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Increasing the Use of New Technology Coatings by Small Firms

     There have been continuing improvements in radiation-cured and powder 
     coating technologies and they are gaining increasing use in different 
     applications.  They are an ideal P2 approach and, from an air pollution  
     perspective, may be able to provide greater reductions in VOC emissions 
     than would occur with the more standard coating approaches.
     I've spoken with some people in coating industry organizations, to learn 
     how widespread is the use of these newer technologies, and was told they 
     are gaining increasing support from larger firms.  They have the 
     knowledge, skill, environmental interest and financial ability to 
     understand the benefits and buy the equipment needed for new or 
     replacement coating lines.  However, a barrier exists regarding use of 
     those technologies by smaller firms: they may lack the large-firm 
     attributes, especially the financial one, and tend not to make the 
     technology change. 
     With small-business issues as an impediment, ways need to be developed 
     that can help promote these more environmentally-benign technologies in 
     that industrial sector.  
     What incentive ideas do you have that could help overcome this barrier 
     (e.g., presentations of life cycle analysis data showing cost-payback 
     financial benefits for specific small-firm applications, subsidies to 
     replace old equipment, etc.)?  Do you know of any government agencies at 
     any level, or other organizations, that have successfully used specific 
     strategies with small firms, helping them overcome the barriers and  
     promoting more widespread use of the new technologies?
     Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
     Mike Rothenberg
     Bay Area Air Quality Management District
     San Francisco, CA
     (415) 749-4668