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Evaluating the EPA’s Law-Writing Decisions

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Once again the EPA is going to make it even harder to stay in business. Are they thinking about the reality of operating a repair facility when they are writing these laws?

I’m not sure what you’ve read or the source since it isn’t indicated in your question, but I believe the opposite is true.

The environment is a concern worldwide; a day cannot pass without some indication of concern for global warming. Shortly after the rules were distributed for review, trade associations, states that have their own environmental agencies and the industry itself were provided a few weeks to review the new regulations to offer feedback. Primarily, the law is broken down into three areas: ongoing training by the refinishing technician, a contained spray booth for painting along with use of HVLP spray and management of reducing coatings to offset potential toxins being emitted into the air.

Most reputable repair facilities are already utilizing these methods today and would not be affected by these new regulations. What it would do is potentially put a stranglehold on mobile services that provide any type of refinishing operations out in the field rather than in an enclosed spray booth or properly contained area.

Ongoing training for the refinishing technician is a good idea, also. Products are continually changing and we need to keep our technicians advised in accordance. Many of our technicians are proud of their abilities (and they very much should be, as craftsmen!) and they sometimes take offense to attending “classes.” We need to get them past that—as it is not the theory of application that has changed, but rather the processes and mixing of paint that usually changes. One is technique, the other is product—they need to focus on the product because they already know the technique.

The industry will slowly be changing to waterborne paints and other alternatives as refinishing continues to evolve through globally environmental technology. The new EPA rulings are designed to protect the repair facilities, keep the work in the repair facilities and slowly rid us of “garage hobbyists” and “mobile painters.” Anything that gets the vehicle back into a repair facility that operates totally under the law and filters the particulates before they are release_notesd into the air is a good thing in my book!


Ray Fisher is the president of ASA-Michigan. This article represents his opinion and does not reflect the views of ASA-Michigan.

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