Auto Paint Shops Proposed for RIA NE


The District Dept of the Environment is hearing requests for two air permits for two different auto paint shops on Monday! One of the paint shops is proposed diagonally from the new library on RIA NE and the other is on Evarts Street in the Langdon community.

As ANC Commissioner Nolan Treadway explains on his website, “These auto spray paint facilities discharge toxic fumes and are nothing less than an environmental hazard. Again, I apologize for the late notice, but it is crucial that the impacted community testify to the negative impact these businesses will have on our neighborhood. The testimony doesn’t have to be formal – it should speak to, specifically, how you would be negatively affected by a spray paint facility.”

In fact, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie is also in opposition to these permits. In a statement from his office, McDuffie “opposes new paint spray booth permits for environmental, health, and economic development reasons. We have experienced spray booths in other parts of Ward 5 that inundate homes with noxious emissions, so it would be very unfortunate if a spray booth was allowed to locate on the RIA corridor. The Councilmember has explored a number of avenues to prevent new permits from being issued, but this is the most promising. It is the first hearing that has been held, and it is critical that this hearing sets a precedent for denying future permits.”

Both ANC Treadway and Councilmember McDuffie believe that the DDOE, under Tommy Well’s current leadership, will deny these applications if there is a strong community presence.

So show up!! Here are the details:

Hearing Date: Monday, January 12, 2015
Hearing Time: 5:30 PM
Hearing Location: 1200 First Street NE
In order to testify:
Email Stephen Ours at with your name, address, telephone number, and affiliation (if any) by 4:00 pm Monday

Reference the Permit Numbers:
2615 Evarts Street NE – Permit #6962
1736 Rhode Island Ave NE – Permit #6963

4 thoughts on “Auto Paint Shops Proposed for RIA NE

  1. For ANC commissioner Nolan who “In his professional life, Nolan works to bring transparency to media and politics” (his website), to perpetuate fear based and outright false statements about automotive spray booths is disheartening. “A new national standard now requires all shops that spray coatings containing a targeted hazardous air pollutant (HAP) to conduct spray operations in a booth outfitted with an exhaust filter with a removal efficiency of 98% or greater”. (EPA spray booth fact sheet).

    The NIMBY (not in my back yard) mentality may have validity but not when these are both existing commercial and automotive properties. I encourage everyone to educate themselves on the issues at hand and use that knowledge to make an informed decision about supporting or not supporting local businesses.

    I particularly don’t care for misleading media influencing what happens in my neighborhood or the rest of the country.

    1. 98% of what? Particulate, droplets, VOC’s? It seems to me that your selected statement is equally misleading. By implication, 2% emissions of something is ok. Much to yet to be known: Will this paint facility be using Conventional or aqueous paints? What is the exhaust SCFM rate to be permitted? For example 1,000 scfm is probably insiginificant in comparison to the emissions volume of rush-hour traffic.
      As a former owner of a mid-sized furniture finishing facility, I can tell you that emissions from conventional painting facilities (we were at 25,000 scfm) are considerable. I signed monthly emissions reports to the DEP on emissions of Benzene, Toluene, and Methylene Chloride. Acetone was take off the list and not even considered a VOC any further, which is absurd (maybe because it isn’t photo reactive, not sure). In any case, assuming the worst, throwing out several pounds of benzene every day is hazardous, as it is heavier than air and will directly go into the lungs of of adjacent residents. Why put up with that?
      On the other hand, if it is to use aqueous solution it is probably not possible to point to any immediate danger.
      Beyond the environmental issue, is this the kind of business we as a community want? What’s wrong with PG County for car repair shops and spay paint booths?

      1. I agree. Those “auto repair shops” are a blight on RIA. I really don’t care if it’s 98% or 95%. I will come out and oppose this just to make their “business” more difficult to conduct. Hopefully if they get denied enough, they will get the message that they’re not welcome here and move on so that that block can get redeveloped.

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