Beveridge & Diamond

ARB Announces Settlements for Violations of California Consumer Product VOC Regulations

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., January 26, 2011

On January 18, 2011, the California Air Resources Board (“ARB”) announced two settlements totaling $460,256 for violations of the State’s Consumer Product volatile organic compound (“VOC”) regulations.[1]  These regulations prohibit the sale, supply, offer for sale, or manufacture for sale in California of any listed product which, at the time of sale or manufacture, contains VOCs in excess of specified limits.[2]

The first company, Armstrong Hardwood Flooring Company, was fined $228,000 for the illegal distribution of 35,700 gallons of a hardwood and laminate floor cleaner that exceeded permissible VOC thresholds. The second company, Wurth, USA, was fined $232,256 for the illegal distribution of a lubricant, as well as 43 additional products, that exceeded permissible California VOC thresholds.

These two settlements represent the latest in a string of VOC consumer product enforcement actions brought by ARB against product distributors.  For example, in early 2010 the California Attorney General successfully prosecuted Pro’s Choice Beauty Care, Inc., at the urging of ARB, for illegal distribution of hair-care products that violated ARB consumer product VOC thresholds.  See March 30, 2010 Beveridge & Diamond Client Alert.  This crackdown is part of a statewide effort to reduce VOC emissions from consumer products through expansion and rigorous enforcement of ARB and local air district VOC regulations.  See Beveridge & Diamond California VOC client alerts, from December 7, 2010, November 17, 2010, and September 30, 2009.

For questions on how the California Consumer Product VOC regulations may impact your business or products, contact Laura Duncan (, Amy Lincoln ( or Daniel Brian (

[1] The announcement can be found here.

[2] The California VOC limits and effective dates for specific products are listed in Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, section 94509.  Regulated consumer products include, but are not limited to: adhesives; air fresheners; automotive maintenance supplies; cleaning products; fabric, furniture, and floor maintenance products; hair, nail, and personal care products; insecticides/herbicides; lubricants/penetrants; sanitizers; etc.