Actions Settled or Resolved
This report includes formal enforcement actions issued or resolved by the Office of Compliance & Inspection for the month of August 2001. 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.
August 2, 2001- OC&I/RCRA File No. 01-029 re: The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation for property located at its Quonset Point Power Plant 125 Zarbo Avenue, Assessor's Plat 186, Lot 10 in the Town of North Kingstown. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent violated DEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management and the Rules and Regulations for the Investigation and Remediation of Hazardous Material Releases by not immediately reporting to DEM the release of mercury spilled at the Quonset Point Power Plant. The spill was discovered on July 10, 2001 but DEM did not find out about the spill until two days after it was discovered and only learned of the spill inadvertently through discussions with the environmental consultant/contractor awarded a contract to clean up the spill. DEM monitored the clean up of the mercury until the area was certified as clean by an industrial hygienist. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $5,000.00 against the Respondent and is in receipt of the penalty paid in full.
August 27, 2001- OC&I/Wetlands File No. C01-0183 re: Hillside Construction Co., Inc. for property located southeast of Pound Road, at utility pole number 9, northeast of the intersection of Diamond Hill Road and Pound Road, Assessor's Plat 38, Lot 29 in the Town of Cumberland. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents violated the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to abide by multiple permit conditions associated with a permit issued by the RIDEM on October 26, 2000. In addition, the Respondent altered approximately 2,950 square feet of 50-foot Perimeter Wetland beyond that authorized in the permit. The Respondent did not comply with a Letter of Noncompliance issued on April 25, 2001 and did not comply with a Cease and Desist order issued by the department. The OC&I ordered compliance with all permit conditions not met to date and ordered restoration of the unauthorized altered wetlands. A penalty in the amount of $5,800.00 was assessed against the Respondent.
August 2, 2001- OC&I/Water File No. CI-99-210 re: Ocean State Fisheries Inc. The Respondent is the owner and operator of the fishing vessel F/V Ocean State and had a contract to dispose of fish waste and wastewater from the fish processing operation at the Point Judith Fishermen's Company plant located at 75 State Street in the Town of Narragansett. On April 19,2000 the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging certain violations of the Rhode Island Water Pollution Control Act and the Water Quality Regulations. The alleged violations involved the discharge of fish waste and wastewater in Rhode Island Sound within 3 miles of the State's shoreline in nonconformance with the Respondent's EPA permit. The OC&I assessed a penalty of $2,500. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the OC&I and the Respondent negotiated a settlement and executed a consent agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to a penalty of $1,500.00 as final settlement of the NOV.
August 15, 2001- OC&I/RCRA File No. 99-034 re: Coastline Construction, Inc. for property located at 42 Shun Pike, otherwise identified as Assessor's Plat 31, Lot 49 in the Town of Johnston. On February 22, 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent for allegedly violating DEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management along with the applicable Code of Federal Regulations pertaining to hazardous waste management enforced by RIDEM under delegated authority by the USEPA. The violations pertained to the Respondent's failure to properly mark and label containers of hazardous waste; to keep hazardous waste containers closed; maintain aisle space for the storage of hazardous waste; determine which wastes are hazardous; submit the names of authorized agents to sign hazardous waste manifests; and failure to maintain a secondary containment system for containers holding liquid hazardous waste. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $34,112.50. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the OC&I and the Respondent negotiated a settlement of the NOV and executed a consent agreement acknowledging that the Respondent complied with the order portion of the NOV. The penalty was reduced to $20,000.00 and the Respondent was allowed to pay $7,580.00 up front with $12,420.00 to be paid over an 18-month period.
August 20, 2001- OC&I/UST File No.00-03321 re: The City of Pawtucket/Dept. of Public Works for property located at 250 Armistice Boulevard, Assessor's Plat 19, Lots 237 and 238 in the City of Pawtucket. On March 21, 2000 the OC&I issued a NOV alleging that the Respondent violated UST Regulation 11.02 (C) prohibiting construction of a replacement tank system without prior written notification to and approval by the Director. The Respondent obtained approval for installation of the new system after the fact. The Respondent was ordered to provide missing precision testing results for tanks formerly at the facility in order to bring the facility into full compliance. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $1500.00. On August 20, 2001, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a consent agreement to resolve the NOV. The penalty in this matter was reduced to $500.00 and was paid by the Respondent.
August 20, 2001- OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 01- 17 and AIR File No. 01- 02 re: The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation for property located at 65 Shun Pike, Assessor's Plat 14, lot 402, in the Town of Johnston. On February 20, 2001 the OC&I issued a NOV alleging that the Respondent on 8 occurrences from November 29, 2000 to February 9, 2001 violated Rule 1.4.03 (c) of the Rules and Regulations for Composting Facilities and Solid Waste Management Facilities relating to objectionable odors beyond the property line of the facility. The OC&I also alleged that the Respondent violated Condition #3 of a September 30, 1999 approval from the Office of Air Resources requiring the Respondent to report any breakdown or malfunction of a landfill gas control flare at the facility. The Respondent did not submit a report as required. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations and the approval letter and assessed a penalty in the amount of $51,000.00. The amount of penalties in this case as compared to previous NOVs result from a change in the Refuse Disposal Act where higher penalty amounts were authorized by legislative action in the 2000 legislature. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the OC&I and the Respondent negotiated a settlement of the NOV. A consent agreement was executed wherein the Respondent agreed to offset the full penalty of $51,000.00 by conducting a clean-up/removal of 125,000 abandoned used tires from property at 78 Belfield Drive, Assessor's Plat 54, Lot 29 in the Town of Johnston. The estimated cost of the removal is at least $102,500.00. The removal project is to be completed by 31 December 2001.
August 29, 2001- OC&I/Septic System File No. CI96-173 re: Thomas A. Pingitore for property located at 61 Cherry Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 34, lot 453 in the Town of Johnston. On January 11, 2001 the OC&I issued a NOV 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 ISDS Regulations"). The violation pertained to allowing the overflow or spillage of any treated or untreated sanitary sewage on or to the surface of the ground. Inspectors from the RIDEM on at least 8 occasions from 1996 to 2000 observed the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the Respondent's failed septic system. Although the RIDEM issued informal enforcement letters in an attempt to obtain compliance, the Respondent did not repair the failed septic system. The OC&I ordered the Respondent to immediately pump the septic system to prevent overflowing sewage to the surface of the ground and continue pumping until the sewerage system at the property is connected to the public sewerage system. Connection to the public sewerage system is required within 30 days. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $8,000.00. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing the Respondent connected his sewerage system into the public sewerage system. The OC&I and the Respondent thereafter negotiated a settlement of the NOV and executed a consent agreement to resolve all outstanding issues. The Respondent agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $4,500.00 with $2,500.00 paid up front and $2,000.00 to be paid in $1,000.00 installments at October 1, 2001 and March 1, 2002 respectively.