Finishing Industry Regulations

  • Best Available Control Technology (BACT)

    Federal BACT is an emission limitation, including a visible emission standard, based on the maximum degree of reduction of each pollutant subject to regulation under the FCAA emitted from or which results from any proposed major stationary source (major source) or major modification. The federally approved permitting authority (TCEQ), on a case-by-case basis, takes into account energy, environmental and economic impacts, and other costs, and determines that the emission limitation is achievable for such source or modification through application of production processes and available methods, systems, and techniques, including fuel cleaning, clean fuels or treatment or innovative fuel combustion techniques for control of each such pollutant.

    40CFR50: NAAQS for Particulate Matter

    PM10 –   inhalable coarse particles smaller than 10 µm in diameter

    National 24 hour PM10 emission limit:  150 µg/m3

                    3 year average not to exceed 150 µg/m3 more than once per year

    PM2.5 – fine particles 2.5µm in diameter and smaller

                    Annual: 12 µg/m3

                    24 hour fine particle standard: 35 µg/m3

                    3 year average of 98th percentile is < 35 µg/m3

    TCEQ publication RG404 states that exhaust filters must achieve at least 95% arrestance efficiency.  However, TCEQ BACT guidelines require that enclosed painting operations use an exhaust filter that achieves at least 99% efficiency.  The efficiency rating is achieved using a modified ASHRAE 52.1 test method as described in 40CFR63, HHHHHH, sec 63.1173(e)(3)(i).  In addition, TCEQ permitting authorities may require MERV testing for exhaust filters. 

    TCEQ Coatings Sources:  Current BACT Guidelines, Painting Operations


    Source Type


    Minimum acceptable control

    Control efficiency or details





    For all sources: dry or water wash filters

    Control efficiency of 99% or greater based on ASHRAE 52.1.  MERV rating based on ASHRAE 52.2 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


    For all major and area sources of HAPs compliance with the applicable emissions standards in 40CFR63



    Although MERV tests for liquid paint arrestors have historically been considered an inappropriate use of the test, TECQ requires ASHRAE 52.2 testing without modification for coatings on a case by case basis to help technicians quantify PM2.5 emissions.  

  • The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) published the original standard on Paint Spraying and Spray Booths in 1922 and clearly state that all revised editions supersede all previous editions.  In 1995, the NFPA dropped the requirement for noncombustible overspray collection filters.  Although the OSHA guidelines for Spray Finishing Using Flammable and Combustible Materials (29CFR1910.107) were developed according to the recommendation of the NFPA, they were not updated according to the NFPA’s most current recommendations (specifically, the changes made in the 1995 edition).  Rather than amend the published regulations, OSHA has addressed the current recommendations in their De Minimis Policy, OSHA Instruction 2.103, Sept. 26, 1994 Field Instruction Reference Manual, Chapter III-19 and 20, specifically citing the 1995 edition of NFPA 33:

    NFPA 33, 1995 edition, Chapter 3, Construction and Design of Spray Areas, Spray Rooms, and Spray Booths

    Sec 3-6:  Ventilation.  Spray areas that are equipped with ventilation distribution or baffle plates or with dry overspray collection filters shall meet the requirements of 3-6.1 through 3-6.5.

    3-6.1  Distribution plates or baffles shall be constructed of noncombustible materials and shall be readily removable or accessible for cleaning on both sides.

    3-6.2  Filters shall not be used when applying materials known to be highly susceptible to spontaneous heating or spontaneous ignition.

    3-6.3  Supports and holders for filters shall be constructed of noncombustible materials.

    3-6.4  Overspray collection filters shall be readily removable or accessible for cleaning or replacement.

    3-6.5  Filters shall not be alternately used for different types of coating materials if the combination of the materials might result in spontaneous heating or ignition.  (See also Section 8-8).

    Chapter 8, Operations and Maintenance

    8-8  Spontaneous Ignition Hazards.  The same spray booth shall not be alternately used for different types of coating materials if the combination of the materials is conducive to spontaneous ignition, unless all deposits of the first-used coating material are removed from the booth and exhaust ducts prior to spraying with the second coating material.

