assessed against companies whose architectural-coatings products sold in California emit 250 tons of VOCs per year or more.

The CARB fee program was awaiting final action by the state's Office of Administrative Law, with approval anticipated early this year, industry sources said.

CARB also recently issued a tentative fee rate of $81.55 per ton of VOC emissions, with billing for the fees anticipated during the first quarter of this year for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2003.

Based on the VOC emissions estimates issued by CARB, the biggest sellers of architectural coatings in the state will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees annually, with The Sherwin-Williams Co. in line to be hit with the biggest levy of nearly $380,000. Following Sherwin-Williams on the list of estimated VOC emissions are Dunn-Edwards Corp., Behr Process Corp., ICI Paints, Kelly-Moore Paint Co. Inc., and Frazee Industries.

In all, CARB issued a list of 27 companies whose architectural-coatings products emit 250 tons or more of VOCs per year, according to the agency's estimates.

The complete list of companies identified by CARB, along with other information on the fee program, can be viewed at the agency's website by going to http://

The NPCA has said it is pursuing various strategies to mitigate the impact of the fee program, including a campaign for a sunset provision that would end the program when the state budget is balanced. Also, several industry trade associations are reportedly reviewing the possibility of a legal action aimed at challenging the fee program.