The state is suing a scrap metal yard on the Providence waterfront, at the upper Narragansett Bay, for alleged environmental violations. This is not the first time the company has come under fire.
Back in 2012, the Department of Environmental Management, notified Rhode Island Recycled Metals, it was violating numerous rules on water pollution. The state worked with the company on a plan to solve the issues. But more than 2 years later, the DEM says the company still hasn’t cleaned up. DEM director Janet Coit says she’s taking them to court.
“The department tries to work with companies, even give violators a chance to come back into compliance, but going to court was necessary in the instance, because we weren’t seeing results,” said Coit.
The lawsuit seeks to stop the pollution but stops short of asking the court to shut down the facility. Environmental advocates say the state should seek tougher penalties to deter future violations.
Save the Bay’s Tom Kutcher said business interests and environmental interests don’t need to be at odds.
“There’s sort of a misconception that environmental regulations impede small businesses, when in fact not enforcing environmental regulations really skews the playing field, where the cheaters get the advantage,” said Kutcher.
The lawsuit is being filed jointly by the DEM and the state’s attorney general Peter Kilmartin. Rhode Island Recycled Metals was not immediately available for comment.
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