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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > December 2012 Summary

 
December 2012 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 December 2012. 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 Angela Spadoni at 401-222-4700 ext. 7307, fax 401-222-3810. Please note that formal case names appearing in blue text may be clicked with a computer mouse to open a PDF version of the unsigned document.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

December 5, 2012 - Air File No. 12-15 re: Avery-Storti Funeral Home, Inc. for a facility located at 88 Columbia Street in the town of South Kingstown. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits. The violation pertains to the installation and operation of an incinerator without a permit from the RIDEM. On September 24, 2012 the RIDEM received a letter from the Respondent concerning the incinerator. The letter stated that the incinerator was installed on August 6, 2012 and had an initial start up date of August 7, 2012. On November 5, 2012, the RIDEM received a permit application for approval of plans to construct, install or modify an incinerator. The RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 9 requires a minor source permit from the RIDEM for any incinerator prior to its installation. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5,000.00.

December 5, 2012 - Air File No. 12-10 re: Key Container Corporation for a facility located at 21 Campbell Street in the city of Pawtucket. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 6 - Continuous Emission Monitors. The violation pertains to the failure to maintain an opacity monitor at the facility. On August 23, 2012 the OC&I inspected the facility. The inspection revealed two boilers in operation and the gases from the boilers connected to an exhaust stack that discharges to the atmosphere. A nonfunctioning opacity monitor was observed hanging from its position on the exhaust stack. Review of inventory records showed that the facility uses its boilers on a year-round basis, with number 6 oil as the primary liquid fuel. The boilers are rated at 8.375 million British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour. The RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 6 requires an opacity monitor and audio alarm for any fossil fuel fired steam or hot water generating unit having a heat input capacity of 5.0 million BTUs or more per hour burning liquid fuel. On February 22, 2001 the RIDEM issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the same violation that is the subject of this NOV. In that notice the Respondent was advised of its obligation to maintain an operable opacity monitor. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to equip the boilers with a properly functioning opacity monitor and audio alarm. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $12,465.00.

December 26, 2012 - Air File No. 12-02 re: Material Sampling Technologies, LLC for a facility located at 800 Central Street in the town of North Smithfield. On March 25, 2011 the RIDEM issued a permit to the Respondent. The permit requires the Respondent to conduct performance (stack) testing to demonstrate compliance with emission limits for particulate matter. The permit sets an emission limit of particulate matter in the incinerator exhaust flue of 0.08 grains per dry standard cubic foot (gr/dscf) corrected to 12% CO2. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits. The violation pertains to the Respondent's failure to comply with its permit. On or about October 20, 2011, on behalf of the Respondent, CK Environmental submitted to the RIDEM the results of stack testing that was conducted on July 14, 2011. The results showed an emissions rate of particulate matter in the incinerator exhaust flue of 0.109 gr/dscf corrected to 12% CO2 during run #1. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to submit a written proposal to the RIDEM for its review and approval that describes all steps that will be taken to ensure compliance with the permit or submit documentation to the RIDEM that the circuit board burning operation has been permanently shut down. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,500.00.

December 26, 2012 - Dam File No. 285 (Langworthy Pond Dam) re: Richard A. Mann for property located approximately 600 feet northwest of the intersection of Route 138 (Spring Street) and Route 3 (Nooseneck Hill Road) in the town of Hopkinton. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by RIDEM as Significant Hazard. The Respondent owns the dam. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violation pertains to the Respondent's failure to maintain the dam in a safe condition. The dam was inspected on November 22, 2011. The inspection revealed vegetation on the downstream embankment that did not allow a proper inspection to be performed. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to remove the vegetation, retain a professional engineer to inspect the dam, and submit a report to the OC&I of his/her findings, including any specific actions necessary to return the dam to a safe condition and a schedule to complete the work. The OC&I did not assess an administrative penalty.

