Surface Coating

Many manufacturers, job shops, or service operations have small or large painting or surface coating operations at their facilities.

It is important to know that if you have a surface coating operation at your place of business, you may be subject to air quality environmental regulations.

Surface coating operations typically emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and particulate matter.  These air pollutants are regulated by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  VOCs are contained in paints and solvents and evaporate during the mixing, application and curing of coatings and make up the majority of emissions from a typical spray booth.  Particulate matter is emitted in the paint overspray from the solids content of the coating.  HAPs are toxic air contaminants contained in coatings that are emitted as a gas or a solid.

DEP requires facilities that emit VOCs, HAPs, and/or particulate matter from surface coating operations to obtain air permits which allow the construction and operation of their surface coating equipment. The permit to construct is called a Plan Approval and the permit to operate is called the State Only Operating Permit (SOOP).

Permit exemptions exist for surface coating equipment that meets certain emission criteria.  DEP typically exempts sources of actual uncontrolled VOC emissions less than 2.7 tons per year. However, even if a permit is not required, facilities may still need to meet certain emission limitations, work practice standards and recordkeeping requirements in DEP’s regulations.

Federal regulations written by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may also apply to certain surface coating operations at small businesses. 

CLICK HERE for more information on other requirements.