Monday, December 2, 2019

USMCA: Coatings Industry Urges Swift Passage


Last week, ACA and U.S. paint and coatings industry, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging action to enact the USMCA: United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

The USMCA will provide multiple benefits to the paint and coatings industry including tariff-free markets as well as new digital trade provisions which will help to open cross-border communication and facilitate trade. The agreement will also help to create a simpler importation process with the use of a streamlined import-document submission procedure. Higher de minimis shipment values will catalyze trade, and regulatory transparency provisions will ease regulatory burdens on our industry members.

The U.S. coatings manufacturing base exports a significant portion of its production to Mexico and Canada — approximately $1.85 billion in 2018, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the industry’s exports — and the United States benefits from a consistently strong trade surplus with both countries.

“Waiting any longer to approve this important trade agreement only introduces more uncertainty in our supply chain and end markets,” the letter stated.

“The USMCA is a much-needed upgrade to NAFTA and is a win for America’s paint industry and U.S. manufacturing in general. We urge you to act now.”

The USMCA maintains and augments many benefits for the United States and its varied industries: promoting U.S. exports, boosting manufacturing, addressing changes in the modern economy over the last 25 years, including digital trade; and it also expands labor and environmental provisions in the original NAFTA for trading partner countries, among many other enhancements.

The USMCA simplifies the overall process of importation since trading partners must establish or maintain a single-window system enabling the electronic submission through a single point of the documentation and data necessary for importation. This single-window system’s electronic submission coupled with transparency procedures supports the use of blockchain for global supply chains. Blockchain may increase the efficiency and security of customs and product safety supply-chain traceability.

For months, ACA has urged Congress to partner with the current Administration to enact this important trade agreement to preserve the very real benefits that the coatings industry has seen from a North American trade accord over the past two and a half decades.

Contact ACA’s Heidi McAuliffe for more information.

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Monday, November 18, 2019

EPA Proposes Additional Substantiation Questions for TSCA Inventory CBI Claims


Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed revisions to the confidential business information (CBI) substantiation requirements for the identity of chemicals on the Toxic Substances Control Act TSCA Inventory. Specifically, EPA is proposing two additional questions addressing reverse engineering that companies would be required to answer to substantiate CBI claims for specific chemical identities; and is proposing procedures for companies to use in amending certain previously-submitted substantiations to include responses to the additional questions.

These proposed revisions supplement the proposed rule issued in the Federal Register of April 23, 2019, and would amend the TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Requirements rule promulgated in the Federal Register of Aug. 11, 2017.

EPA’s proposal stems from a recent D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling in litigation involving the Inventory Reset Rule. Companies that filed a claim to maintain a confidential identity when filing Form A, during the initial TSCA Inventory Rule reporting period, or when filing Form B, after the final inventory took effect, must respond to substantiate claims.

EPA is proposing to add the following questions to 40 CFR 710.37(c)(2):

  1. Does this particular chemical substance leave the site of manufacture or processing in any form, e.g., as product, effluent, emission? If so, what measures have been taken to guard against the discovery of its identity?
  1. If the chemical substance leaves the site in a product that is available to the public or your competitors, can the chemical substance be identified by analysis of the product?

All persons who submitted substantiation information at the time of filing Form A would be required to submit responses within 90 days after the rule takes effect. This information would also be required for Form B submissions and later substantiations of Form A submissions.

EPA is accepting comments on the proposal through Dec. 9, 2019.


EPA’s TSCA Inventory Reset Rule establishes the process by which substances on the TSCA Inventory are designated as “active” or “inactive” in commerce. Once the TSCA Inventory has been “reset,” no one is permitted to manufacture or process an inactive chemical substance without first submitting a notification to EPA. As of Aug. 5, 2019, companies must notify EPA prior to initiating commercial activity with a chemical designated as “inactive” on the TSCA Inventory. ACA’s guidance addresses company obligations, including challenges presented where a manufacturer has listed a chemical on the TSCA Inventory as confidential.

The Inventory Reset Rule allowed companies to substantiate confidential identities at the time of filing Form A or at a later time as specified by EPA. For companies choosing to substantiate at a later time, in April 2019 EPA proposed using the same CBI substantiation questions used in the Inventory Reset Rule to substantiate at the time of filing Form A.

EPA’s Nov. 8, 2019 proposal would affect both companies that substantiated at the time of filing and those that would substantiate later, under the April 2019 proposal, as amended by this proposal.

EPA’s proposal is in response to the D.C. Circuit Court’s Opinion issued on April 26, 2019 (EDF v. EPA, Case No. 17-1201), adjudicating a petition filed by NGO’s contesting the Inventory Reset Rule (“Active-Inactive Rule” in EPA’s federal register notice). The Court held that EPA must include specific questions addressing whether chemical identity can be discovered through reverse engineering. Prior to this ruling, EPA required certification that identity is not discoverable through reverse engineering.

In this rulemaking, EPA is proposing two additional questions related to reverse engineering to substantiate claims of confidential identity. EPA is also proposing procedures for manufacturers and processors to use in amending previously-submitted substantiations to include responses to the additional questions.

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman for more information.

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EPA Designates Aerosol Cans as Universal Waste

On Nov. 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final rule adding hazardous waste aerosol cans to the universal waste program under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. According to the pre-publication notice, this change will benefit the “wide variety of establishments generating and managing hazardous waste aerosol cans, including the retail sector, by providing a clear, protective system for managing discarded aerosol cans.”