  • The Accordion is compliant with 40CFR63, subpart HHHHHH which states that all spray booth filter media used for the purposes of exhaust must be at least 98% efficient.  The Accordion is tested using ASHRAE 52.1 test methods as per the specific paint test parameters outlined in 40CFR63.11173(e)(2)(i).  

    Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations

    • 63.11173 (e)(2)(i) Subpart HHHHHH-National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources, General Compliance Requirements

    All spray booths, preparation stations, and mobile enclosures must be fitted with a type of filter technology that is demonstrated to achieve at least 98-percent capture of paint overspray.  The procedure used to demonstrate filter efficiency must be consistent with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Method 52.1, “Gravimetric and Dust-Spot Procedures for Testing Air-Cleaning Devices Used in General Ventilation for Removing Particulate Matter, June 4, 1992” (incorporated by reference, see §63.14 of subpart A of this part).  The test coating for measuring filter efficiency shall be a high solids bake enamel delivered at a rate of at least 135 grams per minute from a conventional (non-HVLP) air-atomized spray gun operating at 40 pounds per square inch (psi) air pressure; the air flow rate across the filter shall be 150 feet per minute.  Owners and operators may use published filter efficiency data provided by filter vendors to demonstrate compliance with this requirement and are not required to perform this measurement. 

  • ASHRAE 52.1 evaluates the performance of air-cleaning devices for removing airborne particulate matter.  The test procedure is a dust-spot test using potassium chloride as the challenge to simulate the accumulation of particles during the service life of a filter.  The standard measures particle diameter (0.3 – 10µm) upstream and downstream of the air-cleaning device to calculate removal efficiency. As of January, 2009, ASHRAE 52.1 was withdrawn, superseded by and incorporated into ASHRAE 52.2.  Test methods for liquid paint arrestance are not provided in either ASHRAE 52.1 or 52.2.

    EPA Comments

    Part III, Environmental Protection Agency, 40 CFR Part 63, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources; Final Rule     

    Federal Register/Vol. 73, No. 6/Wednesday, January 9, 2009/Rules and Regulations

    1. Summary of Comments and Responses,
    2. Spray Booth Filters, page 1753.

    It was the intent of EPA that filter specifications or filter performance data provided by the filter manufacturer would suffice for the purpose of compliance in the proposed rule.  The final rule clarifies that records of manufacturer specifications or vendor supplied or published data are sufficient for demonstrating compliance with the filter efficiency requirement. 

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews,

    I. National Technology Transfer Advancement Act, page 1759.

    This rulemaking involves technical standards.  Therefore the EPA conducted searches to identify potential voluntary consensus standards.  However, we identified no such standards and none were brought to our attention in comments.  The search and review results are in the docket for this rule.  Therefore EPA has decided to use the following:

    (1) the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (AHSRAE) Method 52.1, “Gravimetric and Dust-Spot Procedures for Testing Air-Cleaning Devices Used in General Ventilation for Removing Particulate Matter, June 4, 1992,” to measure paint booth filter efficiency to measure the capture efficiency of paint overspray arrestors with spray-applied coatings.

    Concerning the omission of specific paint arrestance test methods in ASHRAE 52.1-1992, a Technical Services Engineer states,

    “ASHRAE 52.1-1992 has been superseded by and incorporated into ASHRAE 52.2-2007.  The scope of the 52.2 standard notes:  the method of testing measures the performance of air-cleaning devices in removing particles of specific diameters as the devices become loaded by standardized loading dust fed at intervals to simulate accumulation of particles during service life.  The standard defines procedures for generating the aerosols required for conducting the test.  The standard also provides a method for counting airborne particles of 0.30 to 10µm in diameter upstream and downstream of the air-cleaning device in order to calculate removal efficiency by particle size.”

    The Accordion has been tested by the manufacturer and found to have the following efficiency:

    Standard Baffle:  98.3%
    Poly-Back Baffle:  99.4%

  • The Accordion Poly-Back Baffle is compliant with 40CFR63 Subpart GG (National Emission Standards for Aerospace Manufacturing and Rework Facilities) as stage 1 and 2  of a 3 stage system if the final stage has been tested and certified efficient using Test Method 319 (M319).  This subpart applies to facilities that are engaged in the manufacture or rework of commercial, civil or military aerospace vehicles or components and that are major sources of HAP, VOC and/or inorganic HAP emissions (>10 tons/yr). 

