An EPA rule that establishes best practices for minimizing HAP emissions during surface coating operations recently took full effect on Jan. 10. The rule was issued in 2008 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate certain auto body refinishing operations. Companies were required to contact the EPA by Jan. 11, 2010, informing the agency that they were subject to the standard. Companies subject to the rule must send the EPA a one-time notification form stating that they are in compliance with the rule by March 11, 2011. Click here for the compliance form.
According to an article written by SEMA, the rule targets metal compounds emitted as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) during paint coating or stripping operations. The compounds include chromium, lead, manganese, nickel and cadmium.
With the passing of the law, all shops are now required to have a filtered spray booth or prep station and use high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) or equivalent spray equipment. Owners and operators are required to provide training for their painters on how to properly spray surface coatings and clean equipment.
According to SEMA, the regulation does not apply to paint stripping and surface coating performed by individuals as part of a hobby, or for maintenance of their personal vehicles so long as those activities do not exceed two motor vehicles (or the equivalent in pieces) per year. The rule also does not apply to painting done with an airbrush or hand-held non-refillable aerosol cans.