New England Shipyards Cited for Environmental Violations

Friday, January 14, 2011

Two New England shipyards, one in Massachusetts and one in Rhode Island, will pay penalties to settle claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that they violated federal environmental laws.

Rose’s Oil Service, a shipyard and fuel oil distributor in Gloucester, Mass., will pay $130,000 to resolve claims it violated federal water and oil pollution prevention laws. Under the settlement agreement between Rose’s Oil and EPA’s New England office, EPA alleges the company discharged pressure wash water and stormwater without authorization under the Clean Water Act. Rose’s Oil also failed to prepare a Facility Response Plan and an adequate Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan in violation of federal oil pollution regulations.

Promet Marine Services, which builds, repairs and retrofits vessels in Providence, will pay $290,000 to settle claims by EPA that it violated federal clean air and clean water laws. According to EPA, Promet’s use of paints exceeded volatile organic compound and hazardous air pollutant limits of the Clean Air Act. Promet violated the Clean Water Act through the unauthorized discharge of contaminated pressure wash water into the Providence River, EPA said.

“Facilities that repair and maintain marine vessels have the potential for a number of harmful impacts to human health and the environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “It’s very important that facilities understand and follow measures designed to protect the health of our citizens and the environment that sustains us. I am pleased these companies have now taken a number of actions to improve their environmental compliance.”

Rose’s Oil Service builds and repairs vessels, and performs pressure washing, sanding, painting, metal working, welding and machining. Rose’s Oil has a total oil storage capacity of about 160,000 gallons. After EPA inspected the company, Rose’s Oil promptly came into compliance with federal law by eliminating process water discharges from entering Gloucester Harbor and by applying for required permits. Rose’s Oil also developed the necessary spill response plans. Under the settlement with EPA, the company will pay $98,000 for water-related violations and $32,000 for oil storage violations.

Promet provides various marine services including pressure washing, painting and sandblasting. Paint used by Promet emitted excess levels of hazardous air pollutants and VOCs. These pollutants can cause human health problems and also contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a primary constituent of smog. Providence is an area that fails to meet federal air quality standards for ozone. The company is now using paints that comply with regulatory limits, has applied for required air permits, and has a process water recycling system at its facility to eliminate illegal discharges of copper, lead, zinc and solids in pressure wash water.

Both settlements include a certification by the shipyards that they are now complying with all requirements.

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