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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > April 2003 Summary

 
April 2003 Enforcement Action Summary

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued
Formal Enforcement Actions Settled or Resolved
Superior Court Actions Issued
Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved

This report includes formal enforcement actions issued or resolved by the Office of Compliance & Inspection for the month of March 2003. This report is intended to inform the public of certain compliance/enforcement activities performed in the preceding month to protect the public's health, safety, welfare and the environment.

Formal Enforcement actions are taken to achieve compliance with law/regulations; remediate environmental damage; restore natural resources to appropriate conditions; impose penalties that capture the gravity of the situation and any economic benefit gained by the alleged violator; and deter similar actions in the future. Formal enforcement is generally in the form of a Notice of Violation ("NOV") that alleges certain facts and violations, contains orders to resolve the alleged violations, contains an assessed penalty with supporting documentation regarding what factors RIDEM used to determine the penalty, and, by law, allows a respondent the ability to appeal or contest the NOV to the Department's Administrative Adjudication Division ("AAD"). Since most NOVs are contested cases, RIDEM does not generally discuss the case with the public while the matter is awaiting hearing or pending negotiated settlement. NOVs are subject to release under the Access to Public Records law in Rhode Island. A copy of an individual NOV may be obtained through RIDEM's Office of Technical and Customer Assistance. The OC&I often resolves formal enforcement actions through negotiated settlement agreements prior to hearing before the AAD.

Media inquiries should be addressed to Gail Mastrati at 401-222-4700 ext. 2402. Requests for file reviews should be addressed to Maureen Casey at 401-222-4700 ext. 7307, fax 401-222-3810.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

April 2, 2003 - OC&I/UST File No. 03-0016 re: Gilbert F. Carpenter d/b/a Carpenter's Service Station for property located at 4049 South County Trail, Assessor's Plat 29, Lot 11 in the Town of Charlestown. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials ("the UST Regulations"). The violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to perform line tightness testing, conduct annual testing of line leak detectors, conduct monthly and annual testing of UST continuous monitoring systems, and maintain all monthly and annual testing records. The Respondent was advised of his noncompliance with the Regulations in a Letter of Noncompliance issued by the OC&I on 23 October 2001. The Respondent was given 60 days to comply with the Regulations. Further advisories of noncompliance were issued in writing on 8 January 2002 and 25 January 2002. Despite these repeated contacts, the Respondent did not comply with the Regulations. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondent to comply with the Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $8,233.00.

April 9, 2003 - OC&I/UST File No. 03-02081 re: Pasco Raimondo and Susan Raimondo d/b/a as Pat's Towing for property located at 94 West Warwick Avenue, Assessor's Plat 7, Lot 399, in the Town of West Warwick. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertain to the Respondents' failure to conduct monthly and annual testing of UST continuous monitoring systems, operate and maintain piping collection sumps and leak monitoring devices, conduct testing of UST cathodic protection systems, conduct annual testing of line leak detectors, pay UST facility registration fees and associated late fees ($2,425.00), and maintain all monthly and annual testing records including inventory records for UST systems. RIDEM attempted to notify the Respondents of their noncompliance by certified letter dated 20 November 2001; however, the Respondents refused to accept the letter. In the NOV, OC&I also identified noncompliance with a previous enforcement action wherein Respondents entered into a Superior Court Judgment with the RIDEM and agreed to pay RIDEM penalties in the amount of $6,397.54. The Respondents have failed to pay this penalty. OC&I ordered the Respondents to comply with the UST Regulations. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $22,307.00.

April 10, 2003 - OC&I/ RCRA File No. 01-033 AMENDED NOV re: Bristol Industrial Park, Inc. for property located at 500 Wood Street, Assessor's Plat 29, Lots 1 and 3 in the Town of Bristol. On August 30, 2002 the OC&I issued a NOV alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Hazardous Waste Management Act and multiple sections of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The violations pertained to hundreds of containers and thousands of gallons of hazardous waste stored at the property. The violations also pertained to the Respondent's failure to properly determine if its wastes are hazardous waste, failing to develop and maintain a hazardous waste contingency plan, failing to maintain a hazardous waste training program, storage of hazardous waste in excess of 90 days without the required permit, failing to obtain an EPA identification number, failing to install secondary containment for containers of liquid hazardous waste, failing to affix accumulation start dates to containers of hazardous waste and failing to maintain adequate spill control equipment. The Respondent was advised by OC&I as early as June 2001 that it must properly dispose of the hazardous waste stored at the property. Despite this information, the Respondent did not dispose of the hazardous waste pursuant to state law and regulations. In the original 30 August 2002 NOV, the OC&I ordered compliance with the law and regulations and assessed a penalty of $70,853.00. As part of the NOV, the RIDEM notified the Respondent of the potential for accrued costs and penalties. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, RIDEM conducted an inspection of the property on 6 January 2003. The inspection uncovered that fifty-six (56) 55-gallon containers of hazardous waste continued to be stored on the property in violations of the Hazardous Waste Management Act and the Regulations. RIDEM filed a motion with the AAD to amend the NOV by increasing the penalty for the alleged continuing hazardous waste storage violations. The motion was granted. The Amended NOV contains a penalty in the amount of $140,853.00.

