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Rhode Island Barge Builder Fined for Clean Air Violations

Release Date: 10/09/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 9, 2009) – Senesco Marine, LLC, which operates a shipbuilding and ship repair facility in North Kingstown, R.I., will pay a $224,000 penalty to resolve EPA claims that the company violated both federal and state clean air regulations.

Senesco constructed its facility on Narragansett Bay without first applying for and obtaining a “new source review” permit to regulate emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Senesco also violated “Title V” operating permit requirements under the federal Clean Air Act, by failing to apply for a Title V permit despite having potential xylene emissions greater than 10 tons per year.

Many of the chemicals used by Senesco are both hazardous air pollutants as well as volatile organic compounds. Exposure to hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds can cause a variety of health problems. Volatile organic compounds also contribute to the formation of ozone. Ozone can damage lung tissue and reduce lung function. Children, the elderly, people with lung disease, and people with asthma are most susceptible.

Senesco also violated the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Facilities, by failing to keep required records of paint usage, and failing to submit notifications and reports to state and federal officials. Senesco builds double-hulled petroleum barges and tug boats and conducts ship repairs on-site making use of a six-acre yard, a floating dry dock, and a 1,200 foot pier. Future compliance with clean air standards will help reduce health risks for Senesco employees and the public generally.

To address the violations identified by EPA, Senesco has submitted a plan to EPA and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) outlining how it will comply with the NESHAP. Senesco has since obtained its new source review permit from and submitted a Title V permit application to RI DEM.

More information:

EPA clean air enforcement in New England (

Shipbuilding and repair NESHAP requirements (

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