Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

October, 2002

Environmental Permits for Automotive Painting

Q. Hi. I do mobile automotive touch ups and bumper painting at auto dealers in CT outside, using a Mini Sata HVLP touch-up gun and sometimes a Fuji HVLP turbine. I tried to get some kind of permet for this type of spraying out doors but was told there is no mobile painting permit, only for a fixed location.

I realy want to be compliant with the laws, but I have been told by an autobody shop owner that what I do is not compliant. I don't understand how, when there are so many other companies doing the same thing in my area. I also see on the web companies offering frachises in this line of work. I lost one of my accounts because of this body shop telling a dealer I dont have a spray painting permit and could get the dealer in trouble for letting me paint on their property. I called the EPA in Hartford, CT and no one can seem to help me.

A. Some states do not require you to get a permit if you use only small quantities of paint. To find out if you need a permit you should call the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and speak to someone who specifically deals with painting regulations and permits for automotive refinishing.

When you speak to a permit writer, ask for the name of the regulation and the clause that discusses whether or not you will need a permit. Before you call, I suggest that you calculate approximately how much paint you spray per day, week or month. You can also tell them that you are using the Sata Mini HVLP Touchup gun.

You will be able to download their regulations from the above site. If you are exempt from the regulation, then simply make a copy of the clause that exempts you and use it to show your customers that you do not need a permit. Alternatively, ask the representative from the state agency to send you a letter or email, confirming that you are exempt.

If you do need a permit, then the permit writer will tell you how to complete the application form, which you will also be able to download from the website.

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