April 30, 2003 - OC&I/UST File No. 03-02920 re: The Town of Charlestown for municipal facility property located at 4540 South County Trail, Assessor's Plat 23, Lot 9 in the Town of Charlestown. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to meet inventory record keeping requirements for its UST systems from July 1998 through July 2001 and after. The Respondent was advised of its noncompliance with the Regulations in a Letter of Noncompliance issued by the OC&I on 20 August 2001. The Respondent was given 60 days to comply with the Regulations. OC&I personnel followed up the letter with telephone calls on 30 August 2001 and again on 29 April 2002. As of the date of the NOV, the Respondent was still not in compliance with the Regulations. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to submit all missing inventory reconciliation records that verify compliance for its USTs. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $6,250.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

April 1, 2003 - OC&I/LUST File No. 01-328 re: Charles T. Cove and Cove Metal Co. for property located at 65 Mill Street, Assessor's Map 179, Lot 59 in the Town of Burrillville. On July 24, 2001, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, Oil Spill Pollution Prevention and Control Act, and Refuse Disposal Act along with RIDEM's Oil Pollution Control Regulations and its UST Regulations. The violations pertained to Respondents' release of oil into ground water on the property and into the nearby Branch River. The OC&I alleged that oil discharged from two underground 30,000-gallon fuel oil tanks abandoned on the property resulting in pollutants entering waters of the state. The Respondents failed to register the USTs, abandoned them on site and also allowed up to 1000 cubic yards of solid waste to be maintained on the property. The OC&I ordered final clean up of the property including the removal of all solid waste, closure of the USTs on site and reimbursement of all funds expended or that may be expended for DEM's investigation and remediation of the contamination. A penalty in the amount of $48,130.00 was assessed against the Respondents. The Respondents filed and appeal of the NOV with the AAD.

A hearing on the enforcement action was held before the AAD on September 10, 11, and 16, 2002. A recommended Decision and Order was issued by the AAD on March 31, 2003. The Administrative Hearing Officer sustained OC&I's NOV and ordered the Respondents to remove all solid waste from the property within 90 days of receipt of the Decision and Order, dispose of the solid waste in accordance with RIGL §23-18.9-5(a), submit documentation of proper disposal to the OC&I, conduct a Site Investigation Report in accordance with the UST Regulations, conduct a Corrective Action Plan if required, continue operation of all remediation procedures, continue submission of required quarterly status reports, reimburse DEM for any outstanding funds it has expended or may expend in the investigation and/or remediation of the contamination and pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $48,130.00 within 30 days from the date of the Final Agency Order. The Director of RIDEM entered the Recommended Decision and Order as a Final Agency Order on April 1, 2003.

April 1, 2003 - OC&I/Septic System File No. D3057 and D4002 re: Robert C. Schultz for applications prepared as a licensed ISDS designer. OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent on October 30, 2002 alleging violations of Rhode Island General Law Sections 5-56.1-8, 42-17.1-2(u) and 42-17.6-3 and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (the "ISDS Regulations"). The violations pertained to RIDEM's review of 7 separate ISDS applications submitted by the Respondent that revealed a pattern of gross or repeating negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in the representation of site conditions in an application or design of an ISDS. These violations included neglecting to submit required freshwater wetlands information, submitting plans not drawn to scale, inaccurately depicting grading and the location of freshwater wetlands, and the relationship of the proposed septic system to public water supplies and associated tributaries. In the NOV, OC&I ordered that the Respondent's licenses be suspended for a period of eighteen (18) months. A penalty of $7,000.00 was assessed in the NOV. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondent and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to have his Class III and Class IV licenses suspended for a period of twelve (12) months and agreed not to seek renewal of the Class III and Class IV licenses throughout the period of suspension. The Respondent also agreed to provide written notice of the suspension to every client who has retained him to perform any activities associated with the design, site evaluation, or installation of an ISDS that has not been issued a Certificate of Conformance by RIDEM. The letter must identify the licenses that were suspended, explain that the Respondent will be unable to perform any further work during the period of the suspension, offer the person the option of having a replacement designer (retained at the sole expense of the Respondent) complete the work, and explain that the person has the right to retain a designer of his/her own choosing. The Respondent also agreed to pay a penalty of $5,000 in equal installments of $1,000. The first payment was made upon signing the Agreement, and $1,000 will be paid in each quarter thereafter.

