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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Customer and Technical Assistance > Auto Body Certification Steering Committee Meeting #1
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March 7, 2000, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
RI Department of Environmental Management
Room 300
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908

In Attendance
Ed Breault, Crown Collision Steve DeGabriele, MA DEP
John DiCola, ABARI Richard Enander, DEM
Ron Gagnon, DEM Richard Girasole, DEM
Richard Missaghian, URI Jeff Mocarsky, MAACO
Rick Ouellette, Cousin's Collision Charles Paglio, American Collision
Eugene Park, URI Tom Uva, NBC
Tara Velazquez, MA DEP  


Ron Gagnon, Chief of Rhode Island DEM's Office of Customer and Technical Assistance briefly described the intent of Rhode Island DEM's Autobody Certification Program and noted that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's successful Environmental Results Program will serve as a model in implementing the first known autobody certification program in the US. In an effort to gain a better understanding of the autobody industry, Ron discussed how DEM had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its partners to establish a certification program that will cover training requirements, hazardous waste management, air quality concerns, occupational health and safety, and pollution prevention techniques in a question and answer format that will allow any autobody shop to determine its compliance status.

In order to give committee members a better understanding of how Massachusetts Environmental Results Program (ERP) works, Ron invited Tara Velazquez and Steve DeGabriele from Massachusetts DEP to introduce the Compliance Certification Program that they required printers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to abide by.

Steve DeGabriele, Director of the Business Compliance Division briefly described the goals of Massachusetts Environmental Results Program (ERP). Steve reviewed the performance standards that printers in the state of Massachusetts would have to adhere to. The Certification Process requires corporate accountability and self-evaluation in order to help companies achieve compliance. Massachusetts DEP has consulted with both industry and environmentalists in order to develop fair performance standards that companies should be able to achieve. Massachusetts DEP provided an easy to read workbook and provided training at industry workshops to better enable companies to get into compliance. Steve described DEP's Certification process as follows:

  1. Companies submit ERP Applicability Statement or ERP Certification that standards are being met
  2. Companies also submit ERP Return to Compliance Plans for any non-compliance
  3. DEP conducts audits, inspections and enforcement
  4. DEP conducts a comprehensive program evaluation, including "before" and "after" inspections
Steve noted that the "before and after" inspections serve an important function in that DEP can reasonably ascertain the effectiveness of the certification program. Steve briefly discussed that over the last three years the annual certification programs have improved each year. Steve noted that under ERP's Certification Program that nearly 80% of the companies accurately completed their certifications. Prior to the implementation of the ERP system only 10 % of the companies were "on file" in ERP's database. After 1997, 87 % were registered in ERP's database.

In addition to being able to better manage specific industry sectors, ERP has allowed companies to promote corporate accountability and self evaluation, provide flexibility and cost savings, integrate assistance into compliance assurance and identify pollution prevention opportunities. Tara Velazquez also of Massachusetts ERP briefly outlined the step-by-step procedures in filling out the compliance certification forms. Tara summarized the checklists and recommended that Rhode Island adopt similar checklists for Rhode Island's own Autobody Certification Program.

Ron thanked Steve and Tara for their presentation and all of the committee members for attending. Ron suggested that the steering committee meet again in three months.

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