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Spray Booth & Finishing Systems Sales and Installations

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What You Need To Know About the 6H Rule

When RelyOn sells a spray booth, we make sure that the booth you buy is beneficial for your business. That means that our booths help you to maximize paint coverage, and they save your workers time when it comes to application and paint stripping. We also make sure that all of the booths we sell are compliant with the laws and guidelines that are in effect by the EPA. For any body shop in the country, that means making sure that our spray booths are 6H Rule compliant.

What Is The 6H Rule?

Officially, the 6H rule is subpart HHHHHH of EPA law 63.11169 titled “National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Coating Operations at Area Sources.” Basically what it means is that the EPA is trying to lower the instances of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) such as lead and methylene chloride by creating stricter rules for the application of these substances.

Area Source

At the end of that long title, you may have noticed the phrase “area source.” The EPA defines an area source as any facility that uses paints with HAPs in them that, if the application of the HAPs is not contained, could release at least 10 tons of HAPs each year into the atmosphere. This would include most of the medium to large body shops in the United States, which is why understanding the 6H Rule is so important.

The History Of The 6H Rule

The EPA officially launched the 6H Rule on January 10, 2011. By that date, any body shop that uses primers, paints or thinners that contain HAPs had to submit a three-page survey to their local EPA office to make sure that they were part of the regular inspections to maintain compliance.

Staying Compliant With The 6H Rule

In order to be compliant with the 6H Rule, a body shop must:

  • Have spray booths that meet the EPA’s requirements
  • Maintained a staff of certified spray booth employees who have valid EPA 6H certificates (these certificates must be updated every five years through training from the EPA)
  • Have training manuals for all spray guns on hand and available at all times
  • Have a valid state air permit

Are There Exceptions?

There are a few exceptions to the 6H Rule, but you will find that the exceptions are rare. The major exceptions include:

  • The United States Military
  • Any shop that does not use atomizing spray technology (check with your local EPA office to see if you are exempt)
  • Shops that use hand-held spray guns with a capacity of three fluid ounces or less
  • Shops that utilize powder coatings
  • Shops that utilize non-refillable aerosol spray cans
  • Shops that use metallic or non-metallic materials for thermal spray processes
  • Facility maintenance painting

What Are The Penalties?

The penalties are handed out directly by the EPA and can vary depending on the duration of the offense and how the volume of HAPs being released into the air. Shops that did not register as they were instructed can still be subject to fines if they are turned in by concerned residents.

The Clean Air Act gives the EPA the legal right to assess fines of up to $32,000 per day, per offense. The EPA also has the authority to pursue criminal charges, if they deem that necessary.

How RelyOn Can Help

RelyOn is a licensed installation and repair contractor for Garmat USA. All of the spray booths made by Garmat USA are designed to meet the requirements of the 6H Rule, and the installation work done by RelyOn also meets the EPA’s standards.

The fines for not complying with the 6H Rule are hefty, and the EPA is taking the elimination of HAPs very seriously. Give RelyOn a call and let us get you started on your 6H Rule compliant Garmat USA paint booth and do your part to keep the environment clean.

RESOURCES:

Green Service FAQ On The 6H Rule

EPA 6H Paint Rule – What You Need To Know

EPA Summary of Regulations Controlling Air Emissions from Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations

About Al Ortiz

President of Rely-On Technologies. We sell, install and service paint spray booth systems nationwide. We sell to the Aerospace, Automotive, Technology, Defense and industrial industries.

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