Who would object? Millions of owners of high-performance engines and older cars who fear corrosion and other nasty side effects. Many newer engines and parts that have been designed to be more compatible with alcohol fuels and E-15 will not have issue, but E-10 has already been a problem for some current and older models, and E-15 may be worse. Ethanol attracts water and the resulting condensation can corrode the fuel lines, fixtures, and tank components (steel, rubber, aluminum, and more). We're talking rust, clogging, and deterioration. For some modern cars, the oxygen atom in the ethanol molecule may confuse the exhaust sensor when measuring the air/fuel mixture going into the cylinders. The mixture may be too lean, producing a hot exhaust capable of damaging the catalytic converter. The end result may also be more nitrogen oxides, a building block for smog. There's definitely an education curve here, and many in the auto industry have cautioned the EPA to do more testing before it rules on the request.

Why does it matter? Because this is a nationwide debate, and gasoline without ethanol could eventually become scarce or nonexistent. SEMA and SAN are working to make sure that those potential effects are taken into consideration before any sweeping changes are made

A Primer On Paint Regulations
There are two main issues with respect to paint regulatory oversight: volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). VOCs include both man-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds that are released into the atmosphere as a gas. They are found in oil-based paints, adhesives, and cleaning supplies, and may trigger respiratory irritation, headaches, or other health concerns. VOCs also react with nitrogen oxides and sunlight to form smog. Both federal and state regulators have imposed limits on VOC emissions, primarily at the manufacturer, and there has been an effort to switch the public from oil-based paints and cleaning solvents (enamel, lacquer, mineral spirits, and others) to water-based paints like latex. Usually it's not a voluntary switch; a number of states and urban areas have banned retail sales of certain oil-based products in an effort to combat smog.

Aerosol can spray paints rely on VOC-emitting propellants, which expand and force out the paint, typically a variety of hydrofluorocarbons today. To address VOCs in aerosol paints, both the EPA and California have limited the amount of propellants that can be used in spray paint. As with paints purchased in cans, the issue is largely being addressed at the manufacturer level through product reformulation. HAPs pose a separate concern since they are hazardous metal compounds that become airborne during paint stripping, surface coating, and autobody refinishing, and the EPA has taken steps to regulate them as well.

"When the EPA first proposed its regulation, SEMA expressed concern that it would have a drastic impact on the ability of individual hobbyists to purchase and use paints containing HAPs," says Steve McDonald, SEMA's Vice President for Government Affairs. "Through discussions with the EPA, SEMA was able to convince regulators that a rule could be produced that would develop 'best practices' for business operations while exempting hobbyists who infrequently paint their personal vehicles. As a result, the rule doesn't apply to individuals working on their personal vehicles so long as those activities don't exceed the equivalent of two motor vehicles a year. The EPA also exempted painting done with an airbrush or aerosol cans."

The EPA rule effectively requires all shops to have a filtered spray booth or prep station, and use high-volume low-pressure or equivalent spray equipment, and spray guns are required to be cleaned manually or with an enclosed spray gun washer. According to the EPA, if new equipment is required to meet the requirements, the costs should be recouped through a more efficient use of labor and materials.