Three Shell Oil Company Affiliates Settle with EPA Over Violations of Vehicle Fuel Standards
Posted: January 20, 2015
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a settlement with three companies affiliated with Shell Oil Company to resolve Clean Air Act violations, including selling gasoline and diesel fuel that did not conform to federal standards. These violations resulted in excess emissions of harmful air pollutants from motor vehicles, which pose public health threats and environmental impacts. The companies will pay a $900,000 penalty to resolve these violations.
“Fuel standards established under the Clean Air Act play a major role in controlling harmful air pollution from vehicles and engines,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “If unchecked, these pollutants can seriously impair the air we breathe, especially during summer months when they can reach higher levels. This settlement makes clear that if companies fail to produce fuels that comply with federal standards, they will be held accountable.”
Actions by three companies affiliated with Shell Oil Company—Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership, Motiva Enterprises LLC, and Equilon Enterprises LLC, which does business as Shell Oil Products US—are alleged to have resulted in violations of the provisions of the Clean Air Act that ensure the production, testing and sale of high-quality vehicle and engine fuels in the United States. Specifically, EPA alleged that:
- Shell sold mislabeled diesel fuel—fuel labeled ultra-low sulfur diesel that was actually low sulfur fuel—at two gas stations in Northern Virginia. EPA inspectors discovered the violations at the stations, one of which came after receiving a complaint from a consumer. Low sulfur diesel fuel contains up to 500 parts per million of sulfur; ultra-low sulfur diesel may not exceed 15 parts per million of sulfur.
- Shell sold over 4.2 million gallons of gasoline that exceeded a fuel standard for volatility, known as the Reid Vapor Pressure level, that helps control ground level ozone during summer months. Gasoline with higher volatility results in increased emissions of volatile organic compounds, which contribute to the formation of ground level ozone. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, particularly for children, the elderly and people who have lung diseases such as asthma.
- Shell distributed about 700,000 gallons of gasoline from its Sewaren, New Jersey terminal that contained elevated levels of ethanol. Excess ethanol in gasoline can harm emission control components on some vehicles and engines. The Reformulated Gasoline Survey Association, an organization that works to improve industry compliance with Clean Air Act fuel standards, identified the fuel with excess ethanol after surveying Shell retail stations in Irvington, N.J. and Staten Island, N.Y., and notified EPA.
- Shell failed to follow various protocols for sampling, testing, reporting and recordkeeping requirements that help ensure compliance of its fuel with federal standards. Shell proactively reported some of these violations to EPA. Recordkeeping, reporting, sampling and testing violations reduce EPA’s ability to know whether fuels meet certain standards and can lead to increased vehicle emissions.
EPA, DOE Release 2015 Fuel Economy Guide for Car Buyers
Posted: November 6, 2014
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) today released the 2015 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with a valuable resource to help them choose the most fuel-efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles that meet their needs.
In comparison to previous years, the 2015 models include a greater number of fuel efficient and low-emission vehicles in a broader variety of classes and sizes.
“Automakers’ innovation is thriving, and Americans are benefiting from new consumer choices that limit carbon emissions and slow the effects of climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “This year’s guide is not just about how the latest models compare with one another; it’s about providing people with an excellent tool so that they can make informed decisions affecting their pocketbooks and the planet.”
“Today’s announcement builds on the Administration’s commitment to developing a transportation sector that minimizes harmful emissions and saves consumers’ money at the pump,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “This year’s guide provides the American people with user-friendly information for making the best decisions for their pocketbooks, while also helping create a more sustainable energy future.”
The guide provides “best-in-class” lists to help consumers find the most fuel-efficient advanced-technology vehicles as well as the most efficient gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. The best-in-class lists include multiple market segments, from two-seaters to large pickup trucks.
