Painting, coating, or stripping surfaces

Air emissions


The very smallest facilities may qualify as insignificant facilities, which do not need a permit.

Facilities that use less than 2,000 gallons of coatings and cleaners per year may qualify to operate without an air permit if they follow certain requirements. Facilities that use less than 1,000 gallons of coatings and cleaners per year, may qualify as an insignificant facility.

All others should use this emissions calculator to determine potential and actual emissions from painting and determine if you need an air permit: File Air emissions calculator: Coating operations (p-sbap5-22)


The Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations (6H) NESHAP affects facilities that spray paint onto metal, wood, or plastic or use methylene chloride to remove paint.

Halogenated solvent cleaning (T) NESHAP affects facilities that use methylene chloride, perchloroethylene (PCE or perc), trichloroethylene (TCE), 1,1,1- trichloroethane (TCA), carbon tetrachloride, or chloroform for cleaning.

Additional federal air standards for using solvents or surface coating are based on the product you are making, such as appliances, automobiles and trucks, boats, ships, furniture, printing and publishing, or building products.

Air regulation due dates

Requirement Due date
Emission inventory fee for previous year Mailed to permit holders in March, due within 60 days
Emission inventory April 1
Corrections to emission inventory Mailed to permit holders in November, due within 45 days
Microsoft Office document icon Initial Notification and Compliance Forms - Paint Stripping and Misc. Surface Coating Operations (NESHAP 6H) Due 180 days after startup

Hazardous waste

You need a hazardous waste license if your business produces any amount of hazardous waste. Facilities in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, or Washington County are licensed and inspected by their county. Facilities in greater Minnesota are licensed and inspected by the MPCA. If you produce only small amounts of hazardous waste, you probably qualify to bring the wastes to PDF icon Very small quantity generators collection programs (w-hw2-51). See the Hazardous waste documents and forms page for information on managing specific types of hazardous waste, such as paint booth filters, solvents, and towels and wipes.

Annual hazardous waste training is required for businesses that generate 220 pounds or more of hazardous waste a month. Learn more on the General environmental requirements page.

Hazardous waste due dates

Requirement Due date
Hazardous waste generators fee Mailed to license holders in first quarter, due date on invoice
License application Due August 1 for Greater Minnesota businesses;
Twin Cities metro businesses, contact your county

Beyond compliance

  • Keep painters and paint booth floors, lights, and filters clean to minimize flaws and reduce unnecessary rework.
  • Have your painters attend refresher training annually – technique affects transfer efficiency, and that impacts your bottom line. Many painters only achieve about 50% transfer efficiency, meaning half of all the paint you buy is being wasted.
  • Replace spray guns, cleaning equipment, etc., with equipment that has better transfer efficiency (e.g., HVLP or electrostatic spray guns). Less overspray means less waste.
  • Consider switching to waterborne paints. There are fewer emissions, reduced worker exposure, and a potential reduction in regulatory requirements.
  • More information on painting equipment and techniques at the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) at the University of Minnesota.
  • Paints and Coatings Resource Center