Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Title: Coating operations test method and method development survey.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Higgins, Brian G

Contractor: UC Davis

Contract Number: 93-344

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Stationary Sources


The goal of this project was to develop a plan to obtain information to guide and prioritize the development and improvement of test methods related to volatile organic compound emissions from coating applications and related operations. The tasks undertaken to meet the project goal involved: (i) the development of a plan for obtaining the current regulations and test methods from all relevant agencies; (ii) a methodology for for identifying and ranking test method problems; (iii) a list of test method problems ranked in order of priority; (iv) a procedure for updating the test method problems, and (v) a procedure for identifying projects to resolve test method problems.

Task 1 of this project involved documenting the existing regulatory requirements for coating operations and the attendant test methods currently in place to carry out those requirements. The documentation was obtained through library and computer database searches, and by direct mailing to all federal, state, and local agencies responsible for issuing regulations. The information was organized according to type of coating and coating operation. Twenty three categories were identified. All regulations applicable to each category were listed, along with the required test methods. Copies of all of the test methods were obtained from the agencies responsible for issuing them (i.e. ASTM, EPA, CARB, SCAQMD, BAAQMD, etc.). A database was developed to aid in the analysis of data. Details are given in Section II.

Task 2 was to develop a methodology for analysing the documentation regarding regulations and test methods and identify any problems which exist in the test methods, particularly any problems which may require the development of improved test methods. At the time of our original direct mailings to federal, state, and local regulatory agencies, testing organizations, etc. we surveyed them to identify problems they were aware of with the current testing methods, and to propose any ideas they had for resolving those problems. We also asked them to identify organizations (public or private laboratories, universities, etc.) who have performed each test method for them in recent years. We then contacted these organizations and asked them which tests they have performed, any problems they have encountered with the tests, and any ideas they have to improve the test methods. A list of potential problems was drawn up using the expertise of the principal investigators and the information from outside scientists who are actively involved in developing tests and performing them in actual enforcement and quality control situations. A great deal of importance was given to the real world experience of the scientists who are using these tests, so that problems which were not apparent from simply reading the regulations and test methods could be identified. Details are given in Sections III and IV.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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