Q&A on the Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations Area Source Rule
Q: I would like the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to clarify surface preparation as being exempt from the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). Am I correct to assume that “priming” out in the shop is exempt from the rule, based upon how I read it as being “surface preparation”?
A: The NESHAP) does not define the term “surface preparation.” The rule pertains to the spray application of coatings which would include primers, sealers, base coats, tri-coats and clear coats. The rule also regulates the use of paint strippers containing methylene chloride (MeCl). The rule does not address sanding. Listed on page eight of the “Michigan Auto Body Environmental Compliance Workbook” are a few good operating practices for surface preparation. You can download the workbook by going to www.michigan.gov/deqenvassistance and selecting “Automotive Collision Repair Facilities” under the title “Compliance Assistance Guides and Workbooks.”
Q: My paint company claims none of their products contain cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, or nickel. If that proves to be the case, I am planning on filing for the exemption for the rule. If my paint company does not use those compounds it is likely that others don’t either. Does this mean all of this was a waste of time by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and shops can file their exemption and continue business as usual?
A: For a collision shop to be exempt from the requirements of the NESHAP, they need to demonstrate to the USEPA that none of their coatings they spray apply contain the following target hazardous air ollutants (HAPs): cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese or nickel. A Petition for Exemption form is located at www.michigan.gov /deq. Select “Air,” “Clean Air Assistance,” and then “Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating at Area Sources” under “Federal Regulations.” If the shop applies for a petition but does not receive approval from USEPA by January 11, 2011, then they would need to still submit their Initial Notification by that date. Filing the petition alone does not mean your shop is exempt. The petition has to be reviewed and approved by the USEPA.
Q: If circumstances change such that you intend to use paints containing a target HAP, then you must submit an Initial Notification to USEPA and comply with all of the requirements in the NESHAP.
Even if a shop’s petition is approved by USEPA, they still need to comply with all existing state and federal environmental regulations. For example, Rule 287(c) of the Michigan Air Pollution Control Rules provides many shops an exemption from the state air Permit to Install requirement s long as their coating usage rate is not more than 200 gallons per month, monthly records of coating usage are maintained, and an exhaust system that serves only the coating spray equipment is supplied with a properly installed and operating particuate control system. If an automotive repair shop cannot meet Rule 287 (c), then they need to apply for and received an approved Permit to Install issued by the DEQ’s Air Quality Division.
Q: The Rule states that the spray application of coatings using a 3 oz capacity cup or less is not subject to Rule 6H. Does this essentially exempt mobile repair operations that use this size cup to perform coating outside of a building?
A. Yes, however, mobile repair operations meeting this exemption must still comply with all existing state environmental regulations. There are many mobile repair facilities that do use a cup size greater than 3 ounces. They need to comply with all the requirements in the NESHAP just like a brick and motor collision shop has to do.
Q: Is the painting of cars as a hobby at home applicable to the NESHAP?
A. A person who spray applies surface coating to more than two motor vehicles or pieces of mobile equipment per year is subject o the requirements that pertain to motor vehicle and mobile equipment regardless of whether compensation is received (§63.11169). Asking it another way, “If I paint three of my own cars in one year, does the rule apply to me?” The answer is yes.
Q: Are mobile repair and refinishing operations subject to the NESHAP? Is the enforcing agency going to fine the dealership that hired them or the company performing the repairs or both?
A. The NESHAP does not prohibit mobile repair and refinishing operations that travel to the customer’s location. If the mobile repair business is only using paint spray guns with a cup capacity of three ounces or less, they are not subject to the NESHAP. If they are using spray guns with a cup capacity greater than three ounces, then they must comply with the same requirements as stationary locations. This includes painting with a mobile ventilated enclosure fitted with filter technology demonstrated to achieve 98 percent cature of paint overspray, using HVLP or equivalent spray guns, proper cleaning of the spray guns, training, recordkeeping and submittal of Initial Notification and compliance certification forms. The mobile ventilated enclosure must enclose and if necessary seal against the surface around the area being coated such thatpaint overspray is retained within the enclosure and directed to a filter to capture paint overspray. The DEQ, Environmental Assistance Program’s planned outreach for this rule will include sending informational packets to all known mobie repair and refinishing operators. If a dealership contracts with a mobile repair and refinishing operation to perform body work on cars in their lot, both the dealership and mobile refinisher could be subject to enforcement actions if the activities violate state and/or federal regulations.
