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Last updated:
May 03, 2001 

Peaks to Prairies Pollution Prevention Information Center 

Auto Body News

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Engine and Vehicle Development with Production Intent Grant (EPA) (10/31/01)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a need for a contract to provide the Office of Air and Radiation; Office of Transportation and Air Quality; National Vehicle Fuels Emission Laboratory; Advanced Technology Support Division, with flexible engineering support related to vehicles and engines, with efforts focused on reducing emissions and improving efficiency (to lower carbon dioxide emissions) that can easily be transformed into full production. For more info see: or, or contact:

The Clean Car Campaign
With the support of 26 environmental organizations, the Clean Car Campaign calls on Ford and other automakers to remove toxic mercury from vehicles that come in for service, repair, or recall. For more information see:

Environmental Technology Verification Report (10/3/01)
EPA's environmental technology verification (ETV) program has completed a report on the laser touch targeting device for manual paint spray systems. The May 2000 report was prepared by the National Defense Center for Environmental Excellence, operated by Concurrent Technologies Corp., and is on-line at


Auto Aluminum Sorting by Laser, (11/6/00)
The Environmental News Service reports: Almost 90 percent of automotive aluminum today is recovered and recycled. While this aluminum represents less than 10 percent of the average motor vehicle by weight, it already accounts for about half of the vehicle's value as scrap. "Current separating techniques only allow us to separate aluminum from other materials in scrapped vehicles," said Jim Quinn, staff engineer, General Motors Corporation and chair of the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR). "The recovered aluminum is then recycled into castings. But the new techniques will enable us to separate cast aluminum from wrought and even differentiate between wrought alloys." For more information see: or


EPA Unveils the First Virtual Auto Body Shop, (10/9/00)
The EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) Program, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics has launched a first-of-a-kind auto body shop/information center on the web: The site advances the goal of DfE's Auto Refinish project to bring safer, cleaner, and more efficient practices and technologies to the auto refinishing shop that will keep painters and shop workers healthier, reduce pollution and emissions to the community and increase spray painting efficiencies that will save money.    back to news page   

Automotive Repair and Salvage Resources from DNREC, (9/25/00)
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has several resources targeted at the automotive repair and salvage industry which address pollution prevention, hazardous waste material handling, recycling, and disposal including the book 'Pollution Reduction Management Practices and Regulatory Guidance for Vehicle and Other Salvage Facilities' and a web site summarizing best management practices by material category in a "Do and Don'ts" format. For information, contact Kevin Yingling at 302/739-3689 or or see:

DaimlerChrysler Works To Increase Recovery, Reuse of Plastics from Automobiles, (9/25/00)
The company is currently testing plastics recycling technology that could help make the company's vehicles 95 percent recoverable within the next few years, significantly reducing the impact of end-of-life vehicles on the environment. For more information contact Max Gates at 248/512-2688, or Carol Honeycutt at 248/512-2678, or see: 


Initial STAR Training Held In Montana, (7/27/00)
The initial STAR (Spray Technique Analysis and Research) training event in Montana was held at the MSU-Northern Automotive Technology facility in Havre. STAR, which was developed at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC), is designed to help spray painters improve their transfer efficiency, which is the ratio of how much paint is sprayed compared to how much paint is actually sticking to the part. A high-quality painter with many years of experience at a trailer manufacturing firm and in teaching students at MSU-Northern, Kevin Mielke transferred 35.6% of the paint sprayed onto the targeted parts in his pre-training exercise vs. 54.5% efficiency post-training. He also achieved a more consistent coating thickness and required two rather than three applications. The increased transfer efficiency resulted in a 35.5% reduction in materials used, and a 43.8% reduction in potentially dangerous VOCs released. In a typical, small auto body repair shop (eight hoods and fenders painted per week for 50 weeks per year), this could result in an annual savings of $3,262.00 each year in materials. The Montana STAR program is a partnership of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality Pollution Prevention (P2) Bureau and the MSU Extension Service P2 Program. For further information on the STAR program, contact Jon Hudson at 888/678-6872 or


Two Montana Auto Body Shops Receive EcoStar Recognition, (6/30/00)
The Auto Body Center, Inc., of Bozeman, and Al's Body Shop, of Billings, are among the 22 small Montana businesses to receive EcoStar recognition, from the MSU Extension Service. They were chosen for their efforts to reduce waste and conserve resources, and to educate employees and customers in these areas. The Auto Body Center reduces solvent waste by distilling used solvent and waste paint to recover the re-usable solvent. The recovered solvent is also used in their spray gun washer. These steps have resulted in over 200 gallons of solvent saved annually. Single-use plastic and paper overspray covers have been replaced by reusable cloth covers, a less harmful citrus-based cleaner has replaced harsh chemical cleaners, and packaging waste has been reduced through bulk purchasing. Al's Body Shop  took additional steps to continue reducing pollution this year. Using an automated spray gun washer has reduced solvent use an estimated 20 gallons per year. Efficient light use, reduced thermostat setting, and use of sawdust for minor spill cleanup, as well as recycling of steel, aluminum, cardboard and used oil, are all part of  the shop's pollution prevention plan. The goal of the EcoStar program is to provide businesses with incentives to reduce waste and help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. For more information contact Jon Hudson toll-free at 888/MSU-6872 or

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