|To Whom It May Concern:
This is to advise you that, subject to the terms set forth in this letter, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) will exercise its authority to utilize enforcement discretion with respect to certain provisions of 6 NYCRR Part 205 (Part 205) concerning the regulation of Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) Coatings. The Department will exercise this authority as set forth below in lieu of full compliance with Part 205.
On December 12, 2019, the Department revised Part 205 to further reduce the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from AIM coatings. These revisions, effective January 11, 2020, will help reduce the formation of harmful ground-level ozone and further New York’s efforts in complying with the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone. Among other things, Part 205 requires AIM coating manufacturers to meet enumerated VOC content limits for AIM coating categories. The revisions reduced VOC content limits for 12 existing categories, established VOC content limits for 12 new categories, and eliminated 15 categories altogether. Manufacturers have until January 1, 2021 to comply with the reduced content limits for existing categories, as well as content limits for new categories. Attendant changes were also made to definitions and to container labeling requirements for AIM coatings.
On March 7, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202 declaring a disaster emergency for the entire State of New York, along with several subsequent Executive Orders to address the COVID emergency. AIM coatings manufacturers in the State have also been adversely impacted by this pandemic. In particular, manufacturers have informed the Department that COVID has disrupted and continues to disrupt their manufacturing capacity, access to raw material suppliers, and testing laboratories. As a result, manufacturers report that they will not be able to comply with the Department’s January 1, 2021 compliance deadline related to reduced VOC content limits for AIM coating categories.
Acknowledging the impact on the actions and operations of New York State businesses and the regulated community due to the COVID emergency, the Department is providing under this enforcement discretion to AIM coatings manufacturers an additional 12 months, until January 1, 2022 to: (1) comply with reduced VOC content limits for existing AIM coating categories as set forth in the Table in Subdivision 205.3(a), which was revised on December 12, 2019; and (2) continue to comply with the VOC content limits for categories otherwise eliminated as a result of these revisions as set forth in the Table in Subdivision 205.3(a); and (3) comply with new container labeling requirements as set forth in Section 205.4, which was also revised on December 12, 2019.
Additionally, all definitions in Section 205.2, as revised on December 12, 2019, remain in effect, except that for the purpose of this enforcement discretion all references to products manufactured "on and after January 1, 2021" shall mean "on and after January 1, 2022."
All other provisions of Part 205 remain in effect and will be enforced.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Questions regarding this enforcement discretion should be directed to Ona Papageorgiou of the Division of Air Resources at (518) 402-8396.