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Spray Painting Efficiency Training (STAR & NESHAP)

The Training

The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) is currently providing Spray Technique Analysis and Research (STAR®) and NESHAP training to painters and paint instructors.  The STAR® program was developed by the Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) at the University of Northern Iowa and is dedicated to improving the overall efficiency of manual spray coating operations by enhancing the techniques of spray technicians. STAR® addresses:

  • The importance of gun adjustments to achieve proper air and fluid pressure
  • The importance of good equipment maintenance
  • Calibration and use of the LaserTouch™ technology
  • Proper spray gun distance and orientation
  • Spray overlap and edge painting techniques to achieve maximum efficiency

We’re also offering this training to bi-lingual (Spanish and English) painters. For more information, see our full page on Bilingual Spray Efficiency training.

The Trainer

Ken Grimm, PPRC’s Industry Outreach Lead, has completed the IWRC’s Train-the-Trainer course in addition to his nearly 20 years of industrial and automotive paint experience. Ken has provided train-the-trainer courses to more than two dozen Community and Technical Colleges in the Pacific Northwest, as well as training to more than 100 collision repair shops and industrial facilities.

To inquire about training dates and costs, please contact the project manager, Ken Grimm, at (206) 352-2050 or kgrimm@pprc.org

New Requirements

On January 9th of 2008, the EPA’s new 6H NESHAP Area Source rules for surface coatings became law, with compliance required by January 10th, 2011.  This law is specifically applicable to the collision repair industry, but if you apply surface coatings to metal or plastic substrates it may very likely apply to you as well.  The 6H NESHAP includes recordkeeping requirements, new filter requirements, and both classroom and hands-on spray efficiency technique training.  The required NESHAP training elements are met by the STAR® program.

Does this apply to me?

The 6H NESHAP addresses five metals that are hazardous air pollutants.  These metals are chromium (CR), cadmium (CD), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and manganese (Mn).  If you spray any coating once a year that contains one of the five target metals, you are subject to these regulations.  If you are in the collision repair industry you are automatically subject to these regulations, even if you do not spray coatings containing the target metals. However, if you certify your coatings free of these metals you can apply for an exemption.

Other Training Benefits

In addition to compliance with the new regulation, other benefits of this training include:

  • Health Impacts: Toxics, solvents and isocyanates can cause adverse health impacts such as enlarged lungs, irregular heartbeat, kidney failure, and nerve damage. This training can help reduce short and long-term exposure, improving employee safety and possible worker’s compensation claim issues.
  • Material Savings: Increased transfer efficiency will reduce material usage. Research in the collision repair industry has shown that the STAR program has results in an average savings of $4,200 per year per employee in 1996 dollars. An industrial facility can save as much as $40,000 or more annually. Even the most experienced painters have been shown to improve their efficiency by as much as 25% through increased attention to application techniques.
  • Environmental Impacts: Reduced emissions can result in cleaner air and better community standing. Also, improved spray efficiency generally reduces the amount of hazardous waste generated.
  • Reduced Environmental Liabilities: By reducing the pollutants emitted you can reduce your liability and potentially reduce regulatory burden and/or permit costs.


In 2014, PPRC’s STAR program:

  • trained 71 painters
  • saved 3,692 gallons of paint
  • reduced 18,460 lbs of air emissions
  • saved businesses $1,107,600

Woodfold Manufacturing Case Study


“The state-of-the-art equipment and training have enhanced the training our instructors provide by creating parameters that are more exacting and easier to identify and measure than the common ‘eye and feel’ method. The industry will benefit greatly as the students enter industry using more efficient methods. STAR not only saves considerable cost, but it also expands the awareness and concern for the environment by saving precious resources.”
Karen Johnson, Dean for Trade and Industry, Renton Technical College

“I’ve worked with Ken Grimm of PPRC’s STAR program to host five different trainings over the last three years for auto body shops and collision repair programs at six different colleges and high schools around Idaho. The STAR program has provided a huge value to Idaho’s auto body industry, helping shops save money and materials, and comply with federal regulations and sending painters out into the workforce educated on spray efficiency techniques and other best practices.”
Joanna Pierce, Pollution Prevention Coordinator, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality


Additional Information Resources

Surface Coating NESHAP (Subpart HHHHHH) Information

IOWA Waste Reduction Center Resources

  • LaserPaint® is a laser-guided device designed to assist painters develop or refine their skills keeping consistent, accurate spray gun to part distance. For more information, or to purchase a LaserPaint® device, visit their website.
  • The Auto Body Surface Coating Guide for collision repair shops and shop owners.
  • The IWRC has developed two software products, one designed to help a facility track paint and solvent usage and the other designed to help a facility track paint emissions and sprayable material usage.  The software tracks on a on a rolling twelve-month basis and is available for free download.
  • VirtualPaint is a training system, ideal for companies that do not want to shut down facilities and waste coating and materials for the sole purpose of training. VirtualPaint is an effective training system that requires no excessive time, no use of coating or materials, and does not produce any waste or air emissions.

US EPA Collision Repair Campaign

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a large collection of information and tools designed to help collision repair save money while coming into compliance with the new rules.
  • EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program has an Automotive Refinishing Partnership program with excellent resources, ranging from health and safety information to best practices for everything from mixing rooms to prep areas to spray booths.
  • The collection of DfE’s best practices and other pertinent information.
  • CCar had a website for shops that showed all the different paint related areas.  You could click on a room, and then click on various parts of the room to see suggestions for improvement.  The CCar site is no longer supported, but an excellent alternative is King County’s auto body rule tool.

California EPA Air Resources Board STAR® Project

Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Environmental Results Programs

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