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Volatile Organic Compound Definition Changes


DNREC's Division of Air Quality proposes to amend the definition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to exclude certain compounds that the EPA has found to have negligible impact on the formation of ground-level ozone. As Delaware is not yet in compliance with the federal ground-level ozone standards, additional control of VOC emissions is required.

Manufacturers of products containing VOCs often can substitute these federally-exempt compounds in their formulations. Lower VOC emissions contribute to lower ground-level ozone formation and thus cleaner air.

The EPA has determined through extensive testing that the following eight compounds are excluded from the definition of a VOC due to negligible impact on ground-level ozone formation;

  • HFO-1234ze, also known as trans-1,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene which has potential uses as a refrigerant, aerosol propellant and blowing agent for insulating foam. EPA final rule 77 FR 37610.
  • The group of four hydrofluoropolyethers identified as HFE-134, also known as HCF2OCF2H;  HFE-236cal2, also known as HCF2OCF2OCF2H; HFE-338pcc13, also known as HCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H; and H-Galden 1040x, also known as H-Galden ZT 130 or H-Galden ZT 150 or H-Galden ZT 180 or HCF2OCF2OCF2CF2OCF2H which have potential uses as  fire suppressants or refrigerants, EPA final rule 78 FR 9823.
  • trans 1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene, also known as SolsticeTM 1233zd(E) which has potential uses including as a solvent in aerosol and non-aerosol applications, as a blowing agent for insulating foams and as a refrigerant, EPA final rule 78 FR 53029.
  • HFO-1234yf, also known as 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene which has potential use as a replacement refrigerant for HFE-134a in automobile air conditioner systems due to its lower global warming potential, EPA final rule 78 FR 62451.
  • 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol, also known as AMP, which has uses in water-based coatings, EPA final rule 79 FR 17037.

Also, the recordkeeping, emission reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and inventory requirements that were required for the exempt compound t-butyl acetate (TBAC) will be removed as shown in a recent federal action.

These compounds can be found in the EPA listing of VOC exempt compounds in 40 CFR 51.100(s).

All of these compounds have potential uses in consumer products regulated under Section 2.0 of 7 DE Admin Code 1141, and at least one (AMP) has use in architectural and maintenance coatings regulated under Section 1.0 of 7 DE Admin Code 1141. There are no manufacturers of these compounds in Delaware.

Proposed schedule of activities:
Legal notice published in two Delaware newspapers (May 22, 2016)
Proposed rule published in the 6/1/2016 issue of the Delaware Register of Regulations (June 1, 2016)
Public Hearing (June 22, 2016)
Public Hearing comment period closes (July 7, 2016)
Secretary Order signed (expected July 2016)
Final rule published in the Delaware Register of Regulations (Sept. 1, 2016)
Effective date of rule (Sept. 11, 2016)

Related links

Register of Regulations

For more information, contact:
David Fees

Revised: 7/06/16

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