EPA Welcomes Revised Solvents Regulations and Decorative Paints Regulations

Revised regulations on decorative paints and solvents were published on January 1st 2013. Re-sprayers and dry cleaners are required by law to register with their local authority, and have their premises inspected to ensure that they use appropriate products, dispose of waste in an appropriate manner and take measures to protect the environment.

Commenting on the new Regulations Dr Ian Marnane of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement says: “The re-spraying of cars and dry cleaning activities are regulated to minimise harmful effects on our environment and health. Car paint and dry cleaning raw materials contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which can evaporate into our atmosphere, even at room temperature. This can cause respiratory illness and have potentially harmful effects on our environment.”

The new law will address some of the concerns of the regulated community and will also provide greater powers to local authorities to enforce the regulations. All existing operators are urged to ensure that they renew their certificates in advance of their expiry date.

Dr Ian Marnane continues: “It is important that people support certified vehicle refinishers and dry cleaners in their area. These businesses have made the appropriate investment to ensure that harmful solvents are controlled and prevented from causing environmental damage.”

The EPA is now responsible for the appointment of a panel of approved assessors who will carry out the assessment of compliance with the regulations at relevant installations.  This panel is required to be in place by September 30th 2013. In the interim, the EPA has appointed an assessor and operators are obliged to continue to hold up-to-date certification during the interim period.

Further updates on the development of the panel of inspection bodies will be publicised over the coming weeks through revisions to the existing EPA websites for these regulations at http://www.epa.ie/whatwedo/advice/air/decopaintsdirective/ and http://www.epa.ie/whatwedo/advice/air/solvents/.

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