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Rhode Island Boat Manufacturer Fined for Clean Air Violations

Release Date: 01/14/2008
Contact Information: Jeanethe Falvey, (617) 918-1020

(Boston, Mass. - Jan. 14, 2008) - Pearson Composites, LLC will pay $195,000 in penalties for environmental violations, in settlement of claims that it violated the federal Clean Air Act at its facility in Warren, R.I. Pearson violated emission standards, work practice standards, reporting and monitoring provisions of the federal regulations.

Pearson manufactures fiberglass boat hulls, decks, and other components. These manufacturing operations generate hazardous air pollutants, primarily styrene and methyl methacrylate, which are known to adversely affect human health.

Exposure to methyl methacrylate harms human health by irritating the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Methyl methacrylate also is associated with certain adverse respiratory and neurological effects. Exposure to styrene harms human health by adversely affecting the nervous system. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, has determined that styrene is a possible carcinogen. Both styrene and methyl methacrylate are potential asthma irritants.

"To better protect public health and the environment, it is critical that all companies make every effort to comply with environmental laws and regulations," said EPA Regional Administrator Robert Varney. "Hazardous air pollutants can pose a serious risk to workers and to the public. EPA's enforcement actions ensure that any violations are corrected swiftly. The penalties provide a financial disincentive for companies to violate again in the future."

After EPA notified Pearson of the violations, the company corrected them. Future compliance with the standards will help reduce health risks for Pearson employees and the public generally.

More Information: EPA Clean Air enforcement in New England (epa.gov/region1/enforcement/air/index.html)

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