City officials in Marlborough, MA, will form a task force to inspect auto body and auto repair shops in the coming months after concerns that some might be doing work without the proper licenses or meeting environmental requirements.
Marlborough Code Enforcement Officer Pam Wilderman said that she has sent out 61 letters to businesses advertising auto repair or auto body work alerting them to the upcoming inspections, the Metrowest Daily News reported.
Wilderman said the concerns arose after city officials received a complaint of fumes from someone painting a car outdoors on Maple Street. Officials arrived to find that he did not have the required licensure through the state Division of Standards to do auto body work, nor did he have a paint booth as is required by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Wilderman said the man quickly went through the proper procedures to get licensed and be in line with environmental regulations, but said the incident was just one of a few that indicate that unlicensed repairs are being done.
Wilderman said the regulations for auto repair shops and auto body shops differ. Auto repair shops are not required to meet as many requirements, but still have to meet environmental standards like proper disposal of fluids. Auto body shops must be licensed through the state Division of Standards and hold a $10,000 bond, as well as meet higher environmental standards, like having a properly ventilated paint booth.
Wilderman said that a search found only about 15 establishments in the city with licenses to do auto body work. She said she has seen examples of auto repair shops doing body work for which they aren’t licensed.
Everybody says, "We’re not doing auto body work," she said. "But if you go into the garage, they’re doing touch-up stuff. And that counts."
She said her office cast a wide net in sending out the advisory letters, sending them to anyone who advertises auto repairs or body work either in the yellow pages or online. She sent the letter to 61 businesses.
Wilderman said a task force comprised of her, police and fire officials and hopefully officials from the Division of Standards and the DEP will be carrying out the inspections in May and June.