Q: What is a new facility?
A. For a facility to be considered new, it was not actively engaged in paint stripping and/or surface coating on or prior to September 17, 2007, and started installing the paint stripping and surface coating equipment after September 17, 2007.
Q: What is an existing facility?
A. An existing facility was engaged in paint stripping and/or surface coating on or prior to September 17, 2007, or was not engaged in painting stripping and/or surface coating on or before September 17, 2007, but began the installing the paint stripping and surface coating equipment on or before September 17, 2007.
Q: What is a reconstructed facility?
A. A reconstructed facility is an existing facility that has replaced components to such an extent that the fixed capital cost o the new components exceeds 50 percent of the cost that would be required to construct a comparable new source. A reconstructed facility’s compliance deadlines are the same as a new facility’s deadlines.
Q: If you purchase and install spray booths, enclosed spray gun cleaners, paint stripping equipment to reduce MeCl emissions, or purchase new spray guns to comply with this rule at an existing source, these actions would not make your existing source a new or reconstructed source. Is an existing source that is bought out by another company a new source?
A: No, unless they “replace the components at the existing source to such an extent that the fixed capital cost of the new components exceeds 50 pecent of the cost that would be required to construct a comparable new source and it is technologically and economically feasibl for the reconstructed source to meet the relevant standards”
Q: Are we supposed to do the training or should we have a third party do it?
A. The minimum requirements for training are described in Section 63.1173 (f) of the NESHAP (see below). The training requirements do not specify that any one training provider or program must be used. The rule allows flexibility for the best training environment and certification process that an owner or operator can identif for their particular work site that meets the requirements in the final rule. For example, the rule allows for in-house training programs and for an owner of a facility to certify successful completion of such a training program. Third party trainers include coating equipment vendors, paint suppliers, associations, community colleges and consultants.
The training program must include, at a minimum, the items listed in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(3).
(1) A list of all current personnel by name and job description who are required to be trained;
(2) Hands-on and classroom instruction that addresses, at a minimum, initial and refresher training in the topics listed in paragraphs (f)(2)(i) through (2)(iv) of this section.
- Spray gun equipment selection, set up, and operation, including measuring coating viscosity, selecting the proper fluid tip or nozzle, and achieving the proper spray pattern, air pressure and volume, and fluid delivery rate.
- Spray technique for different types of coatings to improve transfer efficiency and minimize coating usage and overspray, including maintaining the correct spray gun distance and angle to the part, using proper banding and overlap, and reducing lead and lag spraying at the beginning and end of each stroke.
- Routine spray booth and filter maintenance, including filter selection and installation.
- Environmental compliance with the requirements of this subpart.
(3) A description of the methods to be used at the completion of initial or refresher training to demonstrate, document, and provide certification of successful completion of the required training. Owners and operators who can show by documentation or certification that a painter's work experience and/or training has resulted in training equivalent to the training required in paragraph (f)(2) of this section are not required to provide the initial training required by that paragraph to these painters.
Q: What painter certifications are required? Are there any specific certified training programs? Who is going to approve the certification process?
A: The USEPA does not believe it is necessary to establish or designate a body to certify or approve training programs. The rule includes sufficient detail on the training requirements that training programs can be developed to meet those requirments. The USEPA believes that the painters and owners are the appropriate judge of which programs will be the best investment of thir time and resources.
The minimum requirements for training are described in §63.11173. The training requirements do not specify that any one training provider or program must be used. The rule allows flexibility for the best training environment and certification process that an owner or operator can identif for their particular work site that meets the requirements in the final rule. For example, the rule allows for in-house training programs and for an owner of a facility to certify successful completion of such a training program.
Q: Also, we have heard some groups interpreting the rule to say that hands-on training isn't required - that classroom training could satisfy all the training requirements. Is this true?
A: It seems pretty clear in 63.11173(f)(2) that training includes "hands-on and classroom" instruction.
Q: Is documentation required for certification? How do we certify our students? [e.g., transcripts, certificates, etc.]
