National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Architectural Coatings

Section 183(e) of the Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from consumer and commercial products. VOC emissions contribute significantly to the formation of ground-level ozone (smog) which is associated with a wide variety of human health effects, agricultural crop loss, and damage to forests and ecosystems.

Regulations developed under section 183(e) must be based on "best available controls" (BAC). In the statute, BAC is defined as "The degree of emission reduction that the Administrator determines, on the basis of technological and economic feasibility, health, environmental, and energy impacts, is achievable through the application of the most effective equipment, measures, processes, methods, systems, or techniques, including chemical reformulation, product or feedstock substitution, repackaging, and directions for use, consumption, storage and disposal."

The Environmental Protection Agency published the architectural coatings rule on September 11, 1998. This rule limits the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) that manufacturers and importers of architectural coatings can put into their products. The rule also has container labeling requirements for architectural coatings. There are different options for complying with the VOC limits, including exemptions for products that may be hard to reformulate. You are subject to this rule if you manufacture (includes certain packaging and repackaging) or import an architectural coating for sale or distribution in the United States.

FACT SHEET - Architectural coatings (AIM).

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