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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > April 2009 Summary

 
April 2009 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 2009. 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 Customer and Technical 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 Leanne DeCosta at 401-222-4700 ext. 7218, fax 401-222-3810.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

April 30, 2009 - OC&I/UST File No. 09-00535 re: Sonal J. Patal for property located at 5300 Post Road, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 96 in the Town of Charlestown. The property includes a convenience store and gas station. 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 (UST Regulations). The violation pertains to the failure to submit a completed Compliance Certification Checklist, Certification Statement Form, and Return to Compliance Plan (collectively, the Compliance Certification Forms) on or before June 30, 2007 for the facility's underground storage tanks, which are used for storage of petroleum products and are registered with RIDEM. OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NIE) to the Respondent. The NIE required the Respondent to take specific corrective actions to resolve the violation. The Respondent failed to comply with the requirements of the NIE. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to submit the completed Compliance Certification Forms. The NOV also assessed an administrative penalty of $3,000.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

April 2, 2009 - Freshwater Wetlands File No. 2007 428 FW (AMENDED) re: OBF, LLC and Craig S. Hibbad for property located approximately 200 feet north of Simmons Road, at utility pole No. 20, approximately 800 feet west of the intersection with East Main Road, Assessor's Plat 29, Lot 18, in the town of Little Compton. The property is owned by OBF, LLC (Craig S. Hibbad, Manager). RIDEM's Division of Agriculture (DOA) advised the OC&I that Mr. Hibbad was a farmer. On September 18, 2007 the OC&&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetland Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertained to filling (in the form of at least sand, gravel and rocks), excavating and installing a house foundation with associated building materials within a Swamp-Marsh Wetland Complex, filling (in the form of at least sand, gravel, and rocks) within a Perimeter Wetland, and filling (in the form of eroded sediments) within an Area Subject to Storm Flowage (ASSF). These activities resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 14,300 square feet of freshwater wetland. In the NOV the OC&&I ordered the Respondents to restore the altered wetlands except for alterations allowed for normal farming activity. OC&&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5,500.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. On November 9, 2007 the OC&&I inspected the property, which revealed that the Respondents had performed additional filling (in the form of construction debris and other solid waste materials) in the Perimeter Wetland. On February 6, 2008, the DOA advised the OC&&I that the Respondents do not meet the definition of a farmer pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws Sections 2-1-22(i)(1) and (j). In consideration of this information the OC&&I determined that additional violations involving the installation of fencing and clearing within the Swamp-Marsh Wetland Complex and Perimeter Wetland that had been previously documented by the OC&&I also represented unauthorized alterations to freshwater wetlands. These violations resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 1.4 acres of the freshwater wetland. On March 25, 2008 the OC&&I issued an Amended NOV to the Respondents that ordered the Respondents to restore all freshwater wetlands. On October 20, 2008, October 21, 2008 and November 5, 2008 an administrative hearing was held at AAD. On April 2, 2009 the AAD hearing officer issued a Decision and Order that was signed by RIDEM's Director that partly upheld the Amended NOV. The Respondents were ordered to restore all the freshwater wetlands as ordered in the Amended NOV except for the fencing, fence posts and other changes made to accommodate normal farming activities, as these activities were done at the direction and under the authorization of the DOA. The Respondents were ordered to pay the administrative penalty of $5,500.00.

April 6, 2009 - OC&I/OWTS File No. CI96-165 re: David Van Horn for property located at 229 Shannock Village Road, Assessor's Plat 10D, Lot 27, in the Town of Richmond. The property includes a single family dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. On December 1, 2006 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. The violation pertained to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground directly from the sewer pipe for the dwelling. In the NOV the Respondent was ordered to install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS). OC&I assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $3,000.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondent installed an OWTS in accordance with an approval issued by RIDEM. The Respondent submitted documentation to OC&I to show that he does not have the financial means to pay the administrative penalty assessed in the NOV; therefore, the administrative penalty was waived.