Consumers will find a broad range of information that can be helpful while shopping for a new vehicle — including an estimated annual fuel cost for each vehicle. The estimate is based on the vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg) rating and national estimates for fuel prices. The online version of the guide, available through www.fueleconomy.gov, gives consumers a personalized fuel cost estimate based on local gasoline prices and their personal driving habits. The guide includes a greenhouse gas rating (from one to 10) for each model, giving consumers a quick way to identify vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions.
EPA fuel economy estimates are the best way to compare fuel economy among vehicles. Official fuel economy testing is controlled, repeatable, and accounts for a variety of real-world conditions, like air-conditioning use and a variety of speed and temperature conditions. Individual mileage will vary depending on factors such as driving style, weather, air-conditioning use, and extra weight being carried or towed.http://www.fueleconomy.gov
Under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration established national car program standards for model years 2012-2025. These standards are projected to cut 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold, save families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and reduce America’s dependence on oil by more than 2 million barrels per day. So far, automakers’ overall greenhouse gas and fuel economy performance was, on average, ahead of what the standards require.
For tips on more fuel efficient driving, check out the gas mileage tips at http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/drive.shtml.
More information, including a complete version of the guide and details on fuel economy labels, are available at http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ and at http://fueleconomy.gov/m/ for mobile devices. EPA and DOE will update the guide online as more 2015 vehicles become available.
PPG Reaches New Milestone in Converting Shops to Waterborne
Posted: October 3, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com
PPG has now converted more than 10,000 collision centers in the U.S. and Canada to its waterborne systems, with the majority of these conversions taking place in National Rule areas rather than in low-VOC compliant regions. The announcement was made by PPG waterborne segment manager Tim Jones.
According to Jones, more than 10,000 collision centers in North America are now using PPG waterborne products, with more than 50 percent of these shops in National Rule markets. This means most PPG customers choose to use waterborne products and systems even though they are not required to do so to meet low-VOC regulations.
“Waterborne is not just a compliance solution anymore,” said Jones. “More than 10,000 PPG customers in the U.S. and Canada see the value in superior color matching, excellent throughput and performance, consistent color mixes and other key qualities that our waterborne products provide. PPG has a longstanding commitment to the collision repair industry to deliver high-quality and time-saving products. Envirobase High Performance and Aquabase Plus products are easier to blend and apply. Our customers appreciate this and see a real difference in their shops’ productivity.
“Collision centers are converting to PPG’s waterborne with great results,” he continued. “Shops are finding the actual conversion to waterborne is simple. They’re also finding that we support them and view their productivity as a measure of our mutual success.”
Envirobase High Performance and Aquabase Plus products are now in their third generation. PPG introduced its waterborne technology to the international OEM market in 1986 and brought the world’s first commercialized refinish waterborne basecoat to market in 1992. Since then PPG has added new primers and clearcoats to the two brands and will, according to Jones, continue to expand the product lines’ offerings.
More information:PPG Automotive Refinish
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Announces 2014 Fourth Quarter Training Schedule
Posted: August 22, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes has announced its latest courses and training sites for the fourth quarter 2014, with the suite of courses available from Oct. 6 through Dec. 15.
Participants will learn through a combination of classroom, digital and hands-on settings at the various metropolitan Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes training centers. Training is designed for and available to shop owners, managers, painters and technicians, all of whom can also choose to advance their business-building, production excellence and/or paint application techniques as needed.
The following hands-on, paint and processes application-based courses will be offered during the fourth quarter:
• AWX Performance Plus Waterborne Refinish System
• Color Adjustment and Blending
• Painter Certification
Additional shop management and business-building courses will also be offered:
• Improving Performance with KPIs
• Achieving Service Excellence
• Estimating Solutions for Profit
“All of our courses this year reflect the Sherwin-Williams philosophy of lean operations,” says Rod Habel, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes director of training operations. “We’re always seeking to introduce concepts that support sustainable practices, increase productivity and minimize or even eliminate waste – all factors that are necessary to the success of a collision center.”
The upcoming curriculum has a strong emphasis on the company’s AWX Performance Plus waterborne coatings technology. According to Sherwin-Williams, the system provides excellent color match, quick flash times between coats and requires minimal time in, or even eliminates, the baking cycle. Other classes focusing on painting excellence, including hands-on application techniques, include its ULTRA 7000, Dimensions and ATX refinish systems, as well as its Genesis fleet refinishing systems.
More information:View training schedule
I-CAR Releases NACE Training Schedule
Posted: June 27, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com
I-CAR will offer multiple Professional Development Program (PDP) training courses during Industry Week in Detroit July 31 through Aug. 2. The program will feature some of I-CAR’s newest courses, including the 2015 Ford F-150 Structural Repair Training Course (FOR06).
I-CAR collision repair training experts worked alongside Ford Motor Company engineers during the 2015 Ford F-150 design and development process to create FOR06. In conjunction with I-CAR’s Welding Training & Certification: Aluminum GMA (MIG) Welding course, FOR06 also meets the 2015 F-150 training requirements for the Ford National Body Shop Program.
“I-CAR is thrilled to bring this lineup of training to NACE during Industry Week,” said Josh McFarlin, I-CAR director of curriculum and product development. “This is an excellent opportunity for I-CAR to reach industry professionals with some of I-CAR’s newest and most exciting courses available.”
The training schedule is as follows:
Thursday, July 31
8 a.m.-noon – Full-Frame Partial Replacement (FFR01) – recently launched
8 a.m.-noon – Steering and Suspension Damage Analysis (DAM06) – recently updated
1-5 p.m. – Advanced Steering and Suspension Systems Damage Analysis (DAM15) – new course
1-5 p.m. – Sectioning of Steel Unitized Structures (SPS11)
Friday, Aug. 1
8 a.m.-noon – New Vehicle Technology and Trends 2014 (NEW14)
8 a.m.-noon – Aluminum Exterior Panel Repair and Replacement (APR01) – debuting at NACE
1-5 p.m. – Hazardous Materials, Personal Safety, and Refinish Safety (WKR01)
Saturday, Aug. 2
8 a.m.-5 p.m. – 2015 Ford F-150 Structural Repair Training Course (FOR06)
“Collision repair technicians and insurance professionals will benefit from the course materials being presented at NACE,” said McFarlin. “This year’s lineup of training includes information on some of the latest repair information and advancements that our industry needs to prepare for as the ‘technical tsunami’ approaches.”
Registration details can be found on the NACE website.
OEMs to Offer Educational Sessions and Training at NACE/CARS 2014
Posted: June 18, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com
Auto manufacturers are showing their support of the collision repair and mechanical service industries by promising a larger presence at NACE/CARS 2014.
Companies who have pledged their support include Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Chrysler and Audi, who will appear alongside other large-scale companies such as Alcoa and 3M. The manufacturers’ presence includes conducting several classes at NACE, all of which will take place at the COBO Center in Detroit.
“For example, Ford’s recent announcement of its using military-grade aluminum alloy in the construction of the 2015 F-150 is causing the entire industry to take notice and seek information and training,” said Dan Risley, president and executive director of the Automotive Service Association, which sponsors NACE and CARS. “This year’s event is focused on ensuring that repairers have access to the information, tooling, training and equipment they need to repair today’s vehicle as well as those in the future. Repairers need to know the differences between repairing aluminum and steel.”
Collision repair classes by OEM representatives include:
- A class conducted by Ford titled “2015 F-150 Aluminum Repair Information and Ford’s National Body Shop Program.” The class will be held Wednesday, July 30 from 3:30-5 p.m.; Thursday, July 31 from 3:30-5 p.m.; and Friday, Aug. 1 from 8:30-10 a.m. The speakers, all from Ford Motor Co., will be Gerry Bonanni, senior engineer for paint and body repair; Larry Coan, damageability product concern engineer; and Melissa Lester, marketing manager, collision.
- Two classes presented by ACDelco’s Western Region supervisor, Rick Burgard: “2014 New Vehicle Technology, Part 1,” which will be held Wednesday, July 30 from 8:30-10 a.m.; and “2014 New Vehicle Technology, Part 2,” the same day from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
- “Audi-Authorized Aluminum Program,” presented by Mark Allen, Audi’s collision programs and workshop equipment specialist, from 10:30 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 1.
Other companies who will address aluminum repair include:
- ProSpot International Inc., which will have three classes: “Plastic Welding & Bumper Repair by ProSpot,” presented by Steve Clark, applications engineer, will be held Wednesday, July 30, from 1:30-3 p.m. Also, “Aluminum Welding & Repair” by Bob Pluth, product support manager, will be presented Thursday, July 31, from 3:30-5 p.m., and Friday, Aug. 1, from 1:30-3 p.m.
- Car-O-Liner, which will have a class presented by Oliver Woelfel called “Car-O-Liner Structural Repair – Differences Between Aluminum and Steel.” The class is Wednesday, July 30, from 3:30-5 p.m. Car-O-Liner also sponsors the Collision Repair Executive Symposium (CRES), formerly the MSO Symposium, Friday, Aug. 1 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- The 3M Company, which will present “3M Rivet Bonding and Weld Bonding Becoming Mainstream – Are You Ready?” The class is scheduled for Thursday, July 31 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Speakers will be Jason J. Scharton, 3M’s business development manager, OEM/collision repair; and Caroline E. Morel, technical service engineer. 3M will also offer “3M Aluminum Repair: Separating the Facts from the Myths” Friday, Aug. 1 from 1:30-3 p.m. Speakers for that class will be Shawn Collins and Branden Loesch, both 3M senior technical service engineers.
NACE and CARS will offer special recognition to attendees who have a proven commitment to collision repair training demonstrated through achievement of I-CAR Gold Class recognition or ASE Blue Seal certification. Personnel who belong to an I-CAR Gold Class business or hold the ASE Blue Seal certification will receive a 50 percent discount on training and conference sessions. In addition, any individual who is currently I-CAR Platinum or an ASE Master Technician will be entitled to the same 50 percent discount. This discount includes individual sessions through the Super Pass that covers sessions during the entire conference.
Trim Your Compressed Air "Waste" line, One Pound at a Time
Posted: June 12, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com
Kaeser Compressors Inc. has published a new blog entry to company blog Kaeser Talks Shop: www.kaesertalksshop.com.
Authored by System Design and Engineering Manager Neil Mehltretter, the blog entry explains what artificial demand in compressed air systems is and gives a quick, easy and free way to help reduce it.
“While plants may take a look at the leaks in their compressed air system, they usually ignore artificial demand,” says Mehltretter. “Since artificial demand can account for 10 to 15 percent of the air in your system, this is an overlooked area of savings potential.”
For more technical resources for the compressed air industry, Kaeser’s blog features articles such as:
- Consider All the Costs of Compressed Air
- Receiver Tanks for Small Compressed Air Systems
- Piston Versus Rotary Screw Compressors
- CAGI Data Sheets: An Apples to Apples Comparison
Sherwin-Williams Announces Third Quarter Training Schedule
Posted: May 14, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes has announced its third quarter 2014 collision repair courses and training sites, available from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2014.
Participants will learn through a combination of classroom, digital and hands-on settings at various metropolitan Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes training centers, according to Rod Habel, director of training operations for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.
“Our hands-on and digital classroom training is available to all shop owners, managers, painters and technicians who can choose to advance their business-building, production-excellence and/or paint application techniques, as needed,” he said
The following hands-on, paint and processes application-based courses will be offered during the third quarter: AWX Performance Plus Waterborne Refinish System; Color Adjustment and Blending; and Painter Certification.
Additional shop management and business-building courses will also be offered: Key Process indicators (KPIs); Achieving Service Excellence; Improving Workshop Efficiency; and Estimating Solutions for Profit.
“We’re always seeking to introduce concepts that support sustainable practices, increase productivity and minimize or even eliminate waste –all factors that are necessary to the success of a collision center,” said Habel.
