ACA Submits Comments to FMCSA on Pilot Project for Commercial Drivers Age 18 to 20

On Nov. 9, ACA submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on the agency’s proposed pilot project to study the safety impacts of allowing drivers 18-20 years old to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.

ACA supports this pilot project that would provide a way to authorize certain activity on an interim basis and, from that authorization, develop data that otherwise might be unobtainable. ACA believes that with such data, any decision on a permanent authorization for the ability of individuals aged 18 to 20 to drive trucks in interstate commerce can be made on a more informed basis.

Background

The United States is experiencing a significant shortage in truck drivers. According to the American Trucking Association’s Truck Driver Shortage Analysis published in July 2019, there were over 60,000 driving jobs that were not filled in 2018. That analysis stated, “When accounting for both industry growth and replacing drivers leaving their jobs, either from retirement or other reasons, the industry will need nearly 1.1 million new drivers over the coming decade, or just under 110,000 per year on average.”

This will result in a less efficient delivery network and an overall strain on the nation’s economy. Any further decline in the commercial driver’s license (CDL) driver pool will adversely affect the supply chain and delivery of necessary goods.

The shortage of qualified CDL drivers has been an ongoing concern for the paint and coatings industry nationwide. These jobs represent reliable employment, the opportunity for growth, and a pathway to long-term economic stability for qualified drivers in the workforce. FMCSA’s proposed pilot program has the opportunity to facilitate smoother functioning of the interstate freight transportation system through improved driver availability and safety.

ACA believes that with the proper training and equipment, successful 18 to 20-year-old CDL drivers will be better suited to acquire the necessary skills to operate commercial motor vehicles. FMCSA’s proposed pilot program will provide a greater understanding of the capabilities of a well-trained CDL driver and allow for an opportunity to evaluate how equipment, vehicle safety technologies, and driver training could potentially aid new entrants into the driver workforce.

In its comments, ACA encouraged the FMCSA to include as many trained and skilled drivers as possible in the pilot program, covering all segments and operational types. “Increasing opportunities for qualified, safe drivers will increase the CDL workforce pool, allowing industry to fill critical jobs and better manage their transportation needs, resulting in an overall positive impact on the nation’s economy,” ACA stated.

Notably, ACA also supports Congressional passage of the DRIVE Safe Act. This legislation would provide the opportunity for further training of individuals aged 18 to 20 by allowing their participation in an apprenticeship program that includes separate 120-hour and 280-hour probationary periods, during which drivers would operate commercial motor vehicles under the supervision of an experienced driver. Driver trainees would be required to meet specific performance benchmarks before advancing and would also drive vehicles equipped with active braking collision mitigation systems, forward-facing video event capture, and speed limits set to 65 miles per hour.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.

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OSHA Issues COVID-19 Tips on Ventilation in the Workplace

A new OSHA Alert provides tips on how employers can optimize building ventilation to reduce the risk of workers being exposed to the coronavirus.

OSHA advises that employers work with a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional to consider steps to optimize building ventilation. An HVAC professional can ensure that the ventilation system is operating as intended.

The agency offered the following tips to help reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus in the workplace:

  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure all HVAC systems are fully functional, especially those shut down or operating at reduced capacity during the pandemic.
  • Remove or redirect personal fans to prevent blowing air from one worker to another.
  • Use HVAC system filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 13 or higher, where feasible.
  • Increase the HVAC system’s outdoor air intake. Open windows or other sources of fresh air where possible.
  • Be sure exhaust air is not pulled back into the building from HVAC air intakes or open windows.
  • Consider using portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to increase clean air, especially in higher-risk areas.
  • When changing filters, wear appropriate personal protective equipment. ASHRAE recommends N95 respirators, eye protection (safety glasses, goggles, or face shields), and disposable gloves.
  • Make sure exhaust fans in restrooms are fully functional, operating at maximum capacity, and are set to remain on.
  • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov/coronavirus or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

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Axalta Partners with Master Paints in Pakistan

Axalta announced its new partnership with Master Paints Industries (Pvt) Ltd., a paint manufacturer in Pakistan that serves the country’s growing auto refinish market. Master Paints will distribute Axalta’s Standox® refinish brands and HIPIC® coating solutions in the MENA region.

 

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Evonik Completes Acquisition of Porocel Group

Evonik has completed the acquisition of the Texas-based Porocel Group for $210 million. According to Evonik, the acquisition will enable the expansion of the company’s catalyst business in the area of desulfurization catalysts, sulfur recovery catalysts, and adsorbents. Porocel’s approximately 300 employees and the corresponding production facilities will be integrated into Evonik’s Smart Materials division, while its sales channels will remain in place for the time being.

