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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > April 2004 Summary

 
April 2004 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 April 2004. 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 7, 2004 - OC&I/UST File No. 04-00685 and RCRA File No. 04-033 re: Textron, Inc. for property located at 566 Airport Road, Assessor's Plat 321, Lot 4, in the City of Warwick. 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") and the Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management ("the Hazardous Waste Regulations"). The UST violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to perform testing of the UST impressed current cathodic protection system at least once every 60 days, failing to meet inventory record keeping requirements for UST systems, failing to conduct monthly and annual testing of the continuous monitoring system ("CMS") and failing to meet record keeping requirements for testing of the CMS. The Hazardous Waste violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to determine if waste generated onsite meets the definition of a hazardous waste and failing to submit to the RIDEM a list of names and signatures of agents who are authorized by the company to sign its Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifests. The Respondent was ordered in the NOV to achieve compliance with the UST and Hazardous Waste Regulations within 30 days of receipt of the NOV. A penalty in the amount of $10,736.00 was assessed in the NOV.

April 7, 2004 - OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 04-014 re: Galliate, Ltd. and Professional Landscape Construction, Inc. for property located at 151 Cannon Street, Assessor's Plat 12, Lot 2013, in the City of Cranston. Galliate, Ltd. Is the owner of the property. Professional Landscape Construction, Inc. operates its business from the property. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act. The violations pertain to the disposal of solid waste at other than a licensed solid waste management facility and operating a solid waste management facility without a license from the RIDEM. On October 30, 2001, an inspection of the property revealed 70 cubic yards of mixed solid waste on the ground consisting of tree and yard waste and other mixed solid waste. OC&I issued a Letter of Non-Compliance ("LNC") to Professional Landscaping Construction, Inc. requiring the removal of the solid waste to a licensed solid waste management facility. An inspection of the property on September 25, 2003 revealed the presence of 626 cubic yards of solid waste on the property. On October 23, 2003, OC&I issued an LNC to Galliate, Ltd. requiring the owner to remove the solid waste to a licensed solid waste management facility. A follow up inspection of the property on October 30, 2003 revealed approximately 932 cubic yards of solid waste and that solid waste was being buried on the property. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to cease operating a solid waste management facility and cease the disposal of solid waste at the property. The Respondents were ordered to remove the solid waste and dispose of the waste at a licensed solid waste management facility within 90 days of receipt of the NOV. A penalty in the amount of $18,570.00 was assessed for Respondents' non-compliance.

April 26, 2004 - OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 04-015 re: Harmony Realty Associates, LLC for property located at 296 Putnam Pike, Assessor's Plat 17, Lots 175 in the Town of Glocester. OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act and RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations. The solid waste violations pertain to the disposal of solid waste at other than a licensed solid waste management facility and operating a solid waste management facility without a license from the RIDEM. An inspection of the property revealed the presence of approximately 4,638 cubic yards of solid waste including wood waste, tree waste, plastic, used vehicle tires, scrap metal, tanks, white goods, unregistered vehicles and other mixed solid waste. The Hazardous Waste violation pertains to the Respondent's failure to determine if liquid waste contained in a 55-gallon container on the property meets the definition of a hazardous waste. The OC&I had issued a Letter of Non-Compliance to the Respondent On April 10, 2001 requiring Respondent's compliance with the Refuse Disposal Act and RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations. The Respondent failed to comply with the LNC. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease acceptance of solid waste on the property, remove the solid waste to a licensed solid waste management facility within 90 days of receipt of the NOV, and immediately determine if the liquid waste on site meets the definition of hazardous waste. In the event the liquid waste meets the definition of a hazardous waste, the Respondent was required to manage and dispose of the waste in accordance with the Hazardous Waste Regulations. A penalty in the amount of $21,250.00 was assessed in the NOV.

April 27, 2004 - OC&I/UST File No. 04-03036 re: Robert A. Joly and Catherine A. Joly for Diamond Hill Valero located at 1410 Diamond Hill road, Assessor's Plat 16, Lot 570 in the Town of Cumberland. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertain to annual UST registration fees and fees for late payment, inventory record keeping requirements for UST systems, tank tightness testing, line tightness testing, annual testing of line leak detectors, monthly and annual testing of the continuous monitoring system, maintenance of spill containment basins, labeling of UST fill ports, tank pad observation well construction requirements and record keeping requirements associated with testing of UST systems. The Respondents were previously advised of noncompliance with the UST Regulations in a letter issued by the RIDEM on September 19, 2000. A follow up inspection on February 27, 2004 revealed continued non-compliance with the UST Regulations. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the UST Regulations including the submission of all required documents to show compliance. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $31,378.00.

