December 2016 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 2016. 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 emailed to dem.filereview@dem.ri.gov. More information is available at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/customertech/file-review.php. Please note that formal case names appearing in blue text are linked to a PDF version of the unsigned document.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Formal Enforcement Actions Settled or Resolved:

December 14, 2016 - Air Pollution File No. 16-252 re: Ocean State Power LLC for a facility located at 1575 Sherman Farm Road in the town of Burrillville. Respondent has a permit from the RIDEM to emit pollutants to the atmosphere from the facility. On October 24, 2016, the OC&I issued an NOV to Respondent alleging that Respondent violated the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control Regulations and the permit. The link to the NOV is www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/compinsp/enfact/actions/OSP1016.pdf. Respondent paid the penalty assessed in the NOV to fully comply with the NOV.

December 21, 2016 - Underground Storage Tank File No. 2013-137-01062 re: Souhail Khoury for property located at 6690 Post Road, Assessor's Plat 157, Lot 165 in the town of North Kingstown. The property includes a convenience store, a motor fuel filling station and underground storage tanks (USTs or tanks) used for the storage of petroleum products (Facility). Cory's Real Estate, LLC was the owner of the property at the time the NOV was issued. The Certificate of Organization/Registration for the company was revoked by the Rhode Island Secretary of State on August 1, 2012. Respondent was the last known president of the company and operated the Facility. On February 20, 2014, the OC&I issued an NOV to Respondent alleging that Respondent violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). The link to the NOV is www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/compinsp/enfact/actions/khoury214.pdf. Respondent failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD and failed to comply with the NOV. The property was foreclosed on by Freedom National Bank, and the bank fully complied with the NOV, including payment of the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

December 5, 2016 - OWTS File No. CI09-62 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-3478 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Shirley Langlais and Shirley Barboza for property located at 25 Shore Drive, Assessor’s Plat 62, Lot 7 in the town of Johnston. Shirley Langlais has a life estate on the property, and Shirley Barboza has a life estate as well as a tenancy in common with two other individuals. On May 4, 2011, the OC&I issued an NOV to Defendants alleging that Defendants violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The link to the NOV is www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/compinsp/enfact/actions/langlais511.pdf. Defendants did not file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD and did not comply with the NOV. On August 11, 2015, the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court asking the Court to order Defendants to fully comply with the NOV. The link to the complaint is www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/compinsp/enfact/actions/langlais815.pdf. On December 5, 2016, the Court entered an Order by the agreement of the parties to resolve the complaint. Defendants agreed to pump the system once a year and as needed to prevent sewage overflows, cease laundry use, limit the occupancy to no more than the current occupants (2), and repair the system upon the sale or transfer of the property. The administrative penalty assessed in the NOV was waived, as Defendants demonstrated that they have no financial ability to pay any portion of the penalty.

December 20, 2016 - Solid Waste File No. SW 06-003 and Superior Court File No. PC 2016-1193 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant Dennis F. Conte for property located at 108 Old Pocasset Road, Assessor's Map 44, Lot 414 in the town of Johnston. The property includes a business known as Chumlee's Trash and Demo. Defendant owns the property and operates the business. On June 26, 2