Porocel generated sales of approximately $100 million and EBITDA of about $23 million in 2019. The EBITDA margin at around 23 percent is above Evonik’s target range of 18-to-20 percent.

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Arkema Invests in U.S. Startup Adaptive3D, Developer of Polymer Resins for Additive Manufacturing

Arkema announced that it is leading the second round of investment in Adaptive3D, an additive manufacturing photopolymer resin supplier. According to Arkema, the American startup sells photopolymer resins to enable additive manufacturing of “tough, strain-tolerant, tear-resistant” rubber and plastic parts that are used in a range of applications in the consumer goods, healthcare, industrial, transportation, and oil and gas markets.

According to Arkema, this investment in Adaptive3D will allow the company to create opportunities for new applications in areas such as footwear, medical, automotive, and electronic appliances. “With materials developed to best meet market needs, both consumers and producers stand to benefit from the specialty and sustainable high-performance solutions developed by Arkema and Adaptive3D,” the company said in a statement.

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Troy Forms HomeShield™ Antimicrobial Cobranding Partnership with Pinturas Popular

Troy Corporation announced that the company has initiated a cobranding partnership with Pinturas Popular, a manufacturer of paints and coatings in the Dominican Republic. As part of the partnership, Troy has awarded Pinturas Popular the right to brand its paints and coatings with the HomeShield™ Antimicrobial Protection logo. According to the company, HomeShield™ branding certifies that the products incorporate Troy’s antimicrobial technology that is designed to inhibit the growth of mold, mildew, and algae.

“Pinturas Popular is a leader in the Latin American market, and their commitment to high quality also includes a dedication to offering the best antimicrobial protection available,” said Troy’s Frank Cangelosi, vice president, Marketing. “That is where Troy’s expertise adds value.”

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CIMBAR Performance Minerals Adds Palmer Holland to Distributor Network

CIMBAR Performance Minerals announced the restructuring of its U.S. sales and distribution network to include Palmer Holland. Palmer Holland will represent the following CIMBAR lines: barium sulphate, talc, magnesium hydroxide, sodium bentonite clays (Suspengel), and alumina trihydrate (ATH). Its distribution territory will include Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.

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Canada Restores Use of OIT in Paint and Coatings Products

Late last month, the Canadian Paint and Coatings Association (CPCA) announced that Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has restored the use of  commonly-used preservative OIT (octhilinone) in paint and coatings and related products sold in Canada. OIT is a critical ingredient used for the preservation of paint and stains.

OIT had been banned for use in these products by PMRA since May 2019.

This action by PMRA of this decision will ensure paint products access to a critical biocide preservative, but at a slightly lower limit, noted by agency as follows:

For use as a mildewcide in coatings such as latex and solvent-based paints, semi-transparent stains and solid stains. Use 1.2 to 1.8 Kg/1000 L of this product in coating formulations. The active ingredient in the above label is 45% OIT.

Background

OIT is among the biocides used in paints and coatings to prevent microbial growth and degradation during manufacturing and product shelf-life; ensure the product does not spoil before being used; and also protect the paint film after application.

In May 2019, Canada’s PMRA implemented a ban of OIT over industry objections, both from CPCA and ACA, following an agency exposure evaluation of OIT data.

With 45 percent of paint products sold in Canada being manufactured in the United States, the ban raised concerns for U.S. manufacturers. Many U.S. companies questioned the scope of the ban as it applied to raw materials with residual amounts of OIT. While a U.S. company could continue to use such raw materials to make paint products for the Canadian market if the OIT in the final product is not added for an intentional preservative effect, companies had to evaluate for an intentional preservative effect considering concentration of OIT in the final product, typical uses of OIT, and any claims related to biocidal properties on the label of the final product.

While ACA created extensive guidance for U.S. manufacturers to understand the implications of the ban, it continued to work with CPCA to support advocacy efforts to reverse or mitigate the ban.

ACA welcomed PMRA’s action to restore the use of OIT in paint and coatings products, even at a slightly lower limit.

The U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) is currently evaluating risk for several biocides used as product preservatives in the coatings industry, including OIT. ACA is engaging with the agency on this matter, and will be submitting comment by EPA’s Nov. 10 comment deadline.

