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Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) Coatings Regulatory Revision


DNREC proposes to revise Section 1.0 of Regulation 1141 by adopting the Ozone Transport Commission’s (OTC) most recent model rule for architectural and industrial maintenance (AIM) coatings as part of the Division of Air Quality's continuing program to bring Delaware into compliance with the EPA national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. Delaware has made significant reductions in emissions of ground-level ozone precursors, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOC), but EPA continues to impose tighter controls as the NAAQS has been tightened.
Delaware’s first AIM regulation was approved in 2002 (with a 2005 compliance date) and later revised in 2006 with minor corrections. The 2002 Delaware rule was based upon the 2000 OTC model rule which, in turn, was based upon the 2000 California Air Resources Board (CARB) Suggested Control Measure (SCM) for architectural coatings. The SCM is a California model rule that the 36 California air districts are encouraged to adopt to combat ground-level ozone non-attainment. Currently, about 20 California districts have adopted the original SCM. The remaining districts, mostly in northern California, that are in attainment of the NAAQS are subject to the much-less-stringent federal AIM rule of 1998.

California, often regarded as having the worst air quality in the nation, has a long history of regulating architectural coatings, starting in 1977, well in advance of the federal rule. California revised its rule in 1985, 1989, 2000, and again in 2007, the basis of the current OTC model rule. California has invested significant scientific effort in developing their successive AIM rule revisions. The state has a longstanding relationship with Michigan State University to perform certain scientific studies related to the manufacture and performance of various AIM coatings, and frequently commissions studies with outside contractors to develop data related to AIM products, such as National Technical Systems, which developed data on exposure tests of certain formulations.

In setting up these studies, California invites manufacturers to participate in specifying how the studies will be carried out and measured. The California Air Resources Board also sponsors a recurring survey of the products available from a number of manufacturers and this survey provides a basis for reducing the VOC content of certain AIM rule categories based upon complying market share. In addition, whenever the SCM is revised, CARB invites all AIM manufacturers, associations and significant users to submit comments, either written or in-person, as the rulemaking process unfolds.

Finally, in preparing the OTC model rule, involved state personnel interface with CARB, manufacturers, associations and various state-involved entities to ensure that the OTC model rule reflects concerns that may differ from those of CARB. For these reasons DNREC's Division of Air Quality does not anticipate the need for a review committee or for a public workshop.

The OTC has adopted a policy of following behind the CARB rule amendment process allowing sufficient time for their rules to be in force to work out any problems. The CARB SCM had a compliance date of Jan. 1, 2010 for all but two categories. The two categories were Rust preventative coatings and Specialty primers, sealers and undercoats which had a compliance date of Jan. 1, 2012 based upon manufacturers need to develop certain formulations and testing procedures. The OTC model rule, with manufacturers’ agreement, specified a compliance date of Jan. 1, 2014, two years after the CARB date.

To date, two states have finalized AIM rules based upon the most recent OTC AIM model rule. These are Maryland, COMAR 26.11.39, final rule published Jan. 1, 2016, with a compliance date of exactly one year later, and Utah, R307-361, final rule published Oct. 31, 2013 with a compliance date of Jan. 1, 2015.

Based upon CARB experience, this rule revision will yield approximately one ton per day of VOC reductions in Delaware. A public hearing on the subject is scheduled for July 26, 2016 starting at 6 p.m. at DNREC’s Division of Air Quality office at State Street Commons, 100 W. Water Street, Suite 6-A, Dover, DE 19901.

Proposed Schedule of Activities
Legal Notice published in Delaware newspapers (June 19, 2016)
Proposed rule published in Delaware Register of Regulations (July 1, 2016)
Public hearing scheduled  (July 26, 2016)
Public hearing comment period closed  (Aug. 10, 2016)
Secretary's Order to be signed (August 2016)
Final rule to be published in Delaware Register of Regulations (Oct. 1, 2016)
Effective date of rule (Oct. 10, 2016)
Compliance date (March 1, 2017)

Related links

For more information, contact:
David Fees

revised: 7/06/16

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