April 27, 2004 - OC&I/UST File No. 04-00749 re: Cumberland Farms, Inc. and Diamond Hill Market and Gas, Inc. for property located at 3 Pine Swamp Road, a/k/a 12 Bound Road, Assessor's Plat 50, Lot 25, in the Town of Cumberland. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertain to inventory record keeping requirements for UST systems and tank tightness testing requirements including record keeping for testing records. On December 5, 2003, OC&I issued a Letter of Non-Compliance to the Respondents requiring them to achieve compliance with the UST Regulations. The Respondents submitted some information in response to the LNC but did not fully comply with the UST Regulations. Following the initial response from the Respondents, OC&I uncovered additional non-compliance with the UST Regulations. In the NOV, OC&I ordered compliance with the UST Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $8,800.00.

April 30, 2004 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetlands File No. C00-0277 re: Joseph and Rena Trotta for property located south of Snake Hill Road, southeast of the intersection of Snake Hill Road and Ramble Road, utility pole no. 58, Assessor's Plat 18, Lot 315 in the Town of Glocester. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents violated Section 2-1-21 of the Freshwater Wetlands Act and Rule 7.01 of the Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertains to the construction of a large shed along with filling, clearing, excavation and soil disturbance. This activity has altered approximately 100 linear feet of an area subject to storm flowage and approximately 8,000 square feet of forested wetland. The Respondents did not obtain a permit from the RIDEM prior to conducting the alterations. On July 17, 2000, OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce to the Respondents requiring the restoration of the altered wetlands. Despite a meeting on August 1, 2000 to outline OC&I's concerns and follow up correspondence to the Respondents on September 27, 2000 and August 27, 2001, the Respondents failed to voluntarily resolve the violation. Re-inspection of the property on February 12, 2004 revealed that no restoration activity has taken place on the property and the wetlands remained altered. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to restore the altered wetlands and assessed a penalty in the amount of $1,600.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

April 7, 2004 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 03-011 re: Narragansett Electric Company for property located at 280 Melrose Street, Assessor's Map Plat 60, Lot 194 in the City of Providence. On September 2, 2003, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management and applicable sections of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations related to hazardous waste. The violations pertained to the Respondent's storage of hazardous waste in excess of the time frame authorized by the regulations, failing to keep hazardous waste containers closed, failing to place an accumulation start date on all containers of hazardous waste stored at the facility, failing to provide all required information on hazardous waste labels for containers of hazardous waste, failing to properly label satellite containers holding hazardous waste and failing to meet all requirements to provide tanks holding hazardous waste with the required stop inflow device/overfill prevention controls. An administrative penalty in the amount of $13,000.00 was assessed in the NOV. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The OC&I conducted an inspection that confirmed the Respondent's current compliance with the applicable regulations. In addition, the Respondent was able to submit documentation that supported their argument that equipment at the site met the overfill protection requirements of the regulations. The parties agreed to a penalty in the amount of $6,850.00. The penalty has been paid in full.

April 22, 2004 - OC&I/Septic System File No. D3051 re: Kamal Hingorany for individual sewage disposal system (ISDS) designs and/or installations prepared and/or overseen as a licensed ISDS designer. On November 24, 2003, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island General Law Sections 5-56.1-8, 42-17.1-2(u) and 42-17.6-3 and the Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (ISDS Regulations). The violations pertained to RIDEM review of 8 separate ISDS applications submitted by the Respondent that revealed a pattern of gross or repeating negligence, incompetence, or misconduct in an application or design of an ISDS and the inspection of the construction of an ISDS. These violations included failure to provide all pertinent information on the application form, failure to submit basic design data, failure to show the location of the septic tank on design plans, failure to show the interconnection of the leach field trenches on the design plans, and failure to properly oversee construction of an ISDS. The findings of DEM review of the ISDS applications were presented to the ISDS Designer Licensing Review Panel (Panel). The Panel is composed of 5 members who have expertise in ISDS issues and who are not employed by DEM. The Panel is appointed by the Director to review the actions of licensed designers and make recommendations to DEM on whether a designer's license should be suspended or revoked and the length of time for the suspension or revocation. The Panel recommended to DEM that the Respondent's License # D3051 be suspended for 60 days. On November 4, 2002 DEM issued to the Respondent a Notice of Intent to Suspend or Revoke the Respondent's License. The Respondent failed to show cause why DEM should not suspend or revoke his License #D3051. In the NOV, OC&I ordered that the Respondent's license be suspended for a period of 60 days and assessed a penalty of $2,200.00. 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 suspension of the Respondent's license for 60 days was dropped. The Respondent agreed to pay the $2,200.00 penalty in full. The penalty was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

April 22, 2004 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 03-011 re: Cooley, Inc. for property located at 50 Esten Avenue, Assessor's Plat 62, lots 325, 326, 333, and Lot 324 on Moshassuck Street in the City of Pawtucket. On October 16, 2003, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management, and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations related to hazardous waste management enforced by the State of Rhode Island. The violations pertained to the Respondent's failure to label containers of hazardous waste, properly complete labels on containers holding hazardous waste, failing to affix an accumulation start date to containers of hazardous waste, failing to inspect hazardous waste containers on a weekly basis, failing to provide secondary containment for containers of liquid hazardous waste and failing to determine the identity of a hazardous waste. The OC&I ordered compliance with the Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $16,000.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. Prior to execution of the Consent Agreement, the OC&I confirmed that the Respondent was currently in compliance with the applicable regulations. The Respondent agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $10,360.00. The penalty has been paid in full.