April 7, 2003 - OC&I/LUST File No. 00-3411 re: Erlino (a.k.a. "Leon") Avila, Frank V. Avila, Jr., Robert J. Avila and Avila Brothers, Inc. for property located at 625 Metacom Avenue, Assessor's Plat 15A, lots 99 and 100, in the Town of Warren. On 12 September 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV alleging that the Respondents violated sections of Rhode Island's Water Pollution Law, RIDEM's Groundwater Quality Regulations, Oil Pollution Control Regulations and UST Regulations. The violations pertained to violating an order of the Director, discharging pollutants/oil/petroleum to waters of the State; improper management and removal of oil spill cleanup debris, continuous monitoring requirements for UST systems, precision testing requirements and site investigation requirements. The OC&I ordered compliance with the law/regulations regarding remediation and clean up and assessed a penalty in the amount of $121,910.00 against the Respondents. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. In the Consent Agreement, the Respondents agreed to implement corrective action at the property including monitoring and clean up. The Respondents agreed to and have paid a penalty in the amount of $57,000.00.

April 8, 2003 - OC&I/Wetlands File No. C02-0201 re: Pulte Home Corporation of New England for property located approximately 350 feet east of the intersection of Admiral's Way and Schooner Cove Lane, Assessor Plat L, Lot 224-26, in the Town of Narragansett. The property is one of the lots within a 41-lot subdivision that was issued an Insignificant Alteration Permit from RIDEM on June 2, 1995. OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent on September 19, 2002 alleging violations of the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertained to clearing, filling, constructing a retaining wall, and excavating approximately 180 square feet of Forested Wetland. This violation is 1 of 14 separate Notices of Violation that OC&I issued against the Respondent for wetland violations within the 41-lot subdivision. The 14 violation notices affected 14 separate lots and approximately 22,000 square feet of freshwater wetlands. In addition, OC&I documented wetland violations on several other lots; however, no violation notices were issued in these instances. In the NOV OC&I ordered the restoration of the unauthorized altered wetlands. A penalty of $1,000 was assessed in the NOV. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV to AAD. The Respondent paid the full penalty of $1,000 on October 9, 2002. Prior to hearing on the NOV, the Respondent and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to restore the freshwater wetlands by June 1, 2003.

April 18, 2003 - OC&I/Water File No. 97-272 re CIC-Newport Associates for property located at Long Wharf Mall (also known as Long Wharf Mall South), Assessor's Plat 24 Lot 339 in the City of Newport. OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent on June 14, 2001 alleging violations of Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertained to the continuous discharge of sanitary sewage from the property to Newport Harbor through the city's stormwater drainage system. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondent to connect the sewerage system for the property to the city's sewerage system. A penalty of $105,000 was assessed in the NOV. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV to AAD. The Respondent connected the sewerage system for the property to the city sewerage system on January 18, 2002. Prior to hearing on the NOV, the Respondent and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the administrative penalty. The penalty assessed in the NOV was based in part on the duration of the violations. The Respondent was able to document that it was unaware of the violations for a substantial period of the time alleged in the NOV. The penalty was recalculated based on the information provided by the Respondent. The Respondent paid a penalty of $24,000.

April 21, 2003 - OC&I/UST File No. 02-00308 re: DB Marketing Company, Inc., DB Companies, Inc. and Cadlerock Properties, LLC for property located on Main Street, Assessor's Plat 5B, Lot 22 in the Village of Wyoming in the Town of Richmond. On December 13, 2002, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents were in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials ("the UST Regulations"). The violations pertained to a failure to continuously monitor the interstitial space of the double-walled piping for Respondents' UST Nos. 002, 004, 006 and 007 from the time the USTs were installed in 1990 until May 2002. The purpose of the monitoring is to detect the presence of a regulated substance and its vapors. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to comply with the UST Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $6,250.00. The Respondents filed an appeal with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent resolved the issues of noncompliance and agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $4,375.00. The penalty was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

