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R.I. recycling companies hit with environmental complaint

By Shaun Zinck | Mar 12, 2015

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin | Rhode Island Attorney General's Office

A complaint was filed on March 4 against two Rhode Island companies by Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Director Janet Coit alleging environmental violations from a scrap metal recycling operation along the Providence waterfront. 

The complaint named Rhode Island Recycled Metals (RIRM), AARE, the property owner and Edward Sciaba Sr., RIRM on-site manager.

RIRM is a metal recycling business at 434 and 444 Allens Ave. The complaint alleged the company violated the Rhode Island's Oil Pollution Control Act and Water Pollution Act, and the DEM's Water Quality Water Quality Regulations. 

DEM inspections in October, December, January and February, and an inspection in January by the U.S. Coast Guard uncovered that the companies allegedly didn't install storm water controls, comply with mitigative measures, prevent oil spillage, restore shoreline or remove derelict vessels. 

"A clean and unpolluted waterfront and Narragansett Bay is a vital component to our economic development, and we cannot allow any company to violate the state's environmental statutes for quick profit," Kilmartin said. "Despite several attempts to address the violations through administrative procedures, these companies have failed to clean up their act, and we have no choice but to have this matter resolved in court."

Coit said the companies did obtain the proper permits to start operations, but didn't comply with an agreement it reached with the DEM.

"By failing to invest in the equipment and other measures necessary to prevent pollution, their actions harmed the environment,” Coit said. “As government officials work together to stimulate the economy, it's so important that we ensure compliance with our laws to provide an even playing field."

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