The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are urging people in Counties Laois and Offaly to check that they are using only certified car spraying operators when getting paintwork repaired as these providers are implementing good environmental practices.
“If you’re having the paintwork on your car touched up, or having the car re-sprayed, you need to be sure that the operator you are using is fully certified,” says Dr. Ian Marnane, Air Enforcement Manager, EPA. “Car paints contain highly volatile compounds which can be very harmful to the environment and to health if they are not properly handled. That’s why you have to be sure that the garage or operator you are going to is certified. Certified operators have made an appropriate investment to ensure that they are protecting the environment and people’s health.”
The re-spraying of cars is regulated to minimise harmful effects on our environment and health. It is now a legal requirement for those providing re-spraying services to be environmentally compliant. Uncertified body shops are operating illegally and should be avoided. Car paint contains Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which can evaporate into our atmosphere, even at room temperature. This can cause respiratory illness in both animals and humans and have potentially harmful effects on our environment.
Re-sprayers are required to register with their local authority and have their premises inspected to ensure they use paints that are low in VOCs and dispose of waste in an appropriate manner. The EPA is pleased that there is now growing awareness of the issue and a growing number of certified operators in all counties.
“It is important that in County Offaly you support certified vehicle refinishers,” says Dr. Marnane. “These businesses have made the appropriate investment to ensure that they are operating in an environmentally friendly way. You have the re-assurance of knowing that they – and you – are preventing harm to the environment and potentially to the health of humans and animals.”
Local authorities pursue and prosecute uncertified operators and encourage those who are uncertified to register immediately. A number of successful prosecutions have been taken against uncertified operators and those convicted face a fine of up to €3,000 and / or jail time of up to one year.
A spokesperson from Offaly County Council said,
“Unregistered facilities will face enforcement proceedings in the courts and likely fines and closure. This course of action will be taken in the interest of the environment and registered facilities. The enforcement actions of the EPA and the local authorities are fully supported by the industry trade body, the Vehicle Repairers Association, which has a network of certified repairers throughout Ireland.