April 21, 2003 - OC&I/AIR File No. 03-01 re: The Memorial Hospital located at 111 Brewster Street in the City of Pawtucket. On February 4, 2003, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 9, entitled "Air Pollution Control Permits". The violation pertained to the Respondent's failure to conduct emission testing of its air pollution control equipment within 180 days of equipment start up. The testing was necessary to document compliance with emission limitations as required in approvals issued by RIDEM's Office of Air Resources ("OAR"). The stack test was to have been completed no later than November 28, 2000. The OAR notified the Respondent of its failure to conduct the required test in a Notice of Alleged Violation issued on 21 March 2002. The Respondent completed its required testing on 27 September 2002 and reported the test results to the OAR on 27 November 2002. The OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease operation of the equipment in the event that the test results show a violation of the OAR approval. The Respondent was further ordered to comply with all requirements of the OAR if repair of the equipment is necessary. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $5,499.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondent and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent resolved the issues of noncompliance by complying with the order portion of the NOV. The Respondent agreed to and has paid a penalty in the amount of $3,500.00.

April 23, 2003 - OC&I/Wetlands File No. C01-0071 re: Scituate Highlands, LLC for property located immediately east of Nipmuc Road, approximately 1.5 miles southeast of the intersection of Nipmuc Road and Old Plainfield Pike, Assessor Plat 50, Lots 5 and 47, in the Town of Scituate. OC&I issued a NOV on November 14, 2002 alleging violations of the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertained to filling, grading, and piping within an Area Subject to Storm Flowage (ASSF), filling, grading, and constructing a gravel roadway within Riverbank Wetland, and clearing within a Perimeter Wetland. The unauthorized alterations affected 1,315 square feet of ASSF, 5,000 square feet of Riverbank Wetland, and 2,000 square feet of Perimeter Wetland. In the NOV OC&I ordered the restoration of the unauthorized altered wetlands. A penalty of $4,000 was assessed in the NOV. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV to AAD. Prior to hearing on the NOV, the Respondent and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent completed most of the wetland restoration ordered in the NOV and agreed to complete the remaining restoration work by May 31, 2003. The Respondent paid a penalty of $2,800.

April 24, 2003 - OC&I/AIR File No. 02-04 re: Waste Management of Rhode Island, Inc. for property located at 65 O'Keefe Lane in the City of Warwick. On December 17, 2002, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Section 23-23-5, paragraph 19 of Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and Air Pollution Control No. 9 entitled "Air Pollution Control Permits". The violation pertains to the installation and operation of a 750 horsepower diesel-fired internal combustion engine ("generator") used to power process equipment for compost grinding operations. The Respondent installed and operated the generator without first obtaining a permit from RIDEM. The OC&I alleges that the generator was first installed on or about 1 December 1998. The Respondent has subsequently obtained a permit to install and operate the generator. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $40,027.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondent and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent provided documentation to the OC&I that supported reduction of the penalty assessed in the NOV. The Respondent agreed to and has paid a penalty in the amount of $29,000.00.

April 29, 2003 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI 01-30 re: John and Barbara Cullen for property located at 945 Mendon Road, Assessor's Plat 34, Lot 71 in the Town of Cumberland. OC&I issued a NOV on July 22, 2002 alleging violations of the ISDS Regulations. The violations pertained to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the sewage disposal system for a multi-family (4 unit) dwelling on the property. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondents to connect the sewerage system for the property to the town sewerage system. A penalty of $3,000 was assessed in the NOV. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV to AAD. The Respondents connected the sewerage system for the property to the town sewerage system on November 19, 2002. Prior to a hearing on the NOV, the Respondents and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the administrative penalty. The Respondents paid a penalty of $1,250.

April 30, 2003 - OC&I/Wetlands File No. C02-0063 re: Pulte Home Corporation of New England for property located approximately 320 feet east/northeast of the intersection of Admiral's Way and Schooner Cove Lane, Assessor Plat L, Lot 224-27, in the Town of Narragansett. The property is one of the lots within a 41-lot subdivision that was issued an Insignificant Alteration Permit from RIDEM on June 2, 1995. OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent on September 19, 2002 alleging violations of the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertained to clearing, filling, and excavating approximately 175 square feet of Shrub Wetland. This violation is 1 of 14 separate Notices of Violation that OC&I issued against the Respondent for wetland violations within the 41-lot subdivision. The 14 violation notices affected 14 separate lots and approximately 22,000 square feet of freshwater wetlands. In addition, OC&I documented wetland violations on several other lots; however, no violation notices were issued in these instances. In the NOV OC&I ordered the restoration of the unauthorized altered wetlands. A penalty of $1,000 was assessed in the NOV. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV to AAD. The Respondent paid the full penalty of $1,000 on October 9, 2002. Prior to hearing on the NOV, the Respondent and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to restore the freshwater wetlands by June 1, 2003.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

None settled or resolved this month.

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rev. 6/1/04