ISSA LARU—California Finalizes VOC Regs

September 9, 2022 ISSA LARU—California Finalizes VOC Regs

Welcome to the latest ISSA Legislative & Regulatory Update, a biweekly roundup of the public-policy issues currently impacting the full cleaning supply chain. This update touches on California revising its VOC regulations, the upcoming live and in-person ISSA-HCPA regulatory workshop, a new bill in Congress to enhance railroad service, and more.

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And be sure to check out the latest installment of our video series, Cleaning Is Essential, with ISSA Director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft, to learn more about the top three advocacy issues impacting the cleaning industry right now.

ISSA Advocacy

California Revises VOC Regulations
On August 1, California finalized its amendments to the Regulations for Reducing VOC Emissions from Consumer Products that were approved by the California Air Resources Board back in March 2021. The revisions, which became effective August 1, 2022, impose lower VOC limits on a number of household and commercial cleaning product categories, sunset the 2% exemption for fragrances, prohibit the sale of certain products containing listed toxic substances, and modify Test Method 310. In general, these revisions must be complied with by January 1, 2023, unless otherwise noted. 

It’s Not Too Late to Register – Hot Topics: Cleaning Products Workshop 2022
Ensure your continued success in the marketplace by attending the Cleaning Products Workshop, a one-day live and in-person event that will address the latest regulatory and sustainability issues along with other trending topics that impact the manufacturing, packaging, marketing, and sale of household and commercial cleaning products. This one-of-a-kind program, presented by HCPA and ISSA, features the following hot topics that will impact your business for years to come:

  • Update on packaging
  • News from Green Seal, EPA Safer Choice, and ECOLOGO
  • Update on California Proposition 65, Short Form Warnings, and other news
  • State and federal regulation of PFAS
  • VOC regulatory update on states and Canada
  • Microplastics and the cleaning industry

This workshop will be conducted in conjunction with ISSA Show North America 2022 on October 10, starting with breakfast at 8 am; the program runs from 9 am to 5 pm at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center. ISSA members should use the promo code “ISSA2022” when registering to receive discounted member pricing.


New Bill Targets Railroad Service, Demurrage Practices
The Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act would prohibit a railroad from raising rates during a service emergency and allow shippers who own their own railcars to assess demurrage charges against railroads. However, the legislation likely will not make it past the proposal stage due to a lack of Republican support, according to David Sparkman of David Sparkman Consulting in this Material Handling & Logistics article.


CDC: Monkeypox Can Linger on Common Household Items
The monkeypox virus can linger on many common household objects, though it is not yet clear if that can spread the infection, according to a new government study, Bloomberg News reported. Two monkeypox patients sharing a home said that they disinfected surfaces, washed their hands several times a day, and showered regularly. Researchers still found the virus on 70% of high-contact areas 20 days after their symptoms began, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. However, no live virus was detected on any of the items or surfaces, suggesting that the risk that infections could spread is low. The CDC said that cleaning and disinfection practices may have limited the amount of contamination in the home.

EPA Calls for Nominations for Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting nominations for the 2023 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The agency’s annual awards program honors companies or institutions that have developed a new green chemistry process or product that helps protect human health and the environment. Nominations are due by December 9. An independent panel of experts will judge all submissions and make recommendations to the agency for the winning entries. The EPA will then present awards to outstanding green chemistry technologies in six categories in the fall of 2023.

FMC Seeks Comments on Possible Emergency Order to Share Information
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission is seeking public comment on whether supplychain congestion has created conditions warranting the issuance of an emergency order requiring common carriers and marine terminal operators to share key information with shippers, truckers, and railroads, according to Supply Chain Brain.

US-Taiwan Trade Talks Begin as Counter to China
The US and Taiwan will begin formal talks on a trade and economic initiative, following through on a planned promise to deepen ties amid opposition from China, Bloomberg News reported. The first round of trade talks is scheduled to occur “early this fall,” the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement, unveiling a negotiating mandate for the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade that was announced in June. Discussions will cover trade facilitation, regulatory practices, anti-corruption standards, deepening agricultural trade, and other issues, the office said.

CDC Updates COVID-19 Recommendations for Schools
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its recommendations for safe in-person learning for K-12 schools as well as early care and education programs, according to Cleaning & Maintenance Management. Among its current strategies for everyday operations are the continued recommendations regarding good air quality and ventilation, proper hand hygiene, and adequate cleaning and disinfecting.

Biden Emergency Board Calls for Railroad Wage Increases to Resolve Contract Talks
U.S. President Joe Biden’s emergency board tasked with helping major freight railroads and unions end a contract negotiation stalemate proposed annual wage increases of between 4% and 7% through 2024, Reuters reported.

U.S. Treasury Approves $750M in Small Business Capital for Four States
The U.S. Treasury Department approved four additional state plans for the State Small Business Credit Initiative worth $750 million, bringing total approvals under the COVID-19 recovery venture capital program to $2.25 billion, according to Reuters.

State News

California Plastics Law Likely to Have National Impact
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation (SB 54) on June 30 that imposes the nation’s most far-reaching regulations on single-use plastics. So far reaching that observers believe that the law is likely to have significant influence well beyond the Golden State’s borders, LexisNexis reported. The measure that Newsom signed makes California the fourth state to adopt a policy of extended producer responsibility toward plastic packaging.

Cal/OSHA May Continue COVID-19 Policies Beyond 2022 
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will meet September 15 to hear public comments on extending the state’s COVID-19 workplace safety standard, put in place in 2020 and set to expire December 31, according to Business Insurance.