ACA supported this move by EPA when it was proposed in March 2018. The rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Under the reclassification, aerosol cans, pressurized or spent — including spray paint cans — will be treated and handled as universal waste. In 1995, EPA promulgated the universal waste rule to establish a streamlined hazardous waste management system for widely generated hazardous wastes to encourage environmentally sound collection and proper management of the wastes within the system. Hazardous waste batteries, certain hazardous waste pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, and hazardous waste lamps are already included on the federal list of universal wastes. The universal waste regulations in 40 CFR part 273 are a set of alternative hazardous waste management standards that operate in lieu of regulation under 40 CFR parts 260 through 272 for specified hazardous wastes.

The streamlined universal waste regulations are expected to ease regulatory burdens on retail stores and others that discard hazardous waste aerosol cans; promote the collection and recycling of these cans; and encourage the development of municipal and commercial programs to reduce the quantity of these wastes going to municipal solid waste landfills or combustors.

Because not all states have adopted the same federal regulations under RCRA, waste regulations are different across the United States. Notably, five states — California, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Ohio — already have universal waste aerosol can programs in place; and Minnesota has proposed to add aerosol cans to their universal waste regulations. The universal waste programs in all these states include streamlined management standards like 40 CFR part 273 for small and large quantity handlers of universal waste, and a one-year accumulation time limit for the aerosol cans. In addition, the four state universal waste programs, as well as Ohio’s proposed regulations, set standards for puncturing and draining of aerosol cans by universal waste handlers.

More information on EPA’s Universal Waste Program may be found here.

Contact ACA’s  Rhett Cash for more information.

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Oskar Nolte Purchases Former BASF Foil Coatings Business from Akzo Nobel

Oskar Nolte GmbH has announced the acquisition of AkzoNobel’s Industrial Foil Coatings business. AkzoNobel bought the Foil Coatings business as part of the acquisition of BASF Coatings Industrial Coatings business.

Nolte stated that it plans to continue operations at the Münster/Germany site and expand its product development capabilities in the medium-term. The company added that it will focus its development on eco-efficient, global solutions for its customers.

Nolte is part of Hamburg-based Peter Möhrle Holding. The family-owned company said that it intends to support organic growth as well as acquisitions of its portfolio companies.

“We are excited to grow our business in a segment which is strongly complementary to our current activities. The foil coatings products have been established for many years at our future customers,” said Arne Deußen, CEO of Oskar Nolte. “Also, the team has a history of innovations and stretching the boundaries of the product offer further. Our focus on large industrial customers will allow us to run the business with a high level of service and flexibility in the future. This should lead to a strong long-term partnership with our customers.”

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SONGWON Opens Technical Service Coating Laboratory in South Korea

SONGWON Industrial Group has opened a technical service coating laboratory at its Maeam manufacturing facility in South Korea. According to SONGWON, it now has all the necessary devices, tools, and stations for both powder and liquid coating applications.

The laboratory is located next to SONGWON’s R&D headquarters and global application community, which according to SONGWON, means that the organization can take advantage of the innovation synergy. The company stated that it is prepared to support customers develop and find solutions to formulation issues relating to UV and temperature stabilization, as well as UV curing.

SONGWON will use the laboratory to test the new molecules that its R&D team is developing and screen performance based on the different binders and formulation types that the customers in specific industries are using. SONGWON’s team of chemist and technicians is also dedicated to rapidly finding solutions to the stabilization challenges that customers in the industry are facing, the company added.

“Since this summer, we have already started working with several of our key customers to find the best packages to fit their needs and their applications,” explains Rosanna Telesca, leader of the Market Center Coatings. “Our new technical service laboratory will also be helping us to create value for our customers by boosting the technical developments of a new molecule, a new blend or even a new physical form for an existing product.”

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Benjamin Moore Opens Distribution Center in Lewisville

Benjamin Moore has opened a 238,000-square-foot distribution in Lewisville, Texas. “Upgrading our distribution center will allow us to not only increase local business but to support a thriving community through employment and business opportunities,” said Bill Johnson, Benjamin Moore senior VP, Supply Chain.

Benjamin Moore previously operated in a 70,000-square-foot distribution center in Mesquite, Texas that will continue to serve as its manufacturing facility. By increasing its warehouse presence by more than 168,000-square-feet, the new distribution center in Lewisville reportedly created 13 new jobs.

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Perstorp Invests in Penta Business in India

Perstorp has unveiled plans to invest in the construction of a new Pentaerythritol (Penta) production facility in Gujarat, India. According to the company, the Gujarat plant will produce Penta, including the renewable grades of Voxtar™, providing up to a 60% reduced carbon footprint.

Construction of the Gujarat plant started in October this year, with commercial production planned to begin in Q1 2022. When fully operational, the site will reportedly employ 120 people. The investment will significantly expand Perstorp’s Penta production capacity, designed to produce 40 KT of Penta per annum from 2022, the company said.

“Perstorp is the global market leader in Penta and the market demand for these products is steadily growing. The new Penta plant in India marks a major milestone in our growth strategy, and we are confident that this will not only increase the security of supply for current, as well as new, customers but also further strengthen our position long-term as a sustainable and reliable partner in this region,” said Jan Secher, president and CEO.

Perstorp stated that India is a strategic market with a growing demand for coatings, and it has been planning to strengthen its foothold there for several years. In February 2016, Perstorp signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation as a step in evaluating the opportunity to invest in a new world scale production plant for Penta in the country.

“As a chemical company our strategy is to maximize value from our production plants and find smarter ways to increase capacity within the existing facilities. However, this investment is critical for us to make a major leap in terms of growth. It is our firm belief that this is the right time and place to expand our business,” said Magnus Heimburg, CFO.

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