More information:View the course schedule
OSHA Cracking Down on Body Shops Over Isocyanate Exposure
Posted: April 23, 2013
Source: Body Shop Business.com by By Jason Stahl
A representative of GMG Envirosafe warned attendees of the Collision Industry Conference held April 9-10 that OSHA is cracking down on body shops to ensure workers are protected from isocyanate exposure.Brandon Thomas, chief operations officer of GMG, a company that offers OSHA, EPA and DOT compliance solutions, said a study done by OSHA’s counterpart in Britain found that painters in a body shop environment have 80 times the risk of occupational asthma from isocyanates than industrial workers. It’s precisely for that reason, Thomas said, that OSHA is targeting the collision industry more aggressively than others.
According to Thomas, OSHA has fined body shops $1.6 million over the last three years. OSHA’s enforcement division has increased inspections 25 percent over the last four years because they have a bigger budget, and there is an average of 4.33 citations per inspection.
OSHA’s goal, Thomas said, is to eliminate isocyanate exposure altogether in two ways: engineering controls (spraybooth, mixing rooms, ventilation, gun washers, etc.) and administrative controls (PPE training and processes).
What Are Isocyanates?
According to Thomas, isocyanates are highly reactive chemicals found mostly in clearcoats but also in some primers, sealers and basecoats that have been tied to respiratory disease in workers for the last 60 years. They are not currently known to cause cancer in humans, but Thomas said there are “potential links” and are known to cause cancer in animals.
“Isocyanates are powerful irritants to the respiratory tract and mucous membranes and can lead to long-term respiratory disease and chronic bronchitis,” said Thomas. “You will see symptoms such as allergies, rashes, itching, hives, convulsions and shortness of breath – and that’s known as isocyanate sensitization.”
Thomas said anyone who has fixed a car or painted a car previously or been around these chemicals for a long time may have isocyanate sensitization.
“Initially, the body develops an allergic reaction to these chemicals, but with repeated exposure, the threshold gets lower and lower,” he explained. “So before it might have taken a significant amount of exposure for a person to have a physical reaction, but 10 years later that person may not be able to walk into a shop anymore without having a severe bodily reaction.”
Isocyanate exposure can occur in two ways: a large dose hitting a person in a short amount of time via spills, spraying continuously without any respirator protection or – most common – low levels of exposure over a period of time. An example of this is a painter not changing out their respirator cartridges frequently enough and therefore breathing in a little dose of isocyanates every day until they change the cartridge.
Gun cleaning also subjects painters to high levels of exposure, too.
“Imagine a painter who has been spraying all day who goes to lunch, takes off his personal protection equipment (PPE), hangs his respirator in the mixing room or puts it in a bag, and goes to wash his gun with no PPE on,” Thomas said. “He is now handling that liquid paint that has uncured isocyanates. Second, if he’s using some type of spray or nozzle, it could be atomized and breathed in.”
One thing that concerns OSHA, Thomas said, is that these chemicals cannot be washed off your skin or clothing.
“If you get something in your eye, you can go to the eye wash station,” said Thomas. “If you get isocyanates on your person, there is no good solution to eliminate this health hazard.”
One misconception Thomas hears about often from collision personnel is that having a downdraft booth eliminates their exposure to isocyanates.
“When the painter is spraying, they’re looking at the color coming out of the gun and onto the panel in front of them and thinking, ‘OK, the chemicals are mixed in with that paint, so as long as I don’t come out of the booth with paint all over me, the chemicals never actually enter my person,’” said Thomas.
But smoke tests his company conducted revealed that isocyanates do not get sucked up the booth exhaust immediately but actually linger and do not get cleared instantaneously.
Misconception No. 2, said Thomas, is that a half-faced respirator and supplied air and the booth all combine to protect painters from isocyanates because, with that protection, they can’t smell or taste anything. There are two problems with that logic, however, he said.
“If there was any issue, they’re likely not going to smell or taste anything (because isocyanates are odorless and tasteless). Second, those isocyanates circulating in that vortex can be absorbed through the bloodstream, so if it’s a hot day in Texas and you’re wearing jean shorts and a t-shirt and no protection on the top of your head or back of your neck, isocyanates can be absorbed at those points as well.”
Thomas explained how the OSHA inspections work. Each area office will pull any business that has an SIC code tied to collision repair that has one or more employee, put them in a spreadsheet, pull them at random and go knock on doors.
There will be an opening conference with the owner where they’ll want to see their chemical inventory. After that, they’ll want to look at the hazard assessment that the business owner has conducted and what PPE, processes, training and documentation go along with that assessment.
Thomas said shops should be documenting injuries and occupational illnesses that have occurred over the last 12 months via OSHA 300 logs, keeping it on file for five years and posting it from Feb. 1 to April 30 in a common workplace area so employees can see it.
“If you don’t have one of these, that’s a serious citation,” Thomas said. “If you do have one and they think there are unreported illnesses, they make look at employee medical records and interview employees themselves.”
Sample questions they might ask include:
• What PPE do you use when working? (Respirators, suits, gloves, eye protection, etc.) Not just when you’re in the booth but when you’re masking, buffing, mixing, cleaning guns, sanding primer, etc.?
• Do any of these symptoms (shown on a grid) occur when you’re working? “A person may say yes, I cough because I smoke, but they will ask, ‘Do these ever get better when you’re on vacation or at home?'” Thomas says.
After the interview and review of paperwork, they will look at the engineering and administrative controls of the shop – booth, mixing room, ventilation, equipment, air movement, PPE, processes, work operations, layout, etc. They’ll take a sample of the air to determine the isocyanate exposure level and how it compares to the threshold. They’ll also do wipe sampling on toolboxes, gloves and even forearms and hands. They will check out lockers, break rooms, bathrooms, offices, etc., because of the fact that isocyanates can’t be washed from clothing.
“An example is a painter who has sprayed all day who leaves the paint department, goes to the break room, opens the fridge, gets his lunch out, grabs the remote, puts on his favorite soap opera and puts his feet up on the table,” said Thomas. “Now we have other employees from other departments exposed.”
According to Thomas, if a shop is inspected, it’s subject to up to two years of follow-up inspections depending on how it performed.
“If the shop performs well, they might just get a hazard alert letter. The scrutiny will stop once the documentation of whatever corrective action has occurred verifies that workers are no longer exposed to isocyanates in the workplace.”
“Serious” citations include if the exposure is higher than the limit, if you don’t have engineering controls in place, improper personal hygiene and not using or misusing PPE.
The average cost of a serious citation is $5,000, Thomas said. And it’s not per event or per facility but per occurrence. For example, if you’re a large shop with four painters and OSHA sees them all spraying without protection, it’s a fine for each that is cumulative.
“Once they assess the fine, it’s a negotiation, and you may or may not pay that amount, but it’s not, ‘Oh, this one thing happened, here’s your penalty.’ It’s how many times did I see it, and how serious is it? And how many people aren’t following it?”
Some states have programs where shops with a certain number of employees can ask OSHA to come in and do a free audit and consultation. But even this, Thomas says, may not guarantee shops won’t run into trouble.
“There was a shop that participated in this program for 15 years, and every three years, the inspector would do a free audit and consultation and the shop never had any issues, But then that inspector retired and a new one came in and gave the shop a 30-day cease-and-desist order because they didn’t have sprinklers in their mixing room booths. They had to spend $40,000 to correct it so they wouldn’t be shut down. So every shop has to decide whether they want to invite that kind of scrutiny.”
More information:GMG Envirosafe
American Honda Releases Two New Body Repair News Bulletins
Posted: April 7, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com
Body Repair News summarizes new body and vehicle technology that may affect collision and other body repairs. It is not intended to replace the detailed information contained in the body repair and service manuals. Rather, it aims to help collision repair industry personnel understand why using the factory service information is so important to making safe and complete repairs.