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National Paint & Coatings Ass'n v. South Coast Air Quality Management Dist.

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20226
Nos. No. G040122, (Cal. App. 4th Dist., 09/29/2009)

A California appellate court remanded in part a lower court decision denying a paint manufacturing association's petition challenging amendments to an air district rule limiting the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) allowed in various kinds of paints and coatings. The association argued that the rule specifies air emissions limits that are not actually "available" and "achievable." However, the record shows that except for two categories—quick-dry enamels and rust preventative coating—there are products that comply with the new VOC limits. The products, therefore, are both available and achievable, even if there is not much of it by way of variety or market penetration. But as to quick-dry enamels and rust preventative categories of coatings, the matter is remanded. The lower court must hold a hearing to determine whether there is any current state of the art technology available to comply with the revised limits on VOCs. If the trial court determines that there is not, the trial court shall grant the relief requested by the paint association as to those two categories of coatings only.