Air Quality: Production Considerations


In Southern California, the oversight of air quality is the responsibility of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The SCAQMD has enacted rules that regulate the use and operation of many materials, processes and equipment that may be used by your production company.  The following guidelines and regulations have been developed to help you comply with these regulatory requirements.

Visible Emissions

If your production company will be using fires, explosions or large-scale effects involving airborne smoke or dust you will need to notify Office & Production Services and S&EA prior to the effect. Regulations enforced by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) forbid the airborne release of smoke, dust or other visible emissions that last more than three minutes in duration within any one-hour period.  S&EA can assist you in complying with this regulation.

Portable Generators

While WBSO has many power supplies available across our facilities and generally wishes to avoid the use of portable generators, portable generators may be approved for usage in conjunction with certain production equipment, or in locations where a power supply is unavailable.  Internal combustion engine-driven portable generators are regulated by the SCAQMD because of the exhaust gases that are generated and released into the atmosphere. To comply with the applicable SCAQMD regulations, daily and hourly use records must be kept by the portable generator operator. The SCAQMD regulations governing the use of generators are extensive, but most of them will not impact your production company if you rent the generator from an equipment rental company.

When deciding on the placement of generators, consideration must be given to the effect of exhaust gases on employees working downwind or in adjacent occupied buildings.  This will help to avoid re-location of the generators during production, which may be required due to errant diesel fumes or other health concerns. Please address this with Office & Production Services and S&EA on your location tech scouts.

Coatings, Paint, and Other Paint-Related Materials

Nearly all production companies use paints, stains, primers, etc., and all of these materials are regulated by the SCAQMD. Your paint foremen should be aware of the limitations imposed by these regulations because they govern the chemical content and use of all coatings and paints.  All coatings sold through the Warner Bros. Studio Paint Department are SCAQMD compliant for their intended use.

The equipment used to apply coatings is also regulated by the SCAQMD.  Certain limitations apply to spray guns, which may need an SCAQMD Permit to operate. Other limitations apply to the construction and operation of spray booths.  A permit must be obtained prior to the construction of any spray booth, even if it’s temporary. Finally, remind all workers working with coatings or other chemical-based products to keep the lids tightly on cans when not in use, and to store all rags in closed containers.

If you need additional information or guidance on what products can be legally or used selected, please contact Brent Gale at (818) 954-3880.

Purchasing non-compliant paint and paint-related materials off-lot for use on the lot is a violation of SCAQMD Regulations and Warner Bros. policy. Violators and their Supervisors will be brought to the attention of Labor Relations.