Regulatory Information for Vehicle Maintenance Facilities
Vehicle maintenance shops have a lot of regulated waste types due to fluids, chemicals and paints used, and MnTAP can help you understand your facility obligations to meet the requirements.
Waste rules for solid waste, hazardous waste, air emissions and water discharges mostly come through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). These rules may be federal or state rules. In addition, you should be aware that the Twin Cities metropolitan area counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington also have authority for their own waste ordinances. The MPCA Transportation Services Web page has a list of resources on environmental rules affecting the vehicle maintenance industry. Many waste topics use audit checklists to help you determine how your shop is performing.
Staff members at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) are available to assist shops with compliance questions and provide up-to-date information on existing and upcoming environmental regulations.
- Intro to HAPs and VOCs in the Auto Body Refinishing Sector (2008) [PDF 135KB]. This PowerPoint presentation overviews the Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) commonly emitted from auto body refinishing shops and provides information about Federal Regulations (NESHAP 6H).
- MPCA Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP). SBEAP provides industry-specific resources and compliance assistance to the automotive repair and body shops in Minnesota.
- NESHAP Assistance. MPCA’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program has compiled resources to assist businesses with National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) compliance.
- Health. Workers in automotive shops are potentially exposed to a variety of chemical and physical hazards. Chemical hazards may include volatile organics from paints, fillers and solvents; silica from sandblasting operations; dusts from sanding; and metal fumes from welding and cutting. Physical hazards include repetitive stress and other ergonomic injuries, noise, lift hazards, cutting tools, and slipping on oil and grease on walking surfaces. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Labor, has web resources for autobody repair and refinishing that cover industry hazards, controls, compliance and most common citations.
- Safety Data Sheets. Internet safety data sheet (formerly known as material safety data sheet) collections are cataloged on this link.
- Transportation Rules. Shipping materials or wastes requires compliance with the U.S. and Minnesota Department of Transportation rules. Find information on shipping hazardous materials and trainings on this Web site.
Additional Regulations and Requirements
Aside from the wastes in drums, you have industrial solid waste trash in your Dumpster, stormwater run-off, sewered wash water and more. There are also rules for the air emissions you create during cleaning with solvents or during painting. Below are some additional links to answers to some of these common topics.
- Air Emissions Registration Permits. Air emissions registration permits greatly simplify the permit application process for facilities to make it easier to comply with the air emissions rules. A new permit for operations with high potential emissions but actual low emissions that began operating without a permit might be appropriate for some autobody operations.
- Regulatory assistance for small business in this sector is available from the MPCA Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP).
- Collision Repair National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) [PDF 98KB]. A Federal rule for spray application of coatings to motor vehicles and mobile equipment.
- Managing Floor Drains and Flammable Traps [PDF 263KB]. This fact sheet discusses recommended waste management options for floor drains and flammable traps. Keeping hazardous substances out of drains and plumbing makes trap wastes easier and cheaper to manage.
Septic Tank Systems Class V Rule. U.S. EPA has requirements for motor vehicle waste disposal wells in order to protect underground sources of drinking water from contamination. According to the MPCA, existing Class V wells at vehicle maintenance shops not located within wellhead protection areas do not need to close according to EPA’s rules. They do need to VERY CLOSELY scrutinize what is going down those wells. All hazardous waste in the shops must be managed in accordance with Minnesota’s Hazardous Waste requirements.
If your vehicle maintenance shop can’t discharge to city sewer or to a septic system (Class V well), look at these MPCA factsheets for guidance:
- Holding Tanks for Liquid Wastes
- Managing Floor Drains and Flammable Traps
- Pressure Wash/Power Washing. MPCA information on environmental concerns, permissible discharges, testing and evaluation, and debris management.
- VSQG Collection Program Requirements for Generators [PDF 180KB]. Minnesota hazardous waste rules allow Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQGs) to deliver their own waste in their own vehicle to a licensed VSQG collection program.
- Stormwater Program for Industrial Activity. The objective of this permitting program, which is a part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is to reduce the amount of pollution that enters surface and ground water from industrial facilities in the form of storm water runoff.
- Basic Hazardous Waste Requirement for Businesses. Anyone who produces or manages a waste must determine whether or not the waste is hazardous. Hazardous waste requires special handling and disposal. This fact sheet outlines the 10 steps to compliance.