    Aerospace NESHAP states that all spray booths built after 1999 require a 3 stage filtration system.  If the final stage is certified efficient using M319, then only one stage is possible as may be found in a HEPA filter.  Scope and Application further states that pre-filters need not be tested and are considered to pass filtration requirements when the final stage is tested and certified efficient.

    40CFR63, Subpart GG, Appendix A

    Scope and Application, 1.3

    For a paint arrestor system or subsystem which has been tested by this method, adding additional filtration devices to the system or subsystem shall be assumed to result in an efficiency of at least that of the original system without the requirement for additional testing.  (For example, if the final stage of a three-stage paint arrestor system has been tested by itself, then the addition of the other two stages shall be assumed to maintain, as a minimum, the filtration efficiency provided by the final stage alone.  Thus, in this example, if the final stage has been shown to meet the filtration requirements of Table 1 of 63.745 of subpart GG, then the final stage in combination with any additional paint arrestor stages also passes the filtration requirements.)



  • The Accordion is not required to be UL2 rated.  Although Underwriters Laboratories and the NFPA have both suspended the requirement for Class 2 filters, OSHA has not amended their regulations.  Instead, they issued guidance with a letter of interpretation under the De Minimus Policy.

    Underwriters Laboratories (UL)  states that a Class 2 certification only applies to clean filters.  A certified rating cannot be applied to a filter in use because the combustibility of particulate accumulation in the filter has not been measured in the test standard.  The intention of the filter is to collect particulates and therefore a Class 2 filter in use does not provide equal or greater protection to the employee.

    29CFR1910.107: Spray Finishing Using Flammable and Combustible Materials 

    1910.107(b)(5)(vi)  Clean filters or filter rolls shall be noncombustible or of a type having a combustibility not in excess of Class 2 filters as listed by Underwriter’s Laboratory.  Filters and filter rolls shall not be alternately used for different types of coating materials, where the combination of materials may be conducive to spontaneous ignition [see also (g)(6)].

    UL 900
    Scope 1.1 of the Test Standards for Air Filter Units (UL900) determines combustibility and amount of smoke generated for air filter units of both washable and throwaway types used for removal of dust and other airborne particles from air circulated mechanically in equipment and systems installed in accordance with NFPA 90A.  The UL 900 test simulates a duct fire with flame exposure and spot flame test impinging on the filter.  For classification, strict limits are placed on the amount of smoke and flames that may pass thru the filter.

    Scope 1.2:  since the combustibility and smoke generation of an air filter unit, after a period of service, depends upon the nature and quantity of the material collected by the filter, the test requirements of this standard, for classification purposes, apply only to air filter units in a clean condition.  Consequently, when filters are susceptible to the accumulation of combustible deposits, it is intended that maintenance and inspection practices should be followed as proposed in NFPA 90A.

    In 2003, OSHA stopped requiring the NRTL to include the UL900 in their scope of recognition.  ‘… some of the test standards that OSHA currently includes in the scope of recognition of these NRTLs are no longer “appropriate test standards” primarily because they have been withdrawn or replaced.’  To date, the NRTL has withdrawn UL900 and has not recommended a replacement.  This does not mean that the test is not available, but rather that NRTLs are not required to perform the test. 

    OSHA:  Composite List of Test Standards No Longer Recognized, FR Notice:  68:579-583, 1/6/03

    Based on the new recommendations, OSHA has provided guidance for compliance in a 1996 Letter of Interpretation that states, ‘If someone follows a more current consensus standard that provides employee protection, OSHA will not cite them.’  However, each Compliance Officer will make that call on a case-by-case basis.”

    OSHA’s De Minimis policy, OSHA Instruction 2.103, Sept. 26, 1994, Field Instruction Reference Manual, Chapter III-19 and 20. 

    You inquired as to whether compliance with NFPA 33 offered “equal or greater employee protection” and if a company would be cited if they comply with NFPA 33.  To address your first concern, OSHA’s policy is that compliance with NFPA 33 (1995 ed.) offers at least “equal” employee protection in areas specifically addressed in that document.  As for your second concern, we are unable to give this type of generic interpretation of compliance.  A compliance officer will deal with such compliance issues on a case-by-case basis to completely evaluate the specific and unique circumstances in order to verify whether employees are being provided equal or greater protection.  An employer who complies with a consensus standard, such as NFPA 33, rather than an OSHA standard in effect at the time of inspection and clearly provides equal or greater employee protection will not be cited.

