Controls on paint solvents

The Environment Department (DEFRA) is consulting on draft regulations to implement the EU Directive on the solvent content of paints and varnishes used in the vehicle refinishing sector.1

Vehicle refinishing shops using more than one tonne of solvent per year have been regulated by the pollution prevention and control regulations for some years. Those using between 0.5-1 tonne have recently come under the PPC regulations as a result of the implementation of the solvent emissions Directive (SED) (ENDS Report 343, pp 44-45 ).

The Directive on solvent in paints applies a product-based approach to controlling VOCs by setting limits on the solvent content of paints from January 2007. The limits become tighter in 2010.

DEFRA is proposing to implement the solvent content limits in paints as specified in the Directive. This will reduce VOC emissions by some 30,000 tonnes per year.

DEFRA also plans to repeal the provisions of the SED for the vehicle refinishing sector as a deregulatory and cost saving measure. This means that operators will no longer need to implement a solvent reduction plan under the SED. DEFRA also intends to implement a simplified permitting approach for vehicle refinishing regulated under PPC.

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