Almost every state from Illinois heading North & East to Maine (and of course California) are now considered "Green States" with regard to the regulation of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's). Mostly for our purposes these regulations relate to coatings and in many instances they have served as an impetus to push manufacturers to develop less toxic coatings. On the downside, it's one reason why the cost of quality paint has increased dramatically.
Essentially, VOC regulations which are far from uniform among even the green states let alone any of the states, aim to disallow the use of a high VOC product wherever a comparable substitute exists that is low VOC. If the product has an application that is deemed replicated by todays acrylic/latex/water based products then it has probably left the market in these 15 or so states which includes all three major markets. California's VOC laws are far stricter than any.
Indeed VOC's contribute to ground level ozone upon interaction with ultraviolet light, and it's safe to say less is better for the environment and for people. However, one application no one bothered to grandfather in (at least before we could build everyone in Illinois a plastic one) is for wooden decks. They take a beating in Chicagoland. And no acrylic substitute can preserve them quite like an oil. That said, we do have our tricks. And while Benjamin Moore Arborcoat semi-solid Oil is a great product it's still semi-solid. Cabot has recently released a solid color oil stain after they disapeared from Illinois for years. We'll see how it stands up with it's reduced VOC formulation.
We'll be sure to keep you posted on our findings, and be sure to share your experiences as well. Meanwhile... keep in mind we will always have our tricks where acrylics alone just won't cut it on horizontal wood decking. - WCRDM