    The National Fire Protection Association amended their standards in 1995, dropping the requirement for non-combustible [or UL2 rated] filters.  Michael K. Haufe, P.E., Technical Director of the Distributions Products Division for Columbus Industries, Inc. inquired to OSHA as to whether 1910.107(b)(5)(vi) would be updated accordingly.  John B. Miles, Jr., Director of the OSHA Directorate of Compliance Programs replied on March 15, 1996:

    Dear Mr. Haufe:

    Thank you for your letter of February 6 regarding spray finishing as covered under 29 CFR 1910.107. Your question related to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) possible future updating of 1910.107(b)(5)(vi) and what the agency’s interim enforcement policy will be until such an updated standard is promulgated.

    OSHA does not have any immediate plans to change or amend 1910.107 to reflect the newly revised NFPA-33 standard for spray application using flammable or combustible materials. Until such an amendment to the OSHA standard is made, however an employer who complies with a consensus standard rather than a standard in effect at the time of inspection and clearly provides equal or greater employee protection will not be cited. (OSHA’s De Minimis policy, OSHA Instruction 2.103, September 26, 1994, Field Inspection Reference Manual, Chapter III-19 and 20.

    Furthermore, an employer choosing to comply with the NFPA 33 standard must comply with all relevant sections of Chapter 3, Sections 3-6 of this standard specifically allow for the use of dry overspray collection filters.

    Thank you for your interest in safety and health. If we can be of any further assistance, please call Margo Daniel, of my staff, at (202) 219-8041, Ext. 107.



  • Accordion Filters do not require certification under the Australian Standard, AS/NZS 4114.1:2003.  This standard requires certification of the paint booth construction by the booth manufacturer.  Section 3.3.1 states:  “Filter media are not classed as part of the booth construction.”  Spray painting booths must comply with tests specified in Section 7.  Booth manufacturers must submit documents, including booth specifications and 0perating/maintenance instructions.

    Relative to exhaust filters, this standard requires the use of a manometer or other pressure monitoring device.  Section Spray cycle airflow rate, outlines the minimum velocities required to be maintained in and around a spray painting booth:

    During the spray cycle, the airflow shall be the greater of—

    (a) that which provides, for the purpose of air dilution, a concentration of flammable vapour in air, six times lower than that specified in AS 1375; or

    (b) that which produces, when the booth is empty and the airflow is tested in accordance

    with Clause 7.5, the minimum velocities of—

    (i) where spray painting is done by an electrostatic process only……………0.40 m/s;

    (ii) full down draught booths …………………………………………………………..0.25 m/s;

    (iii) special booths (e.g. semi down draught and on floor down draught booths) where

    airflow is vertical in part of the spraying area and horizontal in another part—

    (A) vertical down airflow area………………………………………………….0.25 m/s;

    (B) where airflow is substantially horizontal ………………………………0.50 m/s;

    (iv) other processes, e.g. cross flow types ……………………………………. 0.50 m/s; and

    (v) the value specified by the spray painting booth manufacturer or supplier when

    greater than the value specified in (ii), (iii) or (iv) above.

    Accordion Filters
    Recommended air velocity:  49-197 fpm (0.25 – 1.00 m/s)
    Recommended maximum pressure drop:  0.51 inch w.c.  (128 pa), possible >1 inch w.c. (256 pa) if the fan is capable of pulling the load.

    The remaining “exhaust filter” requirements in this standard simply state that:  a booth shall be designed not to exceed the maximum velocity of the filter as recommended by the filter manufacturer (4.4.3) and those filters shall meet the requirements of the relevant authorities (4.4.4).  Local agencies may have additional requirements pertinent to the exhaust filter used in a spray painting booth.

    Although not required by this standard, The Accordion has been tested by the manufacturer for paint arrestance efficiency using the US EPA test standard as outlined in 40CFR63.1173(e)(3)(i).  The Accordion Standard Baffle and Poly-Back Baffle collect > 98% and 99%, respectively. 

