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EPA issues new emissions rule for body shops

November 16, 2010

Dealer body shops have until Jan. 11 to abide by a new Environmental Protection Agency rule governing hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). After then, the shops:

1. Paint only inside filtered, ventilated paint booths or prep stations.

2. Use high transfer efficiency application equipment.

3. Clean guns with non-hazardous solvents, in gun-enclosed washers, or using a method that does not involve atomized spraying to the open air.

4. Have painters trained and certified every five years.

5. Keep basic records demonstrating compliance.

The rule also allows a shop to petition for an exemption if it does not spray coatings with any of the above-listed HAPs of concern; and it excludes the spraying of coatings from hand-held guns with paint cups of 3.0 fluid ounces or less.

Also, paint stripping involving methylene chloride (MeCl) is significantly regulated for shops using more than one ton of MeCl a year. Where possible, body shops should avoid the use of strippers containing MeCl.