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Automotive Repair and Auto Body Shops

Information presented in this publication is intended to provide a general understanding of the statutory and regulatory requirements governing automotive repair and auto body shops. This information is not intended to replace, limit or expand upon the complete statutory and regulatory requirements found in the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and Title 35 of the Illinois Administrative Code.

Certain wastes common to automotive repair and auto body shops are considered special wastes. Special wastes include hazardous waste, pollution control waste, and industrial process waste. Hazardous waste is a type of special waste. A waste can be classified as hazardous if it (1) is listed on the Illinois EPA hazardous waste list, or (2) exhibits one of the following characteristics: ignitability, toxicity, corrosivity or reactivity. An industrial process waste is any liquid, solid, semisolid, or gaseous waste generated when manufacturing a product or performing a service. Common waste streams may include used oil, used antifreeze, used solvents/paints/and coatings, used absorbents, used batteries, and used tires.

The regulations that affect your shop are based on how much hazardous waste you generate. The following bullets describe the three hazardous waste generator categories.

  • Generate less than 220 pounds (100 kilograms) of hazardous waste per month
  • Generate a total of 220 to 2,200 pounds (100 to 1,000 kilograms) of hazardous waste per month
  • Generate over 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of hazardous waste per month

Wastewater is often generated by operations such as the rinsing of parts, and the washing down of engines or dirty tools. If water becomes mixed with oil, antifreeze, solvents, or other liquids, it is important that it be properly treated and contained prior to discharge.

A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit from Illinois EPA is required for business owners that discharge their power washing wastewater directly into a water body. If wastewater is discharged to a sanitary sewer system, the business owners must apply for a state construction permit and may also need to apply for a state operating permit. If your shop is discharging large quantities of wastewater into the municipal sewage system, you may be required to get a permit from your local wastewater treatment plant.

Activities common to automotive repair and auto body shops that can impact the air surrounding your shop include the following:

  • Using solvents to clean dirty and used parts
  • Spray painting and paint stripping
  • Grinding and buffing
  • Maintaining air conditioning systems
  • Storing and dispensing gasoline

Automotive repair and auto body shops are subject to a number of air pollution regulations, and may be required to obtain permits depending on the type of activities conducted, the amount of materials used, and the location of the shop.

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