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 August 2008. 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 12, 2008 - OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 08 - 003 re: Anthony G. Caputo for property located at 7 Crow Point Road, Assessor's Plat 1, Lot 127 in the Town of Lincoln. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act. The violation pertains to Respondent's disposal of solid waste at other than a solid waste management facility licensed by the RIDEM. On 12 January 2007, the OC&I inspected the property in response to a complaint and determined that Respondent was storing approximately 2,633 cubic yards of solid waste on the property consisting of construction and demolition debris, scrap metal, abandoned equipment, scrap lumber, cardboard, plastics and other mixed solid waste along with what appeared to be cinder or fly ash from an industrial operation that measured an additional 333 cubic yards. On 23 January 2007, the OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce to the Respondent requiring that all waste be disposed in 90 days and that the Respondent was obligated to determine whether or not the fly ash pile met the definition of hazardous waste. The Respondent submitted test results for the fly ash and requested an extension of the deadline for its disposal as solid waste until 3 September 2007. The OC&I informed the Respondent on 9 April 2007 that Respondent's testing of the fly ash was incomplete and granted a deadline for removal and disposal of all solid waste only to 22 July 2007. Inspections of the property on 24 October 2007 and 10 January 2008 revealed that the Respondent continued to remove solid waste from the property but still had 633 cubic yards of solid waste plus the pile of fly ash remaining on site. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the removal of all solid waste from the property within 60 days and assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $3,500.00.
August 14, 2008 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetlands File No. C08-0017 re: Elizabeth Procaccianti for property located immediately north of Gilbert Stuart Drive, behind utility pole numbers 12 and 13, at house number 99, approximately 500 feet east of the intersection of Gilbert Stuart Drive and Heritage Drive, Assessor's Plat 218, Lot 61, in the City of Warwick. The property is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the RIDEM Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. On March 12, 1998, OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NOIE) to the previous owner of the property for clearing within a Swamp, Riverbank Wetland, and Perimeter Wetland in nonconformance with a permit. OC&I received a letter from the owner's attorney agreeing to replant the areas. On April 13, 2005, OC&I performed an inspection on the property that revealed that the Respondent had installed a fence within 200-foot Riverbank Wetland, portions of which are also 50-foot Perimeter Wetland, and was maintaining the previously cleared areas (that had been converted to lawn by the previous owner) in a mowed and manicured condition and clearing and filling (in the form of at least concrete blocks) within Swamp that is also within 200-foot Riverbank Wetland. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of 9,625 square feet of Riverbank Wetland and 300 square feet of Swamp. On September 16, 2005, OC&I issued a letter to the Respondent informing her that the replanting requirements were never completed by the previous owner and that additional unauthorized alterations had occurred. On March 20, 2008, OC&I performed an inspection that revealed the altered wetlands were in the same condition as when last inspected. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to restore all damaged freshwater wetlands on the cited property. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,200.00.
August 15, 2008 - OC&I/Septic System File No. 2007 730 IS and CI02-0174 re: Marilyn Southworth and Marlene Medeiros for property located at 177-179 Cedar Avenue, Assessor's Plat 20, Lot 137 in the Town of Portsmouth. The property includes a one family, three bedroom dwelling and is owned by the Respondents. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the RIDEM Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. On May 21, 2003, OC&I performed an inspection of the property. The inspection revealed that sanitary sewage was/and or had been discharged to the surface of the ground from the individual sewage disposal system (ISDS) at the property. On June 30, 2003, OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NOIE) to the Respondents. The NOIE required the Respondents to reduce the discharge of sewage to the ISDS, such as through the use of water conservation devices, arrange to have the ISDS pumped as needed to prevent overflows and submit a proposal to resolve the violation. On August 8, 2003, Mark Medeiros spoke with OC&I. Mr. Medeiros stated that he lives in the house, but the property is owned by his mother and his grandmother. He stated that the ISDS was pumped by a licensed septage hauler and that he would speak with his mother and grandmother concerning the required actions in the NOIE. On October 16, 2007, OC&I performed an inspection of the property. The inspection revealed that sanitary sewage was/and or had been discharged to the surface of the ground. The inspector left a copy of the "Field Inspection-Septic System Failure Report" and a "Required Action Summary Sheet" (Field NOIE) with Mary McKinney, who identified herself as a tenant. The Field NOIE required the same actions as the NOIE issued on June 30, 2003. On November 5, 2007, OC&I mailed a copy of the Field NOIE to the Respondents. To date, the Respondents have failed to comply with the NOIEs. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to reduce the discharge of sewage to the ISDS, such as through the use of water conservation devices, arrange to have the ISDS pumped by a licensed septage hauler as needed to prevent overflows until the ISDS can be permanently repaired, and repair the ISDS. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,000.00.
August 19, 2008- OC&I/Water Pollution File No. 2007 1063 WP and WP07-99 re: Robert M. Derita for property located at 1042 Putnam Pike, specifically Assessor's Plat 10C, Lot 35 in the Town of Glocester. The property includes a commercial building with two automotive businesses known as Autostore Motor Sales and CPR Auto. The property is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM Underground Injection Control Program Regulations. On July 13, 2007 and August 7, 2007, OC&I performed inspections of the property. The inspections revealed that floor drains and subsurface structures were present on the property and that fluids associated with the automotive businesses were being discharged into the subsurface structures. On September 5, 2007, OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NOIE) to the Respondent. The NOIE advised the Respondent that the subsurface structures and floor drains are considered underground injection control (UIC) systems and that no approval was issued by RIDEM for the UIC systems. The NOIE required the Respondent to submit an application to RIDEM for a permit for the UIC systems or to close the UIC systems. The Respondent did not comply with the NOIE. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease the discharge of fluids to the UIC systems and either obtain a permit for the UIC systems or close the UIC systems. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,500.00.
