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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release:

November 21, 2000

Contact:

Sally J. Spadaro 222-4700 ext. 2426
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

COURT ORDERS JOHNSTON PROPERTY OWNER TO REMOVE ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION DEBRIS

PROVIDENCE Ė Yesterday, Superior Court Judge Frank Williams ordered Robert A. and Tracey Recchia to remove over 58,000 cubic yards of solid waste, primarily composed of shredded construction and demolition material from their property on Mill Street in Johnston. The precise schedule for the removal of the material will not be finalized until the final order, expected in early December.

"This decision represents a win for the neighbors who have had to endure the odors from this unlicensed landfill," said DEM Director Jan Reitsma. "We are very pleased that Judge Williams recognized and acted upon the need to eliminate the problem in the most appropriate and effective way- by insisting upon the complete removal of all the illegally deposited solid waste.

The nuisance suit was brought jointly by Reitsma and Rhode Island Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse. Staff from DEM and the RI Department of Health testified at the trial, as did three local residents. Based on this testimony, Judge Williams ruled that the solid waste material on the Recchia property was the source of the objectionable odors and ordered it to be removed. In addition, Judge Williams ordered the Recchias to restore wetlands on their property that had been illegally altered.

A separate administrative action involving a Notice of Violation issued to the Recchias by DEM, is still pending before DEMís Administrative Adjudication Division. The Notice includes a $172,342 penalty. A pre-hearing on the matter is scheduled for December 22, 2000.


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