Body Repair Shops And Environmental Regulations

Let's face it. Complying with national and local environmental regulations is now a facet of business that cannot be ignored. Apart from complying with the myriad business regulations that accompany any business, we now have environmental regulations to worry about.

One of the EPA's National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources rules requires that all spray painting be done in a spray booth, with special spray guns and techniques to reduce overspray, and other measures to prevent the release of any solvent mist. According to the agency, this and other rules were drafted to protect workers from toxic materials. If your auto body repair shop is part of a large chain, then you are most likely in compliance, as these large companies make it a corporate policy to be compliant with government regulations. The challenge for the EPA and local environmental departments is how to help ensure that smaller, possibly family-owned auto body repair shops are compliant after informing them of existing rules.

These smaller auto body repair shops may be unwilling or unable to comply with environmental regulations. As it is, they are already being crowded by the large chains whose franchisees invest large sums in their business and market aggressively. These smaller shops may simply not have enough money to comply with what could possibly be a huge investment in equipment. Then there would be the old-timers who are ignorant of the effects of toxic materials to themselves and the environment. But any auto body repair shop, large or small, that does stripping and painting needs to be a part of the effort to clean up the environment.

If your auto body repair shop has not bothered with updating itself on the latest environmental regulations, it would be best to start now, rather than have an inspector come into your premises and write up several pages worth of infractions your shop may have. If you're serious about the business, you'll have to comply anyway so best to do it now rather than later.

Basically, you need to ensure that:

    Hazardous and flammable chemicals and substances are stored and used properly.
    Used oils from vehicles and equipment are collected and disposed of properly.
    Workers are briefed and informed about the hazards and risks to health that these materials represent.

The internet has dozens of resources that will help an auto body repair shop make a determination on which critical areas to address in terms of environmental regulations. Apart from being a necessity in today's business climate, customers will appreciate the fact that you concern yourself with how your business impacts the environment.