NORTH KINGSTOWN – The R.I. Air National Guard has agreed to meet more stringent emissions standards and pay a $39,400 penalty to settle U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims that it violated air pollution laws at its North Kingstown facility.
The Air National Guard conducts general aircraft maintenance, among other things, at the facility at Quonset Point. As part of its operations, the guard maintains a paint spray booth and four spray guns used to apply coatings that contain volatile organic compounds to metal aircraft parts.
The EPA alleged that the R.I. Air National Guard 143rd Airlift Wing violated air pollution laws by failing to apply for a required permit in 2001 before installing the paint spray booth, and by failing to comply with specific certification and record-keeping requirements for coating metal parts.
Under the settlement, the R.I. Air National Guard will pay a $39,400 fine, cap its annual volatile organic compound emissions, apply for a state air permit, and use coating practices that minimize emissions to ensure better air quality for communities near the facility.
“Paint spraying operations are regulated to avoid excess emissions of VOCs, which contribute to ground level ozone,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “The actions being taken by the R.I. Air National Guard under this settlement will help protect the air Rhode Islanders breathe.”