EPA proposing to fine boat builder

BOSTON, Mass. – Boat builder Pearson Composites, LLC, of Warren, R.I., faces a proposed penalty of $264,349 under a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint for violations of the federal Clean Air Act, the government agency reported in a statement yesterday. EPA’s complaint follows up on an administrative order issued to Pearson in Dec. 2006.

Pearson, which manufactures fiberglass sail boats and power boats, produces hulls, decks, and small parts using a fiberglass open molding procedure and then assembles the boats, finishing them with wood furnishings, upholstery and other items, EPA reported. Together, Pearson’s manufacturing processes, which involve various chemicals, release significant quantities of hazardous air pollutants, primarily styrene, according to the EPA.

EPA’s complaint asserts that Pearson violated five provisions of a federal hazardous air pollutant standard for boat manufacturing and two provisions of the company’s state-issued clean air operating permit. These violations include: emission standards for Pearson’s fiberglass open molding operation, carpet adhesives and wood finishing wash coats; work practice standards for inspections and for control equipment monitoring; and reporting requirements by failing to timely submit required compliance notifications.

Pearson has reported to EPA that it has corrected all of these violations as of mid-February 2007, according to the agency.

“This enforcement action will help ensure that Pearson remains in compliance with federal air regulations and permits,” stated the EPA. “Pearson’s compliance will help reduce environmental health risks for its employees and the public from federally regulated hazardous air pollutants.”

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