EPA has approved a revision to the Illinois State Implementation plan (SIP) submitted by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) on November 14, 2011. The revision amended Illinois Administrative Code by adding a “small container exemption” for pleasure craft surface coating operations in the Chicago and Metro-East St. Louis 8-hour ozone nonattainment areas. EPA concluded that these exemptions were consistent with EPA volatile organic compound (VOC) reasonably available control technology (RACT) policy.

As background, in 2010 and 2011 Illinois promulgated rules on VOC RACT emission limitations for coating operations. During that rulemaking, the American Coatings Association (ACA) commented to Illinois EPA that many VOC coating regulations include a small container exemption not to exceed a liter or a quart. The ACA stated that the basis for these exemptions is to allow for small repairs and touch ups to existing coatings at the end of the painting line to avoid having to completely recoat the product, thus resulting in lower VOC emissions overall from pleasure craft coating operations.

EPA found the exemption was consistent with Illinois RACT rules for similar coating operations, including can, coil, vinyl, metal furniture, and magnet wire coatings. EPA agreed with Illinois EPA and ACA that the exemption may reduce VOC emissions by encouraging repairs and touch ups, as opposed to performing complete re-coats.

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