December 26, 2012 - Air File No. 12-16 re: Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation for a facility located at 386 Metacom Avenue in the town of Bristol. On August 11, 2006 the RIDEM issued a permit to the Respondent. The permit sets a limit of the total quantity of isopropyl alcohol emitted to the atmosphere to 14.8 pounds per hour. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits. The violation pertains to the Respondent's failure to comply with its permit. On May 29, 2012 the RIDEM received a letter from the Respondent. The letter stated that on April 30, 2012 the facility emitted 16.7 pounds per hour of isopropyl alcohol for approximately 11 hours. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,000.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

December 18, 2012 - Underground Storage Tank File No. 2009-02994 re: James J. Morris and The David J. and Theresa M. Morris Revocable Living Trust for property located at 1054 (a/k/a 1050) Narragansett Boulevard in the city of Cranston. The property includes a service station with one 8,000 gallon underground tank and one 10,000 gallon underground tank used for storage of gasoline. On December 17, 2009 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). The violations pertained to the failure to: compile inventory control records for the period of July 2005 through May 2008; retain a qualified person to test the line leak detectors in 2005 and 2007; test the impact valves in 2005 and 2007; retain a qualified person to test/certify the continuous monitoring system (CMS) in 2005 and 2007; and keep the spill containment basins and piping collection sump free of liquid. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the UST Regulations and assessed an administrative penalty of $6,313.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondents executed a consent agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to submit an application to the RIDEM to permanently close the facility and properly clean up any contaminated soil. The Respondents paid the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

December 5, 2012 - Dam File No. 555 (Hawkins Pond) re: Glocester Land Trust for a dam located north of Putnam Pike, west of Pulaski Road, and east of the State of Connecticut border in the town of Glocester. The Respondent owns the dam. The dam is classified by RIDEM as High Hazard. On November 15, 2010 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violation pertained to the Respondent's failure to maintain the dam in a safe condition. On October 19, 2009 Dam 555 was inspected. The inspection revealed dense vegetation on the downstream slope of the embankment that did not allow a proper inspection to be performed and excessive leakage though the embankment under the right, steel penstock on the downstream slope. In the NOV the Respondent was ordered to cut or remove the improper vegetation, retain a licensed engineer to inspect the dam and submit a report of his/her findings to OC&I, submit an application to OC&I to repair the leakage, and repair the leakage upon approval of the application by OC&I. OC&I did not assess an administrative penalty. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent fully complied with the NOV.

December 20, 2012 - Air File No. 12-12 re: United States Coast Guard for facilities located at 195 James P. Murphy Highway in the town of West Warwick (West Warwick facility) and 12 Old Town Road in the town of New Shoreham (New Shoreham facility). On October 16, 2012 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits. The violation pertained to the installation and operation of two emergency generators without a permit from the RIDEM. On July 19, 2012, the RIDEM received two minor source permit applications for two 61 horsepower (HP) propane-fired emergency generators installed on or about July 24, 2009, one each at the West Warwick facility and the New Shoreham facility. The RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 9 requires a minor source permit from the RIDEM for any emergency generator with an internal combustion engine of 50 HP or larger with a date of initial startup on or after November 15, 2007. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,000.00. The Respondent paid the fully penalty to comply with the NOV.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

December 6, 2012 - Freshwater Wetlands File No. 2007 428 FW and Superior Court File No. PC 12-5550 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant OBF, LLC 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 (DAG) advised the OC&I that Mr. Hibbad was a farmer. On September 18, 2007, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendant alleging that the Defendant violated Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands 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 wetlands. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendant to restore the altered wetlands except for alterations allowed for normal farming activity. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5,500.00. The Defendant filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. On November 9, 2007, the OC&I inspected the property, which revealed that the Defendant had performed additional filling (in the form of construction debris and other solid waste materials) in the Perimeter Wetland. On February 6, 2008, the DAG advised the OC&I that Mr. Hibbad does 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 wetlands. On March 25, 2008, the OC&I issued an Amended NOV to the Defendant that ordered the Defendant 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 Defendant was 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 DAG. The Defendant was ordered to pay the administrative penalty of $5,500.00. On March 7, 2011, the OC&I issued a letter to the Defendant with a 6-month deadline to comply with the Decision and Order. On September 24, 2012, the OC&I inspected the property. The inspection revealed that the Defendant failed to comply with the Decision and Order and undertook new, unauthorized alterations to freshwater wetlands in the form of a house top and horse trailer near the rear of the property. On October 25, 2012, the OC&I filed a complaint in Superior Court against the Defendant. In the complaint, the OC&I asked the Court to order the Defendant to comply with the Decision and Order, including restoring the wetlands that were altered in the rear of the property. A hearing was held on November 30, 2012. Neither the Defendant nor his attorney was present. The court issued an Order requiring the Defendant to comply with the Decision and Order by April 30, 2013 with interim deadlines to complete phases of the work. The Defendant was also ordered to pay the administrative penalty of $5,500.00 by January 31, 2013.

