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By Lindsay Lorenz
PBN Staff Writer
BOSTON – After claims that its Warren shipbuilding and ship repair facility had violated the federal Clean Air Act National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Facilities, Blount Boats Inc. has agreed to pay a $24,000 penalty and spend at least $230,000 on a clean air project.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that Blount’s Warren facility, which builds and repairs vessels such as transport ferries and small cruise ships, has allegedly violated both federal and state clean air regulations by using paints with hazardous air pollutants greater than the allowable limits, failing to keep required records of paint usage and failing to submit notifications and reports to state and federal officials.
The agency claims that Blount violated Rhode Island Air Pollution Controls by failing to apply for and obtain proper permits after obtaining new paint spray guns in 2009. In addition, the EPA said the company failed to comply with specific certification and record keeping requirements for the surface coating of miscellaneous metal parts and products. Blount is also said to have failed to either apply for and obtain a Clean Air Act Title V operating permit or apply for and obtain an emission cap permit.
According to the EPA, “Many of the chemicals used by Blount are both hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds,” which contribute to the formation of ozone and can cause a variety of health problems.
As the result of the settlement between the company the EPA, Blount has agreed to perform a “Supplemental Environmental Project” worth at least $230,000. The project will involve the construction and use of a modular vinyl shelter over the construction ways at Blount’s facility. The shelter will have forced ventilation with filtration of exhaust for sandblasting and spray painting operations, which will reduce harmful emissions from hazardous air pollutants, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter.
Blount also will submit a plan to the EPA and the R.I. Deptartment of Environmental Management, outlining how it plans to comply with the regulatory regime going forward, and will apply for a New Source Review permit and a Title V permit from the state’s DEM.