The EPA 6H Rule – Are You Missing an Opportunity?

Recently, we posted a poll on the GFS website that asked:

Are you ready for the EPA 6H Rule?

There were four options, as follows:

  • No, and I’m not worried.
  • No, but I’m getting ready.
  • Yes, I’m ready.
  • What’s the 6H rule?

Fortunately, a good portion of respondents indicated that they were either ready, or getting ready for it, with only a small handful indicating that they weren’t, and didn’t care.

What shocked us, however, was the majority of respondents indicated that they had no idea what the 6H rule even was. In fact, 60% of those who answered the poll chose that option.

Now, if you aren’t familiar with the 6H rule, the gist of it is a set of new rules that require US body shops to provide training for their painters, spray in an enclosed environment that meets certain performance criteria, and use air filters in their spray area that meet a minimum efficiency level. There are more details available on the EPA website, but you get the idea. The rule comes in to effect today, on January 10, 2011, with mandatory compliance reports due on March 11.

You’d have a hard time convincing anyone that these are anything but good changes. They result in a safer environment for the painter, more training for the painter, and lower impact on the environment. Sure, they may involve some additional expenses, but the overall gain from making the investments required will eclipse the costs in the long run.<

Don’t believe us? Think about how much more effective your painters will be with the additional training. Think about how you can use the changes to market your shop to your customers. Think about the exposure you can get in the local media by announcing you are fully compliant with all the EPA regulations. Think about how much better your paint jobs will be as a result of using a cleaner spray environment with more efficient filters. Think about what this will mean for your business when you make the investment, but your competitors don’t make the same investment. What’s that kind of competitive advantage worth to you?

What this all boils down to is this: Keep on top of the regulations that matter to your business, and you’ll be able to benefit from them instead of always view them as an ‘inconvenience’ or ‘expense’. The forward-thinking shops that take this initiative will always be more successful than those that do not.

Here are a few links you may find helpful regarding the 6H rule:

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