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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > December 2013 Summary

 
December 2013 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 2013. 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 3, 2013 - OWTS File 13-65 re: Richard Madden for property located at 43 Surf Avenue in the city of Warwick. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to the surface of the ground. On July 1, 2013, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On July 9, 2013 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violation. The notice required specific actions to correct the violation. On July 20, 2013 and August 21, 2013 the DEM received letters from the Respondent in response to the notice. The Respondent stated that he would move forward with correcting the violation. Thus far, the Respondent has failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to keep the OWTS pumped as often as necessary to prevent sewage overflows, have the OWTS evaluated by a licensed OWTS designer to determine the cause of the failure, and repair the OWTS in accordance with an approval issued by the RIDEM, if it's determined that a repair is necessary. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,400.00.

December 3, 2013 - OWTS File 13-48 re: Karen A. McCoy for property located at 6 Beaton Street in the town of Coventry. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to the surface of the ground. On June 10, 2013, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On June 13, 2013 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violation. The notice required specific actions to correct the violation. On July 1, 2013 and July 25, 2013 the DEM received letters from the Respondent in response to the notice. The letters described several actions the Respondent has taken to address the violation, but thus far, the Respondent has failed to fully comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to keep the OWTS pumped as often as necessary to prevent sewage overflows, have the OWTS evaluated by a licensed OWTS designer to determine the cause of the failure, and repair the OWTS in accordance with an approval issued by the RIDEM, if it's determined that a repair is necessary. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,400.00.

December 3, 2013 - OWTS File 13-53 re: James D. Sullivan for property located at 636 Park Avenue in the town of Portsmouth. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to the surface of the ground. On August 1, 2013, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On August 6, 2013 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violation. The notice required specific actions to correct the violation. On August 16, 2013 the DEM received electronic mail from the Respondent in response to the notice. The Respondent stated that he was working to address the violation. Thus far, he has failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to keep the OWTS pumped as often as necessary to prevent sewage overflows, have the OWTS evaluated by a licensed OWTS designer to determine the cause of the failure, and repair the OWTS in accordance with an approval issued by the RIDEM, if it's determined that a repair is necessary. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,600.00.

December 3, 2013 - Dam File No. 440 (Hoxie Farm Pond Dam) re: Rhode Island Department of Transportation for property located at Route 3 (Nooseneck Hill Road), about 2,600 feet southwest of its intersection with Canonchet Road and about 900 feet northwest of Route 95 in the town of Hopkinton. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by RIDEM as Significant Hazard. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to maintain the dam in a safe condition. The dam was inspected on October 29, 2010. The inspection revealed vegetation on the downstream side of the embankment and along the downstream toe that did not allow a proper inspection to be performed. The OC&I considers the dam unsafe because of the vegetation that inhibits a proper inspection. On August 7, 2013 the DEM received a registration form from the Respondent identifying it as the owner of the dam. 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 6, 2013 - Hazardous Waste File No. 13-29 re: David Vigliotti and Anthony Caprio (d/b/a Empire Auto Body) for a property located at 2151B Hartford Avenue in the town of Johnston. The property includes a building in which an automobile body repair business operates (the facility). The facility is operated by the Respondents. Empire Auto Body is registered with the RIDEM as a small quantity hazardous waste generator at the facility. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste (Hazardous Waste Regulations) and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR). The violations pertain to the following: failure to obtain a permit from the DEM prior to treating or disposing of hazardous waste; improper disposal of used oil to the land; improper labeling; failure to keep containers closed; failing to transport used oil using a licensed transporter; and failure to test and maintain fire protection equipment. The OC&I inspected the facility on February 21, 2013. The inspection revealed that the Respondents were storing waste paints and thinner in a 5 gallon container that was open and unlabeled. The inspection also revealed that the Respondents were storing used oil in a 30 gallon container and two 5 gallon containers that were not properly labeled. The inspector spoke with David Vigliotti at the time of the inspection. Mr. Vigliotti stated that: no hazardous waste has been shipped off site in years; he pours liquid paint waste into a 5 gallon container and once it dries out places the container in a dumpster used for solid waste; used oil is taken by a person who burns it for energy recovery at his business; and used automobile filters are drained and disposed in the solid waste dumpster. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to come into compliance with the RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations and 40 CFR. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $29,160.00.

December 13, 2013 - Water Pollution File No. 13-61 re: King's Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc. The Respondent owns and operates a commercial, residential and industrial carpet and upholstery care business. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violation pertains to the unauthorized discharge of pollutants (in the form of cleaning wastewater) into a location where it is likely to enter the waters of the State (a storm water drainage system located at the end of Waterman Avenue in the city of Cranston that discharges directly to Blackmore Pond). On August 29, 2013 the DEM received electronic mail and photographs taken by a citizen on that day and a police report from an officer of the Cranston Police Department who responded to the scene that day. The documents show the Respondent's van, the storm drainage system cover wetted by soap suds and wastewater, and soap suds floating on the surface of Blackmore Pond. The officer reported that the Respondent's employees admitted to emptying the wastewater into the storm drainage system. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,500.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

December 6, 2013 - Dam File No. 649 (Bridlewood Pond Upper End Dam) re: Rabinder and Rita Kurl for property located south of Preakness Drive east of the intersection of Preakness and Bridle Drives in the town of Lincoln. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by RIDEM as High Hazard. The Respondents own a portion of the dam. On February 26, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violation pertained to the Respondents' failure to maintain the dam in a safe condition. The dam was inspected on May 20, 2010. The inspection revealed vegetation on the crest and downstream embankment that did not allow a proper inspection to be performed. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents 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. The Respondents cleared the vegetation on the dam and the OC&I inspected the dam, which revealed no unsafe conditions.

