Industry Priorities

ACA is committed to advocating its industry priorities at all levels of government. As such, PaintPAC has identified the following as the most pressing issues facing the industry during the current election cycle, and will seek out the appropriate candidates that support its principal advocacy positions.

 

 

Implementation of PaintCARE/PPSI Efforts

ACA's Post Consumer Paint Legislation enables the industry and its new non-profit product stewardship organization "PaintCare" to institute state-wide programs for the collection, reuse, recycling, and proper disposal of consumer left-over architectural paint. This legislation is necessary to ensure a level-playing field for all manufacturers and retailers and to ensure anti-trust protection for this industry-led program.

While ACA has been proactive in pursing a product stewardship approach for post-consumer paint management, most notably our PaintCare Oregon pilot program, it has also been responsive as several states pursue Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework legislation or paint stewardship legislation that does not comport with the PaintCare program.

The PaintCare program was brought about through a national dialogue devoted to bringing key parties together to jointly solve problems related to post-consumer paint management. The national dialogue entitled, "the Paint Product Stewardship Initiative" (PPSI), involves representatives from the paint industry, state and local governments, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recyclers, and retailers, among others. Throughout its participation in the PPSI, ACA has stressed that consumer education must be a cornerstone of the system, to reduce the volume of leftover paint and the cost of its ultimate management, and that whatever program put in place must provide environmental benefit and be as cost-effective as possible. What's more, ACA has always maintained that industry, government and the consumer must partner to share the responsibility for a coordinated system.

Thus, ACA and PaintCare support the model PPSI approach to post-consumer paint management and not EPR framework legislation, which generally gives unprecedented authority to state agencies to dictate the terms of product stewardship programs, for which manufacturers' and ultimately the consumer would have to pay. ACA has supported the PaintCare legislation in Minnesota, Oregon, California, Vermont, and Connecticut, but has opposed framework legislation in every state that has introduced such over the last two years.

 

Chemicals Management/TSCA Reform/Green Chemistry

In 2010, two bills were introduced that seek to modernize the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). As drafted, these legislative proposals would expand the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) authority to require manufacturers and importers to provide any data needed to determine a chemical's safety and to take action beyond what TSCA currently permits to restrict chemicals that may pose a high risk to the public. The proposals would also place a tremendous burden on industry to demonstrate that such substances are safe, in order to remain in the market.

ACA is developing a chemicals management policy/advocacy, which may include consideration of the development and promotion of pro-active legislative proposals on chemicals management reform rather than wait for action by the U.S. Congress.

 

H.R. 2868 - The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has required certain "high risk" chemical facilities, including a number of coatings manufacturers, to submit data on certain chemicals of interest and has directed a number of them to submit security vulnerability assessments (SVA). DHS has subsequently assigned a number of those manufacturers to one of four risk tiers and required them to develop and submit Site Security Plans (SSP). Meanwhile, Congress continues to address chemical security, with both the House and Senate considering legislation to continue, and possibly expand, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). The House recently passed legislation that includes new requirements intended to minimize risk, an approach often referred to as "inherently safer technology," or IST.

ACA, along with most chemical industry associations, has expressed its concerns over mandatory IST, as it has a great potential for imposing increased and disproportionate costs on the U.S. chemical industry.

 

Reauthorization of Hazardous Materials Transportation Act

The federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA) requires periodic reauthorization. In the past, reauthorization efforts were stymied by labor vs. industry disputes over the respective jurisdictions of the Departments of Labor and Transportation. With the advent of the Department of Homeland Security, those jurisdictional disputes have grown even more difficult.

HMTA reauthorization is controversial, not only because of the historical issues of scope of authority and jurisdiction, but because of the heightened focus on safety and security of dangerous goods and the increasing globalization of the coatings industry. At issue in this most recent reauthorization campaign is enhanced authority to "open and inspect packages in transit," procedures for Special Permits, and the allocation of resources for international harmonization.

 

Clean Air Issues

For several decades, ambient air quality issues had a significant impact on every manufacturing function in the paint industry and on every single sector, including architectural, industrial, marine, aerospace and other specialty coatings such as aerosol coatings and adhesives. Federal, state and local environmental agencies continue to exert pressure on the industry to reduce the emissions of volatile organic compounds due to the ozone standard established by the U.S. EPA under the Clean Air Act.

Currently, the ozone standard is 0.075 ppm, a level that was adopted in 2008. Hundreds of counties are already unable to meet this standard; yet, US EPA is poised to lower this to somewhere between 0.060 and 0.070 ppm. Consequently, it is clear that these regulatory pressures will continue in the short and long term. In addition, the development of "Green Building" codes at third party non-governmental organizations are beginning to gain in importance in the regulatory framework, adding to the pressure already exerted by governmental agencies. At this moment, there are active rulemakings which will impact aerosol coatings, aerosol adhesives, industrial adhesives, industrial surface coatings, architectural coatings at the federal, state and regional agencies.

 

Tort Reform and Judicial Fairness

For over a decade, ACA members have been caught in the cross-hairs of business-threatening toxic tort (e.g. lead, asbestos, benzene, crystalline silica) individual; class-action; and public nuisance-styled suits brought by state attorneys general (and their municipal counterparts) via contingency fee arrangements with trial attorneys. Often, these cases are aided by special state legislation designed to abrogate traditional basic due process and proof requirements of product identification, causation, proper scientific basic, rational recovery and damages. In response, ACA works on behalf of legal fundamental fairness and restoration of traditional protections for its membership on several different levels, including advocacy for tort reform and judicial fairness in state legislatures fighting special legislation enabling novel liability theories such as market share; and via advancing model progressive legislation curtailing misuse of public nuisance and other liability weapons.

 

Consumer Product Stewardship (Anti-Graffiti/Inhalant Abuse Advocacy Efforts)

Cleaning up graffiti on public walkways, alleys, public and private buildings and structures continues to be a financial burden to decision makers in the cities, municipalities and states. With significant budget shortfalls facing the cities and states, low-cost solutions to graffiti vandalism are imperative. ACA, and its affiliated National Council to Prevent Delinquency, continues to work to assist cities in the adoption of Responsible Retailing strategies, rather than resorting to bans and other unproductive, unfair supply-side controls.

 

Climate Change

While Congressional action controlling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is not expected this year, and EPA may be restrained from implementing promulgated GHG regulations by law suits, the states continue to move forward with their own rules and regulations. California, Oregon, Massachusetts and New Jersey, to mention a few, already have voluntary or mandatory GHG programs in their states.

ACA supports a federal legislative solution to climate policy instead of the regulation of green house gases (GHGs) under the current Clean Air Act by EPA. ACA believes that the Clean Air Act, as currently structured, can not be used to address a challenge such as climate policy; it was not designed to address GHGs and is an ill-suited mechanism to address the complexities of climate policy, which must be addressed by Congress and not EPA.