KANSAS CITY, Mo.-A new service available to technicians, shop owners and others in the automotive industry is helping take the guesswork out of handling hazardous material in the shop. They now have at their fingertips round-the-clock, single-source access to federal, state and local environmental regulations and compliance data through CCAR-GreenLink', a new information center that opened June 1.
Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, it was created and is operated by Kansas City-based CCAR-the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair, which was formed in 1994 to enhance the professionalism of automotive technicians through education and training.
The new service is available through a toll-free number (1-888-GRN-LINK). Callers can either use a menu system to hear brief messages then retrieve information by touching appropriate numbers on the telephone keypad, or speak with a GreenLink customer service representative who will research their question and find an answer.
Information can be requested by computer through an E-mail message ([email protected]) or on the organization's Internet World Wide Web site (http://www.ccar-greenlink.org). The organization al-so will mail or fax requested information.
According to Sherman Titens, CCAR's president, GreenLink is available to anyone who wants to use it, but is targeted to the 1 million service technicians and 500,000 service shop owners plus service educators, students and others closely involved with the automotive service industry.
After conducting several industry focus groups, Mr. Titens said he became convinced of the need for fast, accurate environmental information. The EPA is providing about $650,000 to fund the project for two years. The service is free to users.
CCAR said it has compiled an extensive database of federal, state and local environmental regulations and information and names of contacts that it will send to users upon request.
GreenLink's ``Information Category and Summary of Documents'' option, for example, offers a variety of data, including: A hazardous waste summary; proper handling and disposal of hazardous materials such as used oil, coolants, solvents, paints and refrigerants, filters, used tires, used batteries, and brake pads and asbestos; floor drains, storm water and underground storage tanks; an emergency spills summary; right-to-know, land purchase/cleanup, and legal issues; emissions; and educational information.
A referral directory lists key people in local communities, and a training directory outlines courses available in specific geographic areas.
CCAR said GreenLink's educational information section will provide background on education modules currently being developed that will consist of timely environmental educational material designed for the shop owner, working technician and students and educators. Also listed will be seminars and courses that relate to environmental issues that are offered within the automotive industry.
In the ``Current Issues'' category, callers can hear brief regularly updated informational messages about various environmental compliance issues.
Callers to GreenLink's ``Message Help Desk'' can remain anonymous and still request information, CCAR said. By utilizing a three-digit identification number assigned by the organization, callers may leave a detailed question. They can then call back two working days later, input their assigned ID number and retrieve the personal recorded response to the question.
One of GreenLink's most innovative features on its Web site allows automotive professionals to experience a ``Virtual Green Shop.'' By clicking on this category, they can ``visit'' an environmentally correct example of an auto service and repair shop.
Access to GreenLink can be via:
Toll-free phone line: (888) GRN-LINK
E-mail address: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.ccar-greenlink.org