August 22, 2008- OC&I/Water Pollution File No. WP07-106 re: RIDOT Maintenance Facilities. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (DOT) is the owner and/or operator of property and maintenance support locations or facilities in the following locations (Facilities): Belleville Facility, North Kingstown; Point Judith Facility, Narragansett; Anthony Road Facility, Portsmouth; West Main Road Facility, Portsmouth; Route 295/Route 6 Facility, Johnston; Whipple Facility, Burrillville; Cherry Hill Facility, Johnston; Lincoln Facility, Lincoln; Scituate Facility, Scituate; Glocester Facility, Glocester; Hope Valley Facility, Hopkinton; Mid-State Facility, East Greenwich; Charlestown Facility, Charlestown; Clayville Facility, Foster; Little Compton Facility, Little Compton; Route 7/Route 116 Facility, Smithfield; Summit Facility, Coventry; Warren Facility, Warren and Westerly Facility, Westerly. Piles of salt and salt/sand mixtures are stored at the Facilities. DOT has a permit from RIDEM for storm water runoff from the Belleville Facility, Anthony Road Facility, Lincoln Facility, and the Scituate Facility. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM Rules and Regulations for Groundwater Quality and the RIDEM Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The violations pertain to the failure to cover the salt and salt/sand piles with durable waterproof covers. On October 21, 2005, an inspection performed by RIDEM revealed that salt piles were present at the Belleville Facility, Whipple Facility, and Cherry Hill Facility that were not covered with secure durable waterproof covers. On November 28, 2005, RIDEM's Director issued a letter to DOT's Director. The letter advised the DOT Director of the requirement to cover the salt piles and requested a response indicating that DOT had complied with the requirement. On February 6, 2006, RIDEM received a letter from DOT. DOT stated that it was committed to complying with this requirement and was exploring several options for temporary covers that could be used until permanent structures are built. On March 23, 2006, an inspection performed by RIDEM revealed that salt piles were present at the Belleville Facility, Whipple Facility, West Main Road Facility, Point Judith Facility, Cherry Hill Facility, Route 295/Route 6 Facility, and Anthony Road Facility that were not covered with a secure durable waterproof cover. On September 13, 2006, OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NOIE) to DOT as a follow up to the March 23, 2006 inspection's findings. The NOIE required DOT to immediately install secure durable waterproof covers over the piles at each of the Facilities. DOT failed to respond to the NOIE. On January 29, 2007, January 21-23, 2008, February 6, 2008, February 14, 2008, February 19, 2008, February 21, 2008 and March 13, 2008, inspections performed by RIDEM revealed that salt piles were present at the Belleville Facility, Point Judith Facility, Anthony Road Facility, West Main Road Facility, Route 295/Route 6 Facility, Lincoln Facility, and Scituate Facility that were not covered with a secure durable waterproof cover. In the NOV, OC&I ordered DOT to install secure durable waterproof covers over the piles of salt and salt/sand mixtures OR place the piles of salt and salt/sand mixtures within an enclosed structure to prevent exposure to rain, snowmelt and/or runoff OR remove the piles of salt and salt/sand mixtures. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $25,000.00.
August 6, 2008 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetlands File No. C01-0078 and Water Pollution File No. WP 05-13 re: the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation for property located at 65 Shun Pike, otherwise identified as Assessor's Plat 43, Lot 402 in the Town of Johnston. The Respondent owns and operates a solid waste management facility at the property. On March 31, 1998, a Permit to Alter Freshwater Wetlands was issued by RIDEM to the Respondent. The permit authorized the alteration of freshwater wetlands associated with the relocation of Cedar Swamp Brook. On December 8, 2005, OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the Water Pollution Act, the RIDEM Water Quality Regulations, the Freshwater Wetlands Act, and the RIDEM Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertained to the failure to plant specific species and densities of herbaceous vegetation, trees, and shrubs throughout the 200-Foot Riverbank Wetland along both sides of the relocated Cedar Swamp Brook in accordance with the permit, the unauthorized construction of two gravel access roads in the Riverbank Wetland without approval from RIDEM, and the discharge of pollutants (in the form of inorganic sediment) to Cedar Swamp Brook associated with storm water runoff from the compost storage area. In the NOV, the Respondent was ordered to immediately install erosion/sediment controls in the compost storage area to prevent sedimentation to Cedar Swamp Brook, remove all sediment deposited in the relocated Cedar Swamp Brook, remove the gravel access roads, and plant the Riverbank Wetland with the vegetation, trees, and shrubs specified in the permit. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $8,965.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. On December 7, 2007, RIDEM received a plan submitted by the Respondent for the restoration of Cedar Swamp Brook and the adjacent Riverbank Wetlands. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, OC&I and Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to restore the freshwater wetlands in accordance with the plan submitted to RIDEM and pay an administrative penalty of $4,500.00, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement.