The Urethane Blog

CA Regulatory Update

ACC appeals against California spray foam priority product designation

Organisation - SCPThe American Chemistry Council has filed an appeal to get California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to withdraw its designation of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) systems as a priority product under the Safer Consumer Products programme.

In a 2 January letter to the director of the DTSC, the ACC initiated the formal appeal process, reiterating an earlier request for the agency to withdraw the designation.

Under the SCP scheme, manufacturers of designated product-substance pairs are required to either complete an alternatives analysis to determine if a safer replacement is available, or reformulate to avoid the substance’s use.

Last year California designated SPF systems containing unreacted methylene diphenyl diisocyanates (MDI) its second priority product. In 2017 it had announced children’s foam-padded sleeping products containing flame retardants TDCPP or TCEP as the first product. However, as the marketplace had already phased the substances’ use out, this resulted in no notifications.

The designation of SPF systems has, however, been delayed by industry pushback. Last May, the ACC filed an informal protest regarding the listing. This temporarily halted the original September notification deadline.

The ACC argued that the DTSC should withdraw it because SPF systems do not meet the criteria for inclusion in the programme. And it said the department had not adequately demonstrated the potential for significant or widespread adverse effect from their use.

In a September meeting with them, the ACC proposed the agency enter into an enforceable consent agreement (ECA) instead to address concerns with the product.

The DTSC urged the ACC to ‘accept the results of this comprehensive, objective regulatory process, and comply with the requirements’

But in December, the DTSC rejected the request and said it was not permitted under the SCP Regulation to enter into an ECA. In its response it urged the ACC to “accept the results of this comprehensive, objective regulatory process, and comply with the requirements”.

This response prompted the ACC into filing their appeal which also reiterated the organisation’s request for the DTSC to withdraw the priority product designation for SPF systems and to reconsider its view that it lacks the authority to enter into an ECA.

Entering an agreement, it said, “would be the most time- and cost-efficient solution, would allow the public an opportunity to participate through public comments and public hearings, and could produce an alternatives analysis as one possible outcome.”

The ACC told Chemical Watch it is offering a ‘reasonable and responsible path forward that helps the state achieve its public health objectives in a faster, simpler, and more collaborative manner’

A spokesperson for the ACC told Chemical Watch it is offering a “reasonable and responsible path forward that helps the state achieve its public health objectives in a faster, simpler and more collaborative manner.”

The requirement for SPF manufacturers to notify the DTSC has been paused during the informal dispute process. The formal process will result in an additional stay, a spokesperson for the agency confirmed to Chemical Watch.

https://chemicalwatch.com/73040/acc-appeals-california-spray-foam-priority-product-designation