Barajas Auto Body has been fined $22,000 by the Washington Department of Ecology for operating without a required air quality permit and releasing air pollution from their paint booth and spray-in bed liner booth.
Barajas Auto Body opened their current location in Pasco on Jan. 7, 2020, and have operated since that time with no air quality permit or treatment technology that would reduce impacts of harmful chemicals. Air quality permits are required by Ecology for autobody paint facilities and spray-in bed liner booths because both can release volatile organic compounds, toxic air pollutants, and particulate matter that can harm human health if not managed properly.
In addition to operating without an air quality permit, Barajas Auto Body did not install proper pollution control equipment and released toxic air pollutants from an exhaust point closer to the ground than allowed – potentially increasing the exposure to pollutants for workers and others in the area. Exposure to elevated levels of air pollution can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, and some air pollutants are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans and animals.
“By operating without proper ventilation and filtration, Barajas Auto Body increased a vulnerable community’s exposure to toxic air pollutants known to cause health issues,” said Dave Knight, manager of Ecology’s Eastern Region air quality program. “We’re working with the business to make sure they follow the law and minimize pollution from their operations.”
Barajas has 30 days to pay the fine, or to appeal the penalty to the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board.