PORTSMOUTH — A local boatyard will pay a $31,500 penalty and take steps to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds from paints and thinners used at its facility under a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resolve allegations of Clean Air Act violations.
In addition to paying the financial penalty, New England Boatworks, Inc., which repairs and paints vessels at its 1 Lagoon Road location, will obtain a Clean Air Act permit from the State of Rhode Island that caps the facility’s emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and requires the use of paints and other coatings that meet low-VOC standards.
Under the settlement, detailed in a notice by EPA released Tuesday, New England Boatworks will also comply with applicable record-keeping and certification requirements.
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, according to EPA.
Under its permit, the company will use low-VOC solvents and paints that comply with regulatory limits for VOCs. In addition, the company will use paint spray guns with high transfer efficiencies, implement best work practices to minimize VOC emissions from painting and cleanup, and implement required recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
New England Boatworks built Team Puma’s Mar Mostro which competed in the round-the-world 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race.
Back in February, the company made news when one of its buildings — a World War II-era Quonset hut — collapsed under the weight of snow that had collected on its roof during a storm. There were no injuries as nobody was working at the time.