To help align regulatory policy and practice in both the United States and Canada, ACA and CPCA have also sought the aid of the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). The RCC’s mission is to, to facilitate consistent health, safety, and environmental protection mandates and reduce unnecessary differences between their regulatory frameworks for similar products crossing the border both ways.

Both ACA and CPCA have urged the RCC to provide a forum for stakeholders, including industry, consumers, and non-government organizations, address and prioritize the biocides issues and the regulatory barriers. ACA and CPCA will continue to create and pursue opportunities for regulatory cooperation on this issue.

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman or David Darling for more information.

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ACA Requests Members Submit Comments to EPA on Draft Risk Assessment for Biocides

ACA is urging its members that manufacture water-based coatings and use preservatives/biocides to submit comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the agency’s draft risk assessments for several  biocides used as product preservatives in the coatings industry: five isothiazolinones, sodium pyrithione, and DBNPA.

The comment deadline for the five isothiazolinones is Nov. 10.

These biocides play a key role for in-can preservation and to prevent microbial attack in formulated products. ACA is concerned that action by EPA to restrict or ban these biocides would leave manufacturers of formulated products with little to no viable options for product preservation.

ACA will be submitting extensive comments to EPA, but asks its members that manufacture water-based coatings and use these biocides to contact ACA’s David Darling for a copy of ACA’s comment form letter and instructions for submitting comments to EPA.

Background

Paint and coatings products have moved from solvent based to water based technology, resulting in formulations that are much lower in volatile organic compound (VOC) content that results in lower emissions during application and drying. These low VOC formulations would not be possible without antimicrobial preservatives that are essential to coatings manufacturing; enhancing product shelf-life; and ensuring the product does not spoil before being used.

Because of this critical function in certain paint products, without the use of listed biocides, the following short-term and long-term problems have a high probability of occurring:

  • Foul and potentially unhealthy odor exuding persistently from any painted dry surface contaminated with biological growth;
  • Increased construction waste to remove contaminated surfaces caused by ineffective prevention of dry-film biological growth (e.g., mold, mildew, algae, and fungi);
  • Increased manufacturing of paint and construction products to meet the demands of replacing damaged surfaces and spoiled products, which puts stress on resources needed to provide natural and synthetic raw materials;
  • Increased energy usage to meet consumption demands of manufacturing and distribution; and
  • Health complaints, odor complaints, and personal injury or property damage lawsuits filed by consumers.

An ACA lifecycle assessment study, A World Without Preservatives, assessed the environmental performance of varied architectural coating preservation scenarios to determine the environmental impacts and benefits that wet-state and dry-film preservatives play in architectural coating systems, and to see how reducing, eliminating, or replacing certain preservatives impacted the coating’s overall sustainability profile.

The study results demonstrate that preservatives play a tremendously important role in coating formulation and how overall product performance must be considered when making formulation changes, as substitutions without considering the impact on product efficacy can greatly increase the environmental burden of the product.

Notably, the decrease in shelf life and increase in spoilage rates not only creates a substantial environmental impact, but the significant amount of spoilage from improper preservation would lead to a staggering increase in waste generated by the coatings industry, as well as place a significant financial burden on the downstream user through product loss.

Contact ACA’s David Darling for more information.

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from American Coatings Association https://www.paint.org/epa-biocides/
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EPA Proposal Would Bar Irgarol (Cybutryne) from Marine Coatings 

On Oct.23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed interim registration review decision (PID) on Irgarol (Cybutryne). Essentially, the agency is proposing to remove the use of irgarol from antifouling marine paints. According to the PID, EPA is proposing to bar the use of irgarol to better protect coral and other aquatic life and to mitigate occupational handler inhalation and dermal human health risk.

EPA’s proposal is consistent with steps the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has taken to ban the use of irgarol (cybutryne) in antifouling paint under the Antifouling Systems Convention (AFS). That international treaty prohibits the use of certain substances in anti-fouling paints and other anti-fouling systems deemed harmful to the marine environment. In some countries, including the United Kingdom, irgarol has already been banned from use in marine coatings used on boats.

Under the U.S. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), registrants with products that include marine and freshwater antifoulant paint uses must request removal of those uses by Sept. 30, 2023. If the products are only registered with EPA for antifoulant paint uses, then registrants must submit a voluntary cancellation request by Sept. 30, 2023.

According to EPA, the agency intends to work with registrants to make label amendments or product cancellations that reflect the phasing out of antifoulant paint use and existing stocks over the next two years.

ACA will be submitting comments on the EPA proposal by the agency’s deadline of Dec. 22, 2020.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.

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