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Shipyard Ordered to Cut Paint Emissions

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

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A Rhode Island shipyard will pay a $31,000 fine and take a number of steps to reduce VOC emissions from paint and thinners used at the facility, under a new settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Newport Shipyard
Photos: Newport Shipyard

Newport Shipyard must change some of its coatings and its painting practices, under a new settlement agreement with the Environment Protection Agency.

American Shipyard Co. LLC, doing business as Newport Shipyard, which repairs and paints vessels, must also 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 use of paints and other coatings that meet low-VOC standards

The Newport R.I. yacht repair facility has also agreed to comply with applicable recordkeeping and certification requirements will take steps to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paints and thinners used at its facility, under the terms of a Clean Air Act settlement.

Emails to the shipyard seeking comment Monday (March 4) were returned as undeliverable.

Paint Emissions

The shipyard provides painting, repair operations and other marine services. According to EPA, the facility used paint that emitted excess levels of VOCs. These pollutants can cause human health problems and contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a primary constituent of smog.

Newport Shipyard

Newport, RI, where the yard is located, has failed to meet federal ozone standards.

Newport is in an area that has failed to meet federal air quality standards for ozone.

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 Plan

EPA has been working since 2005 on environmental issues involving marinas in New England. Its Marina Environmental Management Plan details a variety of measures and practices involving management of marine coatings.


Tagged categories: Emissions; EPA; Low-VOC; Marine Coatings; Shipyards; Spray Paint; VOC emissions

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (3/5/2013, 9:33 AM)

If we actually cared about air quality impact of solvents, VOC regulations would be shifted to an "activity based" standard. This is NOT a new idea. A gallon of Xylene contributes 3-4x as much to ozone as a gallon of MEK, but under the current federal regulation, they are considered equally bad. Sure, the models for activity are not perfect, but they are a LOT better than the current "go/no go" method.

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