South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is considering revising Rule 1171, which regulates solvent-cleaning operations in compliance with volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions limits. The goal is to prohibit the use of tert-butyl acetate (TBAC) and parachlorobenzotrifluoride (PCBTF) due to their identified carcinogenic properties. This recommendation follows the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s determination in 2020.

What are the Proposed Changes?

The proposed amendment aims to assess the feasibility of these prohibitions, including potential strategies to reduce emissions from auto body shops. In line with the South Los Angeles Community Emission Reduction Plan, SCAQMD will establish best management practices to reduce emissions from these facilities.

To achieve this, SCAQMD is exploring several options, including:

  1. Using alternative solvents that comply with current VOC limits.
  2. Considering alternative solvents that may require increased VOC limits as a phased approach to eliminate TBAC and PCBTF solvents, similar to Rule 1168 in November 2022 for adhesive and sealant applications.

Currently, SCAQMD staff is gathering information about the use of TBAC and PCBTF solvents in solvent-cleaning operations. Initial findings indicate limited usage of PCBTF, and no known cleaning solvents containing TBAC. Facilities are likely already utilizing lower VOC solvents.

The Proposed Solutions for TBAC and PCBTF solvents

Moving forward, SCAQMD plans to identify operations using TBAC or PCBTF solvents and work with the industry to find suitable alternative solvents or cleaning methods. They are actively seeking information from industries, suppliers, and stakeholders to inform their efforts. Additionally, visits to auto body shops are scheduled to observe solvent usage, and VOC limits from other agencies serving similar facilities will be compared.

These steps demonstrate SCAQMD’s commitment to reducing emissions and protecting the environment in the South Coast region.

During a recent SCAQMD working group meeting, Melissa Gamoning, an air quality specialist, mentioned the importance of understanding solvent use and exploring methods to reduce emissions in relation to it. However, there is limited information available, so stakeholders who believe they may be affected by this rule are encouraged to reach out to the SCAQMD.

Pacific Resource Recovery (PRR), a prominent waste hauler and solvent supplier in Los Angeles County, made the decision to stop selling solvent. The last day to place solvent orders with PRR is February 29th. 

Stay Up To Date

To learn more about Rule 1171 and access meeting information and related documents, please visit SCAQMD’s proposed rules page. Keep in mind that additional working group meetings will be held, but the specific dates have not yet been announced.