April 7, 2009 - OC&I/UST File No. 09-01414 re: John H Williams for property located at 2 and 22 Seminole Street, Assessor's Plat 376, Lots 244 and 248 in the city of Warwick. The property includes a marina. On February 13, 2009 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials. The violation pertained to the failure to submit a completed Compliance Certification Checklist, Certification Statement Form, and Return to Compliance Plan (collectively, the Compliance Certification Forms) on or before June 30, 2007 for the facility's underground storage tanks, which are used for storage of petroleum products and are registered with RIDEM. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to submit the completed Compliance Certification Forms. The NOV also included an administrative penalty of $3,000.00. The Respondent did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondent submitted the Compliance Certification Forms to RIDEM. Prior to referral of the case to a collection agency, OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $1,000.00, which was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

April 20, 2009 - OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 07 - 010 re: Laura A. Kulsic, Jin Reid Kulsic, Aaron Robert Kulsic, and Keith John Kulsic for property located at 551 Victory Highway, Assessor's Plat 7, block 3, Lot 1 in the Town of Exeter. On July 9, 2008 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the Rhode Island Refuse Disposal Act. The Respondents are the owners of the property. The violation pertained to as much as 888 cubic yards of solid waste deposited on the property without approval or authorization for disposal from the RIDEM. The waste consisted of scrap lumber, discarded furniture, tree waste, construction & demolition debris, white goods, above ground tanks, scrap metal, wire, abandoned trailers, scrap equipment, household refuse and other mixed solid waste. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the removal of all solid waste from the property within ninety (90) days and assessed a penalty in the amount of $3,500.00. Respondent Jin Reid Kulsic filed an appeal with the AAD. Respondent Jin Reid Kulsic complied with the order in the NOV to remove all solid waste from the property and dispose of that waste at a licensed solid waste facility. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, OC&I and Respondent Jin Reid Kulsic executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $1,200.00 in twelve (12) monthly installments of $100.00. The first installment of $100.00 was paid upon execution of the Agreement.

April 21, 2009 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetlands File No. C95-0244 re: Oscar & Hasmeg Sahagian for property located approximately 190 feet south of Countryside Drive, approximately 450 feet southwest of the intersection of Countryside Drive and West River Parkway, Assessor's Plat 22, Lot 1081 in the Town of North Providence. The property is owned by the Respondents. On March 11, 2008 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertained to installation of a fence and wooden bridge across the West River and associated Riverbank Wetland and Floodplain, and construction of a dam/waterfall in the West River. The violations resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 220 linear feet of the freshwater wetlands due to the installation of the fence and approximately 100 square feet of the freshwater wetlands due to the installation of the wooden bridge and construction of the dam. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to cease and desist from any further wetland alterations and to restore all altered freshwater wetlands. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,500.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. OC&I approved the wetland alterations described in the NOV, and the Respondents agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $2,000.00, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement.

April 22, 2009 - OC&I/Water Pollution File No. 2007 434 WP x-ref WP 07-63 and OC&I/OWTS File No. CI07-78 re: Extra Space of Johnston LLC and Johnston Storage Associates, LLC for property located at 1815 Plainfield Pike, Assessor's Plat 27, Lots 143 and 153 in the Town of Johnston. Assessor's Plat 27, Lot 143 includes a commercial self storage business known as Extra Space Storage, and Assessor's Plat 27, Lot 153 includes a three-bedroom single family dwelling and office. The Property is owned by Johnston Storage Associates, LLC. On October 17, 2007 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the Rhode Island Water Pollution Act, the RIDEM Underground Injection Control Program Rules and Regulations, and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. The violations pertained to the construction of an underground injection control (UIC) system to treat storm water from the property without RIDEM approval and an overflow of sewage to the surface of the ground from a failed onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS). The Respondents repaired the OWTS on October 12, 2007 in accordance with an approval issued by RIDEM. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to submit an application to RIDEM to operate or close the UIC system. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5,600.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondents submitted an application to operate the UIC system, which was approved by RIDEM on September 6, 2008. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondents agreed to complete the installation of the UIC system in accordance with the approval and pay the full administrative penalty of $5,600.00, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement.

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. 10/3/11