The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) excluded collision repair facilities from its proposal to increase required reporting under a revised Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR) regulation.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) applauded the move. Without the exclusion, ASA said, the rule would inflict considerable economic costs upon many small businesses while providing the government data of negligible value.
The Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panel, convened by the EPA to assist in developing the proposal, selected ASA to serve as a Small Entity Representative (SER). ASA’s appointment as an SER provided the collision repair industry a platform to offer insight for the recommendations of the SBAR panel, which was comprised of the EPA’s small business advocacy chairperson, the director of the EPA’s Air Quality Assessment Division in the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management Budget, and the chief counsel for advocacy at the Small Business Administration.
ASA recognizes and supports the federal government’s important role in ensuring the air remains healthy for everyone to breathe. Thousands of collision shops submit emissions data to various government agencies each year. In fact, the EPA already receives much of the same collision industry’s hazardous air pollutants (HAP) data proposed to be added to AERR.
After SER meetings with the SBAR panel and submission of comments by ASA, the panel provided EPA more information to better understand the concerns of ASA’s members. The EPA followed with an analysis that, as summarized in the official regulatory proposal, revealed:
“…the collision repair industry…is unique in that it has the most small entities of any industry that the EPA is considering including in the proposed rule…and that much smaller number of the number of largest collision repair facilities (around 2,000) are estimated to fall within the emissions reporting thresholds under consideration. Given that the EPA is already receiving data through states from about 2,300 of such sources, the EPA is unlikely to reduce the number of facilities for which emissions data must be reported below the number it is already receiving. The EPA reviewed other [industries] in this way, but no other [industry] presented a similar situation. In other industries, the EPA either estimates that many more sources would need to report based on these proposed requirements or the EPA lacks sufficient existing emissions data for facilities [from those industries] to perform the same analysis.”
Based on this information, the EPA concluded excluding collision repair shops would still allow them to accurately gauge air quality while avoiding unnecessary burdens for small businesses.
“This proposed revision to AERR accounts for the concerns that ASA shared with the EPA," said ASA Board of Directors Chairman Scott Benavidez, AMAM. "We are encouraged that the EPA appears to have taken our perspective to heart. At the same time, we will remain vigilant and communicative with the EPA to ensure that the exclusion remains in the potential revision’s final iteration.”