  • Accordion Filters are compliant with standards set forth by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).  Neither handling nor disposal of Accordion Filters results in human or environmental exposure of hazardous or toxic substances.*  As such, no registration nor notification obligation is required under the requirements set forth in the regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation.

    Article 7

    1. Any producer or importer of articles shall notify the Agency, in accordance with paragraph 4 of this Article, if a substance meets the criteria in Article 57 and is identified in accordance with Article 59(1), if both the following conditions are met:
    2. a) the substance is present in those articles in quantities totaling over one tonne per producer or importer per year;
    3. b) the substance is present in those articles above a concentration of 0.1% weight by weight (w/w).


    1. Paragraph 2 shall not apply where the producer or importer can exclude exposure to humans or the environment during normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use including disposal. In such cases, the producer or importer shall supply appropriate instructions to the recipient of the article.

    Accordion Filters do not contain substances identified in Annex XIII and XVII.  No known toxic or hazardous substances are used in the production of the aforementioned articles. 

    The Guidance on Requirements for Substances in Articles states that notification and communication obligations apply to substances identified on the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern for Authorization.  The properties of these substances are defined in Article 57:  carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMRs category 1 & 2), persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB), or for which there is evidence for similar concern. 

    * Does not apply to toxic and hazardous particles collected by the paint arrestor.  Loaded overspray collectors must be disposed of in the same manner as any paint-laden waste material. 

  • Spray booths are designed to reduce particulate matter (PM) emissions.  Many components play a role in abating PM emissions and factor into the overall PM emission evaluation.  Overspray collectors are but one component of the booth and alone do not require PM testing.  The Accordion Filter Paint Arrestance Test sufficiently states technical ability such that the booth manufacturer is able to conduct PM emission testing as specified by DEFRA. 

    Statutory Guidance for Coating of Metal and Plastic Processes, Process Guidance Note 6/23 (11)

    Section 4.3all activities should comply with the emission limits and provisions with regard to non-VOC releases in Table 5.  Table 5 and SED Boxes 5 and 7 should be considered in conjunction with the monitoring paragraphs found later in this section.  The reference conditions for limits in Section 4 are:  273.1K, 101.3kPa, without correction for water vapor content, unless stated otherwise.


    Table 5:  Emission limits, monitoring and other provisions for non-VOC releases


    Particulate matter

    New spraybooths

    50 mg/Nm3 as 30 minute mean for contained sources

    By guarantee supplied by the spray booth constructor




    Manual extractive testing


    All other processes

    50 mg/Nm3 as 30 minute mean for contained sources

    Manual extractive testing



    Section 5.10:  Spraybooths should be designed to meet the emission limit for particulate matter in Table 4.  Regulators should be provided with a guarantee from the spraybooth constructor that a newly-installed booth will meet this emission concentration limit, and the guarantee should be supported by emission test data for the spraybooth type that the guarantee relates to. 


  • VOC 2010 legislation is an EU directive that seeks to reduce the amount of VOCs emitted by the paint industry for environmental and health reasons.  VOCs contribute to air pollution and are causally linked to global warming.  They also contribute to the creation of ozone in the lower atmosphere which poses a health risk to humans, animals and vegetation.  Although the paint industry is by no means the largest contributor to total VOC emissions, there is a responsibility on paint manufacturers to invest effort into reducing VOC emissions.

    The new VOC limits will come into force January 1st, 2010 for the UK.  From that date forward, non-compliant products can no longer be manufactured; however, during the whole of 2010, non-compliant products can still be sold legally.  The final cut-off date from where no more non-compliant products can be sold is January 1st, 2011.  Appliers are not affected by any legal deadlines and can use up all of their non-compliant product stocks beyond 2011. 

    VOC Regulations will go into effect June 18, 2010 for Canada.  The intent of the regulations will be to set mandatory limits on the VOC content of automotive refinish coatings.  The legislation is a prohibition of sale.  Non-compliant products may not be sold or purchased past June 18, 2010.

    Various aspects of VOC Regulations went into effect in the USA as early as 1998 and continue to be updated.

    Paint arrestors are not intended to capture VOCs.  The purpose of paint booth filters is to capture overspray.