As a way to reduce pollution and keep the air cleaner in its neighborhood, O’Keeffe’s Collision has been awarded grants to help install a new painting system.
The 7-year-old neighborhood collision repair shop, located at 860 Payne Ave. in St. Paul, MN, has been awarded grants from the Environmental Protection Agency and Minneapolis-based nonprofit Environment Initiative to help cover about $29,000 of an $80,000 total cost to replace its current paint system with one that will use waterborne paint, which is better for the environment.
Many collision repair shops in Minnesota still use solvent-based paints, which contain volatile organic compounds. These compounds, when released into the air while painting, mix with other pollutants and create ground-level ozone, more commonly known as smog.
According to Environmental Initiative, the switch from solvent to waterborne car-painting systems reduces volatile organic compound emissions by 45 to 65 percent.