A: §63.11173 (f) states that the owner or operator of a surface coating operation must ensure and certify that those personnel who spray apply oatings under the rule are trained. §63.11177 states that the owner or operator must keep records documenting that each painter has completed the training and when hat training occurred. If I were an owner of a shop, I would either provide or ask for a certificate from the training provider, specifying that the requirements of the rule were met by students who successfully completed the course. The owner might keep a copy of the course syllabus as well. Then the owner must certify to the implementing agency that the painters have been properly trained and tested.
Q: Can a painter use previously conducted training to satisfy the NESHAP training requirement?
A: §63.11173 (g) explains when painters must be certified. It also explains that painter training that was completed within five years prior to the date training is required, and that meets the requirements for training specified in the rule (§63.11173 (f)) does satisfy the requirement and is valid for five years after the training was completed.
Q: Asking it another way: If I had training two years ago that covered all that the rule requires except for the provisions of the rule itself, and now I take a supplementary course that covers the rule (like these workshops), is my training valid for five years from the time I took the bulk of the training (two years ago) or from the time I completed the training by taking a supplemental course about the rule?)
A: It would be five years from the date of the earliest training because although teaching the requirements of FAQ’s compiled by the rule is important; equally important are the work practices and technological advances in spray technique, equipment, etc.
Q: What should the training syllabus look like?
A: It could look like the following:
- Employee names, when trained, what content - all painters
- Course name(s)
- Content/NESHAP topic checklist (expand)
1. A description of the methods, such as testing, to be used at the completion of initial or refresher training to demonstrate, document, and provide certification of successful completion of the required training.
2. Hands-on and classroom instruction that addresses, at a minimum, the following topics:
- a. Hands-on and classroom instruction on routine spray booth and filter maintenance, including filter selection and installation.
- b. Hands-on and classroom instruction on spray gun operation including:
- Spray gun equipment selection,
- Set up, and operation,
- Measuring coating viscosity,
- Selecting the proper fluid tip or nozzle,
- Achieving the proper spray pattern,
- Achieving the proper air pressure and volume,
- Achieving the proper fluid delivery rate.
c. Hands-on and classroom instruction on spray technique including:
- Spray technique for different types of coatings to improve transfer efficiency and minimize coating usage and overspray,
- Maintaining the correct spray gun distance and angle to the part,
- Using proper banding and overlap, and reducing lead and lag spraying at the beginning and end of each stroke.
d. Classroom instruction on what is necessary for site-specific understanding of environmental compliance with the requirements of the NESHAP, Subpart HHHHHH, Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating for Area Sources
- Install/operate filter technology on all spray booths/stations/enclosures within the booth manufacturer’s guidelines to achieve at least 98 percent capture efficiency related topics such as:
- How to obtain advertised performance for air flow;
- Optimum coatings application parameters;
- Adjustment of booth controls to maintain peak efficiency;
- When and how to change booth filters as required.
• Spray booths/stations used to refinish complete motor vehicles or mobile equipment must be fully enclosed and ventilated at negative pressur or up to 0.05 inches water gauge positive pressure for booths that have seals on all doors and other openings and an automaticpressure balancing system.
Spray booths/stations used to coat miscellaneous parts or products or vehicle subassemblies must have a full roof, at least three complete walls or side curtains, and ventilated so that air is drawn into the booth.
Spray-applied coatings must be applied with a high volume, low pressure (HVLP) spray gun, electrostatic application, airless or air-assisted airless spray gun, or an approved equivalent technology. An HVLP-equivalent technology not previously approved by California or according to California test methods and guidance must be approvd by the USEPA they need to submit a request to the USEPA with a copy of the manufacturer’s equipment information.
Paint spray gun cleaning must be done so that an atomized mist or spray of the cleaning solvent is not created outside a contaier that collects used gun cleaning solvent.
Q: As I understand, there is not a required format for the Initial Notification, though USEPA and several states including Michigan have created a form for use. Is it expected that facilities use a state form or is any format acceptable as long as the appropriate information is provide?
