The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and the state’s Attorney General Peter F. Neronha have slapped $875,000 in penalties on a SIMS shredder facility.
This is the largest penalty paid by a recycler in Rhode Island, according to a press release that gave details of the settlement on Wednesday.
RIDEM had filed a case with the state Attorney General’s office after finding that the Johnston-based plant was in violation of the state’s Clean Air Act. Under the settlement, the facility, which operates under the name SMM New England Corporation, has agreed to pay the penalty, as well as install new equipment that will help the plant in controlling air pollution, which can be linked to severe respiratory illnesses and even cancer, Neronha noted.
If the company fails to comply with the terms under this settlement, it will have to pay an additional $1.125mn in penalties.
The complaint filed by RIDEM alleged that the metals recycler had not only failed to install the required pollution control equipment, but had also started construction of its metal shredding operation without applying for the necessary air permits. Furthermore, SIMS had been operating the shredder without these permits since 2013.
The shredder at the Johnston facility was shut down until the settlement was reached. SIMS has also agreed to file for the required permits within 90 days after it restarts operations now that the settlement has been reached.