Boston, Mass. -- Blount Boats, Inc., which operates a shipbuilding and ship repair facility in Warren, R.I., has agreed to pay a $24,000 penalty and spend at least $230,000 on a clean air project to resolve EPA claims that Blount violated both federal and state clean air regulations. Blount’s facility builds and repairs vessels such as transport ferries and small cruise ships.
Specifically, EPA alleged that Blount violated the federal Clean Air Act National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Facilities 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.
EPA also alleged that Blount violated Rhode Island Air Pollution Controls by failing to apply for and obtain New Source Review permits upon acquisition of new paint spray guns in 2009. In addition, EPA alleged that Blount failed to either apply for and obtain a Clean Air Act Title V operating permit or apply for and obtain an emission cap permit. The company also failed to comply with specific certification and recordkeeping requirements for the surface coating of miscellaneous metal parts and products.
To address the violations identified by EPA, Blount will submit a plan to EPA and the RI Dept. of Environmental Management (RI DEM) outlining how it will comply with the NESHAP. Blount also will apply for a New Source Review permit and a Title V permit from RI DEM.
Under the settlement, Blount has agreed to perform a “Supplemental Environmental Project” (SEP) with a value of at least $230,000. The SEP involves the construction and use of a modular vinyl shelter over the construction ways at Blount’s facility. Blount will use the shelter, which has forced ventilation with filtration of the exhaust, during sandblasting and spray painting operations. The use of the shelter will reduce harmful emissions from hazardous air pollutants, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter.
Many of the chemicals used by Blount are both hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds. Exposure to hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds can cause a variety of health problems. Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of ozone. Ozone can damage lung tissue and reduce lung function. Children, the elderly, people with lung disease, and people with asthma are most susceptible.
Future compliance with clean air standards will help reduce health risks from the emission of these chemicals.
More information on EPA Clean Air Act enforcement: http://www.epa.gov/enforcement/air/index.html