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Clean Air Settlement with R.I. Chemical Manufacturer will Minimize Emissions
BOSTON – An EPA settlement will require that a Rhode Island chemical manufacturing company take multiple actions designed to minimize air emissions and protect air quality near the facility and in the surrounding community. The company, Mereco Technologies Group, Inc., has agreed to settle EPA claims that the company neither complied with the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources, nor applied for a necessary R.I. Clean Air Act permit. In addition to a $60,000 penalty, the settlement requires that the company apply for an air permit and take steps to reduce emissions and ensure compliance with air pollution regulations. Mereco Technologies Group operates a specialty chemical manufacturing facility at 1505 Main Street in West Warwick, R.I. Mereco or its subsidiary Metachem Resins Corporation have operated at the location since 1978. Chemical manufacturing operations are regulated to avoid excess emissions of hazardous air pollutants, which are a class of pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. These health effects can include damage to the immune system, as well as neurological, reproductive, developmental, respiratory and other health problems. As part of the settlement, Mereco will, among other things: install covers on mixing vessels containing hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and/or volatile organic compounds (VOC); record monthly and annual HAP usage; conduct quarterly monitoring of all process vessels using EPA approved methods; and cap HAP and VOC emissions facility wide. The enforcement action grew out of a joint EPA and RIDEM inspection and a thorough review of facility records. In Feb. 2014, EPA notified Mereco of EPA’s allegations of potential violations. Since being notified, Mereco has worked cooperatively with EPA to address the alleged violations and reach a settlement.
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