Wednesday, 02 December 2020 11:15

In Reverse: The ‘80s---Foreign Cars and Other Changes

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...Material Safety Data Sheets for every hazardous chemical used in the business by employees. The shop would also have to make this information available to local authorities and first responders, such as fire departments, so they would be aware of what they are dealing with in the event of a fire, chemical spill or other emergency.


This meant collision shop owners would be responsible for training employees about their rights under the legislation, the nature of the hazardous chemicals in the workplace and the information contained in MSDS sheets; labeling information about potentially hazardous chemicals; and record keeping.


In the summer of 1988, Southern California shops owners found they were targeted for some special environmental rules. Shops in southern California that fell under the auspices of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SQAQMD)---basically the Los Angeles area---were faced with a dire issue concerning compliance with the SCAQMD’s recent interpretation of the 1977 Clean Air Act.


It said if larger shops, spraying more than 25 lbs. of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), wanted to expand their business, they would need to buy very expensive equipment to capture the VOCs, rather than expel them into the environment, use low VOC paints, or both.


Smaller shops would be able to get away with low VOC coatings. This caused permits to build new paint booths to take four to six months.


The industry was realizing it could no longer ignore its state and federal lawmakers, because lawmakers were no longer ignoring collision shop owners. It was all the more reason to belong to a local or state auto body association.


In September 1988, the California Autobody Association met for its annual expo and convention at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA.


Among the various speakers was Fred Simonelli, legislative advocate for the State of California. His message was, “Whether you like it or not, you have a partner---the government.” He encouraged shop owners to get involved with government to help drive legislative decisions that would affect their future business.

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