A. You are correct. Facilities do not have to use the state provided form. Any format is acceptable as long as it contains the required information provided below found in Section 63.1175 (a):
To obtain the Initial Notification and Compliance Certification form created by the Michigan DEQ, go to www.michigan.gov/deqair, select “Clean Air Assistance” and then “Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources” under “Federal Regulations.”
Q: Who do the shops submit notification/compliance reports to?
A: Michigan facilities need to send the reports to the USEPA at the following address:
USEPA Region 5
Compliance Tracker (AE-17J)
77 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
Q: How will you inform the facility owners?
A: The Environmental Assistance Program of the DEQ is getting the word by mailing out postcards to businesses subject to the rul and working through vendors and trade associations such as the Automotive Service Association of Michigan and the Chemical Coaers West Michigan Chapter. It should be noted that a facility is not absolved of responsibility for compliance simply because it has not been contacted irectly by a government agency.
Q: Does the USEPA maintain an approved list of spray guns?
A: The USEPA does not have a list of approved spray guns. The shop should check with the manufacturer to learn if the gun is an HVLP, electrostatic, airless, or air assisted airless spray gun which are approved technologies. Other coating technologies are acceptable if the spray gun manufacturer has demonstrated they have comparable coating transfe efficiency to one of the approved technologies and have received written approval from the USEPA. Again, check with the manufacturer of the gun. (§63.11173) California’s list of seven specific (non-HVLP) guns as HVLP or better since they are demonstrated to achieve at least 65 percent transfer efficiency. These are listed at http://www.aqmd.gov/permit/spraytransferefficiency.html
Q: Is atomizing a gun cleaner allowed if it is directed INTO the collection bucket? (63.11173(e)(4))
A. It would not be a recommended method unless there was some way to demonstrate/ensure that no spray is coming out of the bucket. Spraying into an open bucket without any bounce back does seem like a practice that could be difficult to do correctly on a cntinuous basis. It would be better to enclose by putting the top on and covering all the open space around the gun during cleaning.
Q: How does the DEQ plan to enforce the NESHAP for the Surface Coating of Motor Vehicles and Mobile Equipment?
A. Since the NESHAP is a federal rule and the DEQ will not be taking delegation of the rule, it will enforced by the USEPA. The following Web site can be used to report violations of a federal environmental regulation: www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints. Even though the DEQ is not enforcing this particular rule, part of our outreach will include educating building code officials and fire marshals about these requirements since they reguate automotive collision repair shops as well. An extensive educational campaign about the requirements should result in increased rates of compliance with the rule.
The DEQ will continue to follow up on any complaints pertaining to all of the other environmental regulations applicable to autmotive collision repair shops. Those complaints can be called into the Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662-9278 or directly to the appropriate DEQ district office. For a directory of district offices, go to www.michigan.gov/deq and select “Inside DEQ,” “Contact DEQ” and then “locations.”
Q: How will enforcement agencies find those cash businesses that don’t have business licenses, etc?
A. Typically, those facilities will be found through complaints from neighbors, by employees who inquire about safety requirements, and by competitors who are concerned about the cost of unequal enforcement.
Q: What are the penalties for not complying with the rule?
A. The penalties depend on several factors, such as the gravity of the offence, the economic benefit that the business gained by not complying, the company’s efforts to come into compliance, the size of the company, the actual or potential harm that the offence caused, how long the offence occurred, etc. Under the Clean Air Act, the USEPA is allowed to assess penalties of up to $32,000 per day, per violation. The USEPA also has the option to pursue violations as criminal offences generally if the offence involves intentional environmental crimes.
Q: Are they going to try to regulate who can buy this paint (licensed business only) or place restrictions on the suppliers?
A. The NESHAP does not address the sale of automotive coatings.
QUESTIONS THAT NEED ANSWERS
Q: Do we have a good definition of what "hands-on" means as a required element of training?
Q: Is there a deadline for collision shops submitting a Petition for Exemption?
Q: Can I prime a fender of a complete automobile in a preparation station with three complete walls? Shops like to use their preparation stations for all priming and save their four walled booths for the critical base and clear oats. Use of their booths and prep stations are predicated on cleanliness, not complete cars or subassemblies.
Q: Could a ventilated room consisting of 4 walls and ceiling serve as a four wall spray paint booth?