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Rhode Island Boat Manufacturer Faces More Than $260,000 Penalty for Clean Air Violations

Release Date: 09/20/2007
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027

(Boston, Mass. – Sept. 20, 2007) – Pearson Composites, LLC, of Warren, R.I., faces as a proposed penalty of $264,349 under a recent EPA complaint for violations of the federal Clean Air Act. EPA’s complaint follows up on an administrative order issued to Pearson in Dec. 2006.

Pearson manufactures fiberglass sail boats and power boats. The company 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. Together, Pearson’s manufacturing processes, which involve various chemicals, release significant quantities of hazardous air pollutants, primarily styrene.

“To better protect public health and the environment, it is critical that all companies that emit pollutants make every effort to comply with environmental laws and regulations,” said EPA Regional Administrator Robert Varney. “EPA’s enforcement actions ensure that any violations are corrected swiftly. Protecting our air and water is everyone’s responsibility.”

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.

This enforcement action will help ensure that Pearson remains in compliance with federal air regulations and permits. 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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