To help automobile body shops prevent pollution and “green” their operations, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) created manuals “The Environmental Compliance Guide for Auto Body Shops” and “Environmental Report Packet for Auto Body Shops” and has scheduled a series of workshops to help shops capably meet environmental reporting requirements.
DEC launched its statewide program by sending out the first set of materials to business owners in New York’s Capital District region as part of the agency’s Auto Body Shops Environmental Results Program (ERP). The documents are available at www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/54767.html or www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/autobodygd.pdf.
The new guide has been written specifically for the auto body repair industry to help business owners understand and comply with a wide array of laws and regulations meant to limit pollution. It also provides information regarding best management practices, pollution prevention and energy efficiency.
“Auto repair business owners have to cope with many environmental issues dealing with paints, solvents, gasoline, brake fluids and air and water pollution just to name a few,” DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said. “Knowing where to turn to for help is the first step toward success. The launch of this new initiative is further evidence of the state’s commitment to helping businesses meet both their economic and environmental goals.”
The Auto Body Shops ERP applies to shops that perform collision repair, painting, paint stripping or sanding, body work, antique automobile restoration and student training in any of the above areas.
A shop is considered an auto body shop even if it does other kinds of work along with auto body work. For example, dealers or general automotive repair shops that also do auto body repair are considered an auto body shop.
The Environmental Report Form for Auto Body Shops must be submitted by all auto body shops that generate any hazardous waste or that are not exempt from the New York State air regulations for surface coating processes. Shops that are not required to submit the Environmental Report Form are encouraged to participate in this program voluntarily.
For all Capital District areas that have been part of the launch of this program, the Environmental Report Form must be submitted to NYSDEC by Aug. 15, 2009. Deadlines for all other areas of the state will be noted in the material packets as they are sent regionally throughout the next year.
The New York State Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) will be holding several free workshops in the Capital District region on the Environmental Report Form for Auto Body Shops over the next few weeks. SBEAP is a non-regulatory program administered by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation and provides free confidential technical assistance to help small businesses comply with environmental regulations.
For a schedule of workshops and to register, call the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) at (800) 780-7227.