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Rulemaking to Reduce Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds Finalized

Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Rulemaking to Reduce Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds in the District has Been Finalized

(Washington, DC) -- A 183-page rulemaking to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds in the District has been finalized, according to District Department of Environment (DDOE).  Volatile organic compounds are emitted by thousands of commercial and household products, such as paints and primers, cleaning solvents and supplies, glues and sealants, and printing inks and solutions. 

“This long-anticipated rulemaking will ensure that the collective accomplishment of everyday tasks by District businesses and residents pollutes the air less,” said Christophe Tulou, DDOE Director.

VOCs are precursors to ground-level ozone, a principle component of smog that is formed in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight.  The Washington, DC Metropolitan area does not meet the Clean Air Act standards for ground-level ozone.  High levels of ozone in the ambient air cause health problems such as eye and throat irritation; breathing difficulties, even for healthy individuals, but especially for those with respiratory problems such as allergies, asthma, bronchitis and emphysema; and leads to greater susceptibility to respiratory infection. 

The VOC regulations were first proposed in the D.C. Register on May 18, 2007.  Since then, there have been several public hearings and revisions based on comments by stakeholders.  The final rulemaking was published in the D.C. Register on December 30, 2011. Review the final rulemaking - 20 DCMR Chapter 7.

Donna Henry (DDOE) 
[email protected]

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