December 31, 2012 - Solid Waste File No. 2007 1517 SW and SW 07-02 and Superior Court File No. PC 12-6644 re: Plaintiff, Janet Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants James and Melissa Pelletier for property located at Crandall Road, Assessor's Plat 128, Lot 4N in the town of Tiverton. The property is owned by the Defendants. On August 31, 2009 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Composting Facilities and Solid Waste Management Facilities. The violations pertained to the unauthorized disposal of solid waste (in the form of composted tree waste, yard waste and manure) and the unauthorized operation of a composting facility on the property. Inspections of the property by the OC&I in February 2007 and November 2007 revealed the unauthorized disposal of solid waste and the unauthorized operation of a leaf and yard waste composting facility. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendants to immediately cease the disposal of solid waste, immediately cease operating a composting facility, and properly remove all solid waste. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $17,000.00. The Defendants filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Defendants executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Defendants agreed to stop accepting and composting any additional leaf and yard waste and/or take any action to increase the amount of compost material in the form of leaf and yard waste beyond that which is already present on the property effective June 27, 2011, and that no additional leaf and yard waste will be accepted or composted and no action will be taken to increase the amount of compost material in the form of leaf and yard waste beyond that which is already present on the property unless and until such time as the Defendants obtain the RIDEM's approval to commence leaf and yard waste composting on the property in the form of either an Agricultural Composting registration or other appropriate registration, license or permit issued by the RIDEM. The Defendants also agreed to spread all the composted material on the property (approximately 916 cubic yards) across the property by June 30, 2012 in an effort to reclaim lost topsoil unless the Defendants obtain the RIDEM's approval to commence leaf and yard waste composting on the property, in which case the composted material shall be used in the manner that is consistent with the approval. The Defendants also agreed to pay a penalty of $13,000.00. The Defendants agreed to pay $6,500.00 and perform a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) valued at $6,500.00. The SEP involves the following activities: reduction of truck traffic to and from the property; restriction of sales at the property; use of compost generated on the property solely on the property to reclaim lost topsoil and in conjunction with the growth and harvesting of nursery trees; creation of a 100 foot landscaped setback area from the street; and creation of a 75 foot buffer on all sides of the property. The Defendants paid the penalty of $6,500.00. On July 12, 2012 the OC&I inspected the property. The inspection revealed that the Defendants failed to spread all the composted material on the property and failed to complete the SEP. On July 27, 2012 the OC&I issued a letter of noncompliance to the Defendants. No response to the letter was received from the Defendants or their counsel. On September 6, 2012 the OC&I inspected the property. The inspection revealed that the conditions remained largely unchanged. On November 26, 2012 the OC&I issued another letter to the Defendants that required the Defendants to attain compliance with the Consent Agreement. No response to the letter was received from the Defendants or their counsel. On December 26, 2012 the OC&I inspected the property. The inspection revealed that the conditions remained largely unchanged. On December 31, 2012, the OC&I filed a petition to enforce the Consent Agreement in Superior Court against the Defendants. In its petition, the OC&I is asking the Court to order the Defendants to comply with the Consent Agreement.

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