Massachusetts chemical company pleads guilty to violating Clean Air Act in Rhode Island

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — A Massachusetts-based chemical company has pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act at a facility it owned in Rhode Island.

Roberts Chemical Co., now based in Attleboro, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Providence as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

The Environmental Protection Agency found in 2008 that Roberts was storing 27,467 pounds of ethyl ether at its former facility it in Pawtucket. Ethyl ether is volatile and highly flammable.

The EPA requires companies storing more than 10,000 pounds of ethyl ether to develop a risk management plan to protect workers, the community and first responders. Roberts Chemical did not do so.

The plea deal says the government and company will recommend the company be fined $200,000 and issue a public apology.

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