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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Fri, Feb 1, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


SEMA Instrumental in Delivering Pro-Hobbyist EPA Autobody Paint Rule New Regulation Protects Hobbyists and the Environment After incorporating several recommendations from SEMA, including an exemption for hobbyists who paint their own vehicles, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a final rule to regulate paint-stripping, surface-coating and autobody-refinishing operations. The new regulation targets hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) that the agency believes may cause cancer or other health disorders. "As this proposal was deliberated over the last two years, there was significant concerns that the regulation would have a drastic impact on the ability of individual hobbyists to purchase and use these types of paint" said SAN Director Jason Tolleson. "Through discussions with the EPA, SEMA was able to convince regulators that a rule could be produced that would develop 'best practices' for business operations while exempting hobbyists who infrequently paint their personal vehicles." As a result, the regulation does not apply to paint stripping and surface coating performed by individuals as part of a hobby or for maintenance of their personal vehicles - so long as those activities do not exceed two motor vehicles (or the equivalent in pieces) per year. Additionally, the rule does not apply to painting done with an airbrush or hand-held, non-refillable aerosol cans. The EPA rule establishes best practices (spray booth, spray gun cleaning, etc.) for minimizing HAP emissions during commercial surface-coating operations. All shops are effectively required to have a filtered spray booth or prep station and use high-volume low-pressure (HVLP) or equivalent spray equipment. Spray guns are required to be cleaned manually or with an enclosed spray-gun washer. The EPA believes many shops have already implemented these best practices. Under the new rule, owners and operators are required to provide training for their painters on how to properly spray surface coatings and clean equipment. The EPA has established minimum criteria required for in-house training, and painters would be required to complete refresher training and be re-certified every five years. Existing operations have up to three years to purchase equipment and complete the initial training of employees. As recommended by SEMA, the EPA will rely on self-certification for training programs. Nevertheless, companies subject to the rule must send the EPA a one-time notification form stating that they are in compliance with the rule or will be within the allotted three years. Companies will have two years to submit the notification form, which will contain contact information and a brief description of the operation: number of spray booths, average number of employed painters, etc. Companies will be required to maintain in-house records verifying painter training/certification, filter replacement, a plan to control paint-stripping chemicals, etc. For more information about the rule, contact Jason Tolleson at [email protected] or by phone at 202/783-6007, ext. 39. New EPA Autobody Painting Regulation:

  • Exempts hobbyists who paint two cars or less per year.

  • Business operations are required to have a spray booth, proper filters and spray gun cleaners.

  • EPA now requires businesses to provide initial notification to the agency on their paint operations and requires training for all employees involved in painting activities.

  • Businesses must maintain in-house records verifying compliance, filter replacement and plans to control hazardous air pollutants within the facility.

