ACA introduced the industry and stressed the valuable role of paint and coatings in delivering high-quality foodstuffs, durable goods, housing, furniture, and thousands of other products to market, as well as the national economy. As such, ACA identified the following seven legislative and policy priorities:
Infrastructure Investment: ACA supports efforts to modernize the nation’s infrastructure while stimulating jobs and the economy and urges broad-based investment in infrastructure repair including increased public and private funding; a state-of-the-art information and telecommunications system; modern road, wastewater and drinking water systems; and improved inland waterways and ports;
Immigration Reform: Reform of an outdated, broken immigration system is essential to achieve a fully revitalized economy that provides rewarding and lasting jobs opportunities, as well as access to a qualified workforce;
Legal Reform: ACA supports legal reform to restore balance, fairness, and predictability of today’s justice system, which is overburdened and being used improperly, and believes that such reform would protect the due process rights of corporate defendants while not infringing upon the rights of injured plaintiffs to be compensated;
Energy Policy: Embrace domestic energy production strategy while expanding efficiency efforts. Oil, natural gas, and clean coal remain essential contributors to America’s energy security, but investments in other energy sources such as nuclear, alternative fuels, renewable energy, and energy efficiency must be made;
Regulatory Reform: Promote Congressional accountability of regulatory actions to ensure sound and fair administrative processes, and require regulatory flexibility analyses to include alternatives to the proposed rule that would maximize net economic benefits or minimize net economic costs;
Trade Policy: Strengthen international competitiveness and efforts to ensure a level playing field for U.S. exports, remove tariff and nontariff barriers to U.S. goods and services, and work to increase access to markets through free trade and other bilateral agreements; and
Tax Reform: Modernize tax administration and balance the budget to generate revenue and reduce spending. ACA supports a lower corporate tax rate; equitable treatment of small businesses filing under Subchapter S of the tax code in areas such as expensing of certain investments, a modern international tax system that does not contain disincentives to U.S. based manufacturing; and a robust capital cost-recovery system.
ACA hopes to collaborate with the new administration and Congress to achieve these goals.
On the regulatory side, ACA identified several regulatory impediments to business innovation and competitiveness that the industry believes significantly jeopardize its efforts to contribute to the emerging but still fragile economic recovery.
Currently, there are unreasonable delays in registrations under the amended Toxic Substances Control (TSCA) Section 5 due to imposition of a potential “unreasonable risk” determination standard that is not statutorily required, thereby preventing thousands of new products and uses from the marketplace. In addition, upcoming rules on the prioritization process for existing chemicals, the risk evaluation process for chemical reviews, and the inventory reset will be important for implementation. ACA urges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approach these rulemakings efficiently with an eye towards developing regulations that conform to the rule of law.
Extending the Review of the Ozone Standard to Every 10 years
Changes in the ozone standard that result from a review every five (5) years results in an unpredictable regulatory environment as each state and region evaluate their attainment status and potential state implementation plan amendments. ACA encourages EPA to extend review of the ozone standard to every 10 years to provide predictability and stability for chemical formulators while maintaining standards that are protective of human health and the environment.
Relief from “Once in, always in” Policy under National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Source Categories
1995 guidance from EPA mandates that once a source category is designated a major source under the agency’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants and certain add-on pollution control strategies are triggered, it is always a major source regardless of a reduction, or even elimination, of HAPS. Consequently, once the major source threshold is triggered, the policy does not allow for any relief from the add-on pollution control strategies, even when HAPS are eliminated or significantly reduced. Consequently, there is no incentive to reduce HAPS for a major source. ACA urges EPA to revisit this guidance and provide some relief to our companies who have developed technologies removing the hazardous air pollutants.
Saltwater BLM for Antifouling Coatings
EPA’s 2016 Draft Aquatic Life Ambient Estuarine/Marine Water Quality Criteria for Copper incorporates the biotic ligand model (BLM) into the standard. However, the data used to develop the BLM do not reflect the best available science. If not corrected, local water districts will continue to implement unrealistically low Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for copper, which will require the coatings industry to reformulate with less effective active ingredients to protect against marine fouling. Ultimately, finalization of the draft criteria document in its present state would threaten the use of copper in antifouling coatings increasing the impact that marine vessels have on the environment, including increasing the potential for the introduction of invasive species. ACA recommends that the underlying data used to develop the BLM be re-examined.
Reactivity Factors for Aerosol Coatings
The calculation methodology required to determine compliance for aerosol coatings does not use updated, scientifically developed, and peer-reviewed reactivity values for reactive organic compounds. These updated values are incorporated into the California regulation for aerosol coatings. EPA’s refusal to adopt these reactive values are a significant obstacle to manufacturing products that are compliant nationwide.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration Harmonization of HCS and GHS
Implementation of OSHA’s revised HCS is well behind the development of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling in most of the developed world. Consequently, OSHA compliant labels do not always pass muster around the globe. ACA supports a mechanism that would allow compliance with the most recent version of the GHS while allowing a transition period for current OSHA-compliant labels, thereby facilitating global commerce.
Federal Trade Commission Clarification of the “Green Guides”
ACA understands the importance of accurate and unambiguous information on product labels and urges the FTC to clarify the use of green claims to inform consumers of environmentally friendly characteristics of formulated products. There are currently several vacancies on the Commission and the current Chairwoman’s term will expire in 2017. ACA urges the new administration to seek out FTC candidates with extensive knowledge and experience in consumer communications and behaviors as well as solid business experience.
ACA urged members of the transition team to consider the aforementioned issues as they work on action plans for the top priorities of President-elect Trump’s administration.