By mid-May, the Illinois Pollution Control Board is expected to finalize a proposed state regulation that would prohibit the manufacturing or sale in Illinois of any commercial or consumer products containing volatile organic material (“VOM”) in excess of specified limits as of July 1, 2009. Another proposed Illinois regulation would similarly prohibit the manufacturing, blending, or repackaging for sale in Illinois of any architectural and industrial maintenance (“AIM”) products containing VOM in excess of specified limits as of July 1, 2009.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency estimates that adoption of the proposed regulations (35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 223) will reduce VOM emissions from commercial and consumer products by more than 14% over those achieved by the current federal rule, or by more than 6400 tons of VOM daily. The proposed regulations impose limits on the VOM content of wide variety of products, including:

  • adhesives and sealants
  • agricultural chemicals
  • polishes and waxes
  • cleaners and disinfectants
  • lacquers, varnishes, enamels and other coatings
  • cosmetics
  • deodorants
  • soap and other detergents
  • hair shampoos, rinses and conditioners
  • window cleaners
  • paints
  • perfumes and colognes
  • toiletries
  • insecticides, herbicides and fungicides

In addition to imposing limits on the VOM content of these products, the proposed regulations also impose new product labeling, recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Products that are manufactured in Illinois for exclusive shipment and use outside of the state are exempt.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has identified over 500 Illinois manufacturers who could be affected by the new VOM limits. There are an unknown number of out-of-state manufacturers intending to sell their products in Illinois who would also be affected. Companies that will be subject to the new VOM limits but unable to meet the expected July 1, 2009 compliance deadline can apply for a variance from the Illinois Pollution Control Board, but must demonstrate that compliance by July 1, 2009 will cause an “arbitrary or unreasonable hardship.” A variance petition filed within twenty days of the regulations’ July 1, 2009 effective date will stay enforcement during pendency of the variance proceeding.