WASHINGTON - As reported by NPCA, nearly every federal, state and local government that has regulated architectural and industrial maintenance (AIM) coatings in the past is considering further reductions. Further, several additional states are working on regulations as well.

At the federal level, EPA is set to revise the National AIM rule sometime in 2007. The agency is looking at possibly adopting the volatile organic compound (VOC) limits currently found in the North Eastern Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) states. This move would make the federal AIM rule consistent with Canada’s plan to adopt the OTC limits.

In addition, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is revising its Suggested Control Measure (SCM) for AIM coatings. CARB is looking at possibly adopting limits similar to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) where these limits make sense from a technology basis. CARB expects to complete its work in the fall of 2007.

The OTC states are expected to revise the VOC limits in their rules by adopting the CARB VOC limits in 2007, as well. However, several states including Rhode Island and Massachusetts are in the process of adopting the current OTC rules.

The Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO) states, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio, are expected to adopt the current OTC VOC limits either on their own or they may wait for EPA to revise the National AIM rule in 2007.

Although EPA, CARB, OTC and LADCO AIM rules may be adopted in 2007, it is likely that the rules will have implementation dates of 2008 or 2009 and should include two- to three-year sell-through provisions.

Finally, although additional stringent SCAQMD VOC limits become effective in 2007 and 2008, SCAQMD is already looking at long-term additional reductions for AIM coatings, as much as another 50-percent reduction by 2015 either through mass-based VOC limits and/or reactivity-based limits.

Contact NPCA’s David Darling at ddarling@paint.org or Jim Sell at jsell@paint.org if you have any questions or if you would like to be added to NPCA’s AIM VOC Committee. In addition, NPCA has developed a comprehensive and detailed AIM Coatings Regulatory Reference on its website www.paint.org.