A Rhode Island chemical manufacturing company must minimize air emissions and protect air quality near its facility and in the surrounding community under a settlement reached with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Mereco Technologies Group, Inc., agreed to settle EPA claims the company neither complied with the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources, nor applied for a necessary R.I. Clean Air Act permit.

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In addition to a $60,000 penalty, the settlement requires the company apply for an air permit and take steps to reduce emissions and ensure compliance with air pollution regulations.

Mereco Technologies Group operates a specialty chemical manufacturing facility at 1505 Main Street in West Warwick, RI. Mereco or its subsidiary Metachem Resins Corporation operated at the location since 1978.

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Chemical manufacturing operations follow regulations to avoid excess emissions of hazardous air pollutants, which are a class of pollutants that cause or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. These health effects can include damage to the immune system, as well as neurological, reproductive, developmental, respiratory and other health problems.

As part of the settlement, Mereco will, among other things: install covers on mixing vessels containing hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and/or volatile organic compounds (VOC); record monthly and annual HAP usage; conduct quarterly monitoring of all process vessels using EPA approved methods; and cap HAP and VOC emissions facility wide.

The enforcement action grew out of a joint EPA and RIDEM inspection and a thorough review of facility records.

In February, the EPA notified Mereco of allegations of potential violations. Since learning about the violations, Mereco has worked with the EPA to address violations and reach a settlement.

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