Release 02-36      

September 19, 2002


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
Automotive Coatings Distributor Pays $350,000 Settlement

-- The Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that it has settled an enforcement case with Finish Master Corporation for the sale of automotive coatings that exceed California limits on emissions of smog forming volatile organic compounds (VOC).

ďThe use of high VOC automotive coatings is unnecessary and harmful to public health,Ē said ARBís Executive Officer, Michael Kenny.

During 1997-1999, Finish Master sold 13,123 gallons of non-compliant automotive refinishing coatings. Above the emissions from compliant products, the distribution of this product resulted in an excess of 37,260 lbs. of volatile organic compounds. VOCs contribute to the formation of smog and/or may themselves be toxic. Sale of non-compliant products also favor the company at fault because economic investments made to assure compliance is avoided.

ARB was initially notified that Finish Master was selling non-compliant coatings by the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (SJVUAPCD). The SJVUAPCD discovered the sales at three distributor locations in their jurisdiction. Subsequent ARB investigations found sales of the non-compliant coatings over a three-year period in four districts: San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, South Air Quality Management District, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and Ventura County Air Pollution Control District. For introducing this product into California commerce, Finish Master has agreed to pay $350,000 to ARB. The money will be divided between ARB and the four districts within which the product was distributed.

According to California regulations, manufacturers and distributors of automotive refinishing coatings must demonstrate and describe through information supplied with the products, that they comply with the regulations of each jurisdiction in which they compete. Each product must clearly display information attesting to its compliance on the label or product information sheet. This labeling requirement provides valuable information to consumers and allows them to make informed decisions when considering purchases. Enforcement of these regulations assures a level playing field for all competitors as well as protecting the environment and health of California and its residents.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARBís mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our website at