New England Boatworks agrees to pay EPA fine

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The Environmental Protection Agency announced this week that New England Boatworks will pay a $31,500 penalty and take steps to reduce its emissions of volatile organic compounds from paints and thinners used at its Portsmouth, R.I., facility under a settlement with the agency to resolve allegations of Clean Air Act violations.

Under the agreement, New England Boatworks must also obtain a Clean Air Act permit from the state of Rhode Island that caps the facility’s emissions of volatile organic compounds and requires the use of paints and other coatings that meet low-VOC standards.

“Paint used by New England Boatworks emitted excess levels of VOCs, which can cause human health problems and which also contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a primary constituent of smog,” the EPA said in a press release.

“New England Boatworks is very concerned about the environment and we always have been. We will continue to look at more environmentally friendly paints,” Tom Rich, a co-owner of the business, told Trade Only Today.

“New England Boatworks has also reached out to the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association to help educate other boatyards and marine facilities on staying in compliance with environmental regulations,” Rich added.

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