Rhode Island Fines Sims Metal’s Firm for Violating Clean Air Act
ecoRI News reported that global metal-scrap processor Sims Metal’s Johnston Rhode Island subsidiary MM New England Corp was recently fined for the first
ecoRI News reported that global metal-scrap processor Sims Metal’s Johnston Rhode Island subsidiary MM New England Corp was recently fined for the first time in its nearly seven years in business despite not having an operating license or an air pollution permit. According to Rhode Island official, SMM New England Corp has been operating illegally in Johnston since 2013 and releasing pollution that has been linked to cancer and respiratory illnesses. The Johnston unit on Green Earth Avenue sorts and shreds automobiles, appliances, and other metals
A pre-construction engineers report from Sims submitted to the state in 2012 stated that there would be no release of regulated air pollutants from the shredding process. But inspections in 2014 and 2016 found violations and a lack of permits. In February 2018 the Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice of violation alleging violations of the Clean Air Act and citing the Sims subsidiary for its failure to obtain a major source permit and a Title V operating permit. After several complaints about air pollution by neighbours in the industrial park in 2019, the office of the attorney general issued a warning letter that noted numerous air pollution violations from a plume of smoke emanating from the 7,000-horsepower shredder.
After failing to comply with directives to obtain permits and install pollution-control equipment, Sims was fined at least USD 875,000 for emitting volatile organic compounds and other pollutants linked to health problems from its two Rhode Island facilities. It’s the largest penalty ever assessed by the state of Rhode Island for violations of the Clean Air Act. Sims will pay USD 550,000 to the state of Rhode Island and USD 325,000 to Johnston and Providence, which will fund unspecified projects.