December 6, 2013 - OWTS File No. 12-53 and CI 12-42 re: KSL-SK, Inc. for property located at 3033 & 3045 Tower Hill Road in the town of South Kingstown. The property includes a commercial development and is owned by the Respondent. On March 29, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violation pertained to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to the surface of the ground. On March 20, 2012, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On April 2, 2012, the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violation. The notice required that specific actions be taken to correct the violation. On August 3, 2012, in response to the notice, the Respondent submitted an application to RIDEM to repair the OWTS. On August 23, 2012 the RIDEM returned the application as unacceptable. The RIDEM cited specific deficiencies in the application that the Respondent was required to correct. Thus far, the Respondent has failed to resubmit the application to the RIDEM. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to keep the OWTS pumped as often as necessary to prevent sewage overflows, resubmit the application that corrects the deficiencies RIDEM identified, and repair the OWTS in accordance with an approval issued by the RIDEM. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5,800.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to keep the OWTS pumped as often as necessary to prevent sewage from overflowing to the ground surface and repair the OWTS by April 30, 2014. The Respondent also paid a cash penalty of $2,800.00.

December 10, 2013 - Dam File No. 373 (Clark's Upper Dam) re: Lois Labrie for property located east of the intersection of Main Street and Hall Lane and immediately south of the approximate midpoint of the east-west section of Hall Lane in the city of Cranston. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by RIDEM as High Hazard. The Respondent owns the dam. On April 21, 2011 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 failure of the owner to maintain the dam in a safe condition. The dam was inspected on October 14, 2009. The inspection revealed the following: leaves and yard debris 12-18 inches in thickness was dumped on the upstream side and crest of the embankment that did not allow a proper inspection to be performed; and the low level gate is inoperable. OC&I issued a written notice to the Respondent on November 16, 2010 requiring the Respondent to complete and submit to OC&I a registration form for the dam. The Respondent failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to complete and submit to OC&I the registration form for the dam, remove the leaves and yard debris, retain a registered professional engineer to perform a visual inspection of the dam, submit a report to OC&I prepared by the engineer on the findings of the inspection, and repair the low level gate. The 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 16, 2013 - Freshwater Wetlands File No. C12-45 re: Alfred Detri, Jr. and Lucille Detri for property located at 66 Colwell Road in the town of Smithfield. The Respondents own the property. On October 2, 2012 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 for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertained to clearing and maintaining a lawn within Perimeter Wetland. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 7,250 square feet of freshwater wetland. On April 6, 2012, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. The OC&I had previously issued a NOV to the Respondents on June 28, 2006 for altering this same wetland. The Respondents restored the wetlands and signed an agreement with the RIDEM that required them to allow the wetlands to revert to a natural wild condition. The Respondents failed to comply with the agreement. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondents to cease and desist from any further alteration of the freshwater wetlands and restore the altered wetlands. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $4,000.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondents restored the freshwater wetlands and the OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to ensure the survival of all plants until October 15, 2015. The Respondents also paid a cash penalty of $2,000.00.

December 30, 2013 - Water Pollution File No. 13-73 X-ref RIPDES RIR100993 re: 285 East Main Road, Inc. d/b/a Premier Toyota of Newport for property located at 285 East Main Road in the town of Middletown. On February 12, 2013 the RIDEM issued a General Permit for Stormwater Discharge Associated with Construction Activity. The permit requires the Respondent to maintain all pollution prevention measures to prevent uncontrolled releases of sediment or sediment laden water from traveling beyond the limits of disturbance and maintain a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) at the property at all times. On November 18, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations and RIDEM's Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The violations pertained to the Respondent's failure to comply with its permit. On September 4, 2013 the RIDEM inspected the property. The inspection revealed that the SWPPP was not on site. Also, the area of the property where a new retaining wall was being constructed did not have erosion/sediment (E/S) controls installed to prevent sediment from traveling beyond the limits of disturbance. The Respondent contacted its consultant at the time of the inspection, and the consultant delivered a copy of the SWPPP to the Respondent while the RIDEM inspector was still on site. On September 16, 2013 the RIDEM issued an informal written notice to the Respondent regarding the failure to maintain E/S controls. The Respondent's consultant submitted documents to RIDEM that were received on October 2, 2013 showing that proper E/S controls were now installed. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5000.00. The Respondent did not file an appeal of the NOV, and paid the penalty in full to resolve the NOV.

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. 2/3/14