Legislative Quick Hits New Hampshire Custom Vehicles: In January, the New Hampshire House Transportation Committee considered legislation to incorporate the custom-vehicle portion of SEMA-model legislation into the state's vehicle code. Sponsored by State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus member Michael Reuschel, the bill would create a specific registration class for custom vehicles defined as "at least 25 years old and of a model year after 1948, or manufactured to resemble a vehicle 25 or more years old and of a model year after 1948." The certificate of title of a custom vehicle would list the model year that the body of the vehicle resembles. In addition, customs and replicas would be exempted from a range of standard-equipment requirements (only that equipment required in the model year that the vehicle resembles). Virginia Antique Vehicles: A bill has been introduced in Virginia to delete the requirement that antique vehicle-safety certifications be formally notarized. In a law signed last year, Virginia antique-vehicle owners must certify that these vehicles meet safety-equipment requirements for the model year in which they were manufactured and are capable of being safely operated on the state's highways. Wyoming Street Rods/Custom Vehicles: SEMA-model legislation to create a vehicle registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles and provide for special license plates for these vehicles was reintroduced in the Wyoming Legislature. This is the same bill that was approved by the full Wyoming House of Representatives and the Senate Transportation Committee in 2007. Due to time restrictions, the bill was not considered by the full Senate. Sponsored by State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus members Stan Blake and Pat Childers, the bill defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948. Under the measure, kit cars and replica vehicles will be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. A hearing date has not yet been scheduled. Caucus Corner Each month Driving Force will feature members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. The SEMA-supported caucus is a bipartisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles. Here are its newest members: Michigan Representative David Agema South Dakota Senator Jim Hundstad Washington Senator Mike Carrell To view a complete list of members, click here.. Off-Road News New Proposal Seeks to Add 375 Miles of OHV Trails to Plumas National Forest The Plumas National Forest (PNF) will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement associated with its Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) route designation project which designates authorized motorized trails and riding areas within the forest. Established in 1905, the Plumas National Forest occupies 1,146,000 acres in California's northern Sierra Nevada Mountains. This project is part of a nation-wide U.S. Forest Service process to authorize OHV use on those existing trails, roads and areas, which will provide for a variety of recreational experiences within the national forest system. Over the past few decades, the availability and capability of motor vehicles, particularly OHVs and SUVs has increased. Nationally, the number of OHV users has increased sevenfold in the past 30 years, from approximately 5 million in 1972 to 36 million in 2000. California is experiencing the highest level of OHV use of any state in the nation. There were 786,914 ATVs and OHV motorcycles registered in 2004, up 330% since 1980. Annual sales of ATVs and OHV motorcycles in California were the highest in the United States for the last 5 years. Four-wheel-drive vehicle sales in California also increased by 1,500% to 3,046,866 from 1989 to 2002. In addition to the existing 102 miles of motorized system trails that exist in the PNF, the draft proposal includes 375 miles of additional motorized trails - many of which were previously unauthorized, user-created trails. The proposal also includes the addition of a 36-acre open riding area and adds three existing routes to the motorized trails system in previously vehicle-restricted locations. "The efforts by Forest Service officials in the OHV route designation process for PNF serves as a model for increased collaboration between the various stakeholders in determining sustainable OHV activity within the forest" said SAN director Jason Tolleson. "While understanding the significant budgetary issues surrounding the route-designation process, other regions should look to Plumas as it factored in existing trails, appropriate user-created routes and open riding areas in its OHV plan." Following a decision on this proposal, a map will be produced identifying all roads, trails and open areas that are designated for motor-vehicle use. The map will also specify the classes of vehicles for which use is designated. Maps and tables describing in detail both the PNF transportation system and the proposed action can found here. Submit comments regarding the proposal by March 3, 2008. Help Spread the Word! Does your club host an annual car show? Do you want to help get others involved in working to protect this hobby? If you answered "yes" to both of these questions, then you can help by letting your fellow enthusiasts know about the SEMA Action Network (SAN) and include information about SAN in your show goodie bags. The SAN has produced a brochure which provides valuable information on some of the ongoing opportunities and threats that the auto hobby faces. The brochure also highlights the importance of developing an ongoing positive relationship with your state and local officials. It's quite simple. The more people that get their hands on this information and the more people that actively participate, the more successful we will be in protecting this hobby. For more information, or to request brochures for your club's upcoming show, please contact Jason Tolleson at [email protected] or by phone at 202/783-6007, ext. 39. * Please contact the SAN at least six weeks prior to the show to ensure timely delivery of the brochures. Newly Introduced Legislation Note: The following state bills are not laws. They were recently introduced and are currently under consideration by the respective state legislatures: Antique/Custom Vehicles Georgia HB 931: Changes the year in which an authentic historical Georgia license plate can be used from pre-'70 to 30 years old or older. Nebraska LB 941: Allows historic vehicles to use a license plate from the year in which it was manufactured. This does not apply to specialty or personalized license plates. New Jersey AB 1495: Changes the definition of occasional travel for an antique vehicle to mean driving it not more than once a week, other than exhibition and educational purposes. West Virginia HB 2881: Would permit recreational driving but does not allow for daily transportation. Vermont HB 613: Permits qualifying antique vehicles to use a license plate issued for the same year the vehicle was manufactured. Clean Fuel/Hybrid Vehicles Kentucky HB 214: Creates a tax credit for the installation of a diesel-engine conversion kit that allows a vehicle to run on vegetable oil. Missouri SB 749: Creates tax incentives for those who purchase E-85 conversion kits or qualified hybrid vehicles. Utah HB 106: Provides a tax credit for the purchase of new vehicles that meet air-quality and fuel-economy standards. Exempts vehicles that use clean fuel from the special-fuel tax. Emissions/Inspections Maine HB 1498: Changes annual vehicle inspection to a biennial vehicle inspection. Mississippi SB 2009: Would repeal the Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Law for the state of Mississippi. Missouri HB 1486: Allows vehicles newer than six years old to be exempted from biennial vehicle inspections after its initial inspection for registration. Missouri HB 1564: Removes the requirement of an inspection for vehicles registered in the state of Missouri except for vehicles used to transport children to and from school. Missouri SB 731: Allows a used vehicle that has been registered for only one year, which is out of sync with Missouri's biennial registration program, to skip the vehicle's first renewal inspection. New Jersey AB 1332: Exempts vehicles five years old or less from state vehicle inspections. Virginia SB 526: Changes annual vehicle inspection to a biennial inspection. Raises the cost of inspection from $16 to $20. Miscellaneous Indiana HB 1324/Kentucky SB 34/New Jersey AB 1572/West Virginia SB 75: Requires the presence of an event data recorder to be disclosed to an owner of a vehicle. Establishes how data can be retrieved from the recorder. New Jersey AB 1318: Requires vehicles manufactured after a set date to be equipped with a rear high-mounted stop lamp. South Carolina SB 929: Prohibits any musical or artificial sound from being heard outside of a motor vehicle, in public streets or around residential housing. Tennessee SB 2597: Requires a junk dealer or scrap-metal processor to confirm and maintain copies of vehicle titles to verify proper ownership upon purchasing the vehicle. Registration Indiana SB 81: Makes changes regarding the transfer of vehicles after a death. Provides additional time after a death to file necessary paperwork for vehicle transfers. Vermont SB 316: Changes the vehicle registration so that it is based on the EPA mpg rating of the vehicle. Creates a program to remove "clunker" vehicles from Vermont roads. Virginia HB 52: Removes the requirement of a notarized certificate verifying that the vehicle complies with safety standards of the model year when applying for an antique motor-vehicle registration. Virginia HB 756: Allows registration fees for vehicles equipped to accommodate those with disabilities to use the weight of the vehicle minus the weight of the special equipment. Street Racing New Jersey AB 908: Raises the fines for anyone associated with drag racing on public streets. Also makes the offense punishable with jail, for a minimum of 180 days up to 1 year without parole. For more information about SEMA (the Specialty Equipment Market Association) go to

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