Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Requirements: www.epa.gov/clearinghouse - BodyShop Business
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Requirements: www.epa.gov/clearinghouse

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Tired of getting dizzy when you think of all the environmental regulations that affect your body shop? Set yourself straight by visiting this Web site.

As responsible members of the collision repair industry, all of you want to cut down on pollution. (Or, at the very least, keep the authorities off your back). That’s not hard, right? Just remain current on all the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements and you’re fine.

Yeah right.

You might have a general idea of which chemicals are considered hazardous and which ones aren’t, but trying to memorize all the environmental laws that apply to your shop will make your head spin. Sure, you can look for information on the Internet, but you’ll probably have to surf through dozens of sites before you find what you want. Besides, laws vary from state to state. You can find a site that explains which party is liable for hazardous spills in Indiana, but if you live in Oregon, that won’t help you.

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You can make your head stop spinning (seriously, it’s really creeping me out) by visiting the EPA Web site www.epa.gov/clearinghouse. The site provides regulated industries, including collision repair, with important information about environmental requirements. It also acts as a central spot directing you to sites that fit your needs.

To find regulations concerning the collision repair industry, click on “Government and Industry Sectors” and then click on “Automobiles Repairs/Service.” This will take you to Web sites (mostly EPA sites, but also some outside state sources) relevant to what you’re looking for.

For example, you’ll find a site for “Regulations Affecting Body Shops with Painting Operations.” Go to the site, and it gives you a phone number to call for a pollution permit. It also explains why some shops need such a permit and assists you in finding out whether or not you own one of those shops.

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If you want to find specific regulations that apply to your area, click on “Regions and States,” then select your state. You can also click on one of the numbered regions on the map, if you want to find out about general requirements in the Northeast, for instance.

Even in the unlikely event where you just can’t find the information you need on this site (or you just hate computers and want to spend as little time using them as possible), click on “Provider Directory” and then click on “EPA Hotlines.” Here, you’ll find out how to contact the right organizations using the old-fashioned telephone.

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The ozone layer is still disintegrating. Our lungs still don’t tolerate polluted air very well. As long as these factors exist (and I’m sure they always will) the collision repair industry – that means you – needs to be responsible enough to comply with EPA regulations.

Writer Emily Canning is an editorial intern with BodyShop Business.

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