April 27, 2004 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 02-046 re: John A. and Barbara A. Ventetuolo for property located at 2469 Putnam Pike, Assessor's Plat 1, Lot 11 in the Town of Glocester. On February 26, 2003, the OC&I issued a NOV alleging that the Respondents violated Rhode Island's Hazardous Waste Management Act, the Water Pollution Control Act, RIDEM's Groundwater Quality Regulations and RIDEM's Site Remediation Regulations. The violations pertained to the storage of multiple containers of hazardous waste on site without a permit and allowing an unpermitted release or disposal of hazardous materials or discharge of a pollutant in a location where it is likely to enter the waters of the state. OC&I personnel had advised Respondent Barbara Ventetuolo that all hazardous waste must be properly removed from the property at the time of OC&I's initial inspection. The Respondents failed to remove and properly handle the hazardous waste. In order to address the problems observed on site, OC&I called in an environmental clean up contractor to assist in the sampling and managing of the hazardous waste. The Respondents eventually hired an environmental contractor to remove the hazardous waste. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to conduct a Site Investigation in accordance with the Site Remediation Regulations and to comply with any remediation requirements as directed by RIDEM. A penalty in the amount of $19,597.00 was assessed in the NOV. 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. The Respondents achieved compliance with the order section of the NOV prior to executing the Consent Agreement. The OC&I and the Respondents agreed to a penalty in the amount of $14,047.00. Based upon the Respondents' ability to pay the total penalty, OC&I agreed to accept $1,000.00 upon execution of the Consent Agreement and to allow the remaining penalty of $13,047.00 to be paid in 60 equal and consecutive monthly installments of $217.45. The Respondents agreed to secure their payment of the remaining penalty by recording a mortgage against the real property in this matter. The Consent Agreement and the mortgage were recorded in the land evidence records of the Town of Glocester.

April 28, 2004 - OC&I/Solid Waste File Nos. 99-063 and 00-050 re: Patriot Hauling Co., Inc., Joseph L. Vinagro and Nina Vinagro and File No. 02-003 re: Joseph R. Vinagro. File nos. 99-063 and 00-050 pertaining to property located at 116 Shun Pike, Assessor's Plat 32, Lot 20, in the Town of Johnston. On March 21, 2000 (OC&I/SW 99-063) and again on December 13, 2000 (OC&I/SW 00-050) the OC&I issued NOVs to Respondents Patriot Hauling Co., Inc. and Joseph L. and Nina Vinagro alleging that the Respondents violated Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act by operating a solid waste management facility without a license and by disposing of solid waste at other than a licensed solid waste management facility. In each NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to immediately cease the acceptance and/or disposal of solid waste at other than a licensed facility and immediately cease operation of an unlicensed solid waste management facility. The OC&I further ordered a plan of remediation for removal of the solid waste from the property. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $2,606 for NOV OC&I/SW 99-063 and a penalty in the amount of $206,737.00 for NOV OC&I/SW 00-050. The Respondents appealed the NOV to the AAD. AAD consolidated the two cases at hearing. An adjudicatory hearing was held on February 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 24, 27 and 28, 2003. A recommended Decision and Order was issued by the AAD on January 20, 2004 sustaining both NOVs and ordering the Respondents to pay the penalties in full. The Director executed the recommended Decision and Order as a Final Agency Decision and Order on February 13, 2004. OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 02-003 pertains to property owned by Joseph R. Vinagro and located on Shun Pike, Assessor's Plat 33, Lot 28 in the Town of Johnston. On May 16, 2002, the OC&I issued a NOV alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act by operating a solid waste management facility without a license. On December 7, 2001, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent deposited solid waste on the subject property and was thereby operating a solid waste management facility without a license. OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease operating a solid waste management facility and ordered removal of all solid waste beyond three cubic yards allowed on site. Despite the issuance of the December 2001 NOV, Respondent was observed operating equipment for processing solid waste on the property. The Respondent did not have a license, permit or approval from RIDEM to operate a solid waste management facility. (Note: the December 2001 NOV pertained to OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 01-031 and was resolved by Consent Agreement executed on September 4, 2003. Details of the case can be found in the monthly enforcement update for September 2003). The OC&I once again in OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 02-003, ordered the Respondent to cease operation of a solid waste management facility and ordered removal of all processing equipment. A penalty in the amount of $35,000.00 was assessed against the Respondent. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. The AAD held a hearing on OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 02-003 but had not issued a recommended decision on the matter prior to April 28, 2004. On April 28, 2004, the Respondents and the OC&I, with consent of the Administrative Hearing Officer regarding OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 02-003, and in lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce OC&I/Solid Waste File Nos. 99-063 and 00-050, executed a Consent Order to resolve all three enforcement actions. Respondents Patriot Hauling Co., Inc. and Joseph L. and Nina Vinagro agreed to have all remaining waste removed from the property at 116 Shun Pike on or before April 15, 2004. Upon information and belief, all waste was removed before that date. The Respondents also agreed to pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $150,000.00 with $50,000.00 due upon execution of the Consent Order and the remaining $100,000.00 in penalties to be paid in $10,000.00 quarterly payments until the remaining penalty is paid in full. The Respondents paid the initial $50,000.00 penalty upon execution of the Consent Order.

April 28, 2004 - OC&I/Wetlands File No. C01-0064 re: Donald T. Fravala and Kami M. Beaupre for property located at 218 Partition Street, Assessor's Plat 308, Lot 555 in the City of Warwick. On September 19, 2003, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Freshwater Wetland Regulations. The violations pertained to clearing, grading, and constructing a fence in non-conformance with a permit issued by RIDEM. The activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 60 square feet of Swamp and 2,215 square feet of Perimeter Wetland associated with the Swamp. This activity was in non-conformance with a permit that was issued by RIDEM in February 1997 to the prior owner of the property for limited work within freshwater wetlands on the property. The OC&I alleged that the Respondents were aware of the permit when they purchased the property in January 2000. OC&I issued an NOIE to the Respondents on July 11, 2001 requiring restoration of the freshwater wetlands. The Respondents failed to comply with the NOIE. In the NOV the Respondents were ordered to restore the freshwater wetlands. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $1,500.00. The Respondents failed to request an administrative adjudicatory hearing as allowed by law; however, subsequent attempts to resolve the enforcement action without resorting to Superior Court to enforce the NOV resulted in a Consent Agreement between the Respondents and the OC&I. The Respondents argued and provided documentation to support their argument that that they did not conduct clearing of the perimeter wetland. The Respondents also argued that they were not aware of the prior permit issued to the former owner of the property and argued that they had an inability to pay the full penalty assessed in the NOV. A Consent Agreement was executed that required partial replanting and restoration of the perimeter wetland in order to allow for some rear yard and safe play area for the Respondents' children. The Respondents agreed to remove the fence and to relocate the fence outside of the swamp. The Respondents agreed to pay a review fee of $150.00 to cover the fee associated with an application if filed with the RIDEM and agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $350.00. The total amount of $500.00 was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

April 29, 2004 - OC&I/Wetlands File No. C02-0390 and ISDS File No. CI 02-181 re: John Studley and Lisa Studley for property located at 47 Indian Trail, Assessor's Plat 324, Lot 37.2 in the Town of Coventry. The property includes a single-family dwelling. On July 29, 2003, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act (the Freshwater Wetland Regulations) and the ISDS Regulations. The violations pertained to clearing, filling, and construction (in the form of a garage, deck, walkway and concrete patio) within the 50-foot Perimeter Wetland of Flat River Reservoir. The Respondents did not have a permit from DEM to alter freshwater wetlands on the property. The violations also pertain to renovations to > 50% of the existing floor space of the dwelling without first submitting a System Suitability Determination (SSD) application to DEM to determine if the existing septic system is adequate. The Respondents were verbally warned by OC&I to cease work within the freshwater wetlands and were issued a written order to cease and desist construction activities at the property. The Respondents failed to comply with the OC&I directives. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondents either to retain a qualified professional to demonstrate that the wetland alterations do not represent a significant alteration to wetland values or fully restore the freshwater wetlands. OC&I also ordered the Respondents to submit an SSD application and comply with all conditions of any approval issued by DEM regarding the septic system. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $2,400.00. The Respondents failed to request an administrative adjudicatory hearing on the NOV. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, OC&I offered an opportunity to mediate the enforcement matter. The Respondents provided documents to RIDEM to demonstrate that they did not violate the ISDS Regulations. RIDEM reviewed the documents and agreed that a violation of the ISDS Regulations had not occurred. A Consent Agreement was executed between the Respondents and the OC&I. The Respondents agreed to provide a site plan to the RIDEM that depicts previously existing conditions and current conditions within regulated wetlands on the property. The Respondents agreed to document why the alterations on site do not represent a significant alteration to freshwater wetlands. The site plan and documents are subject to RIDEM approval. The Respondents agreed to pay a $150.00 review fee and agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $1,500.00. The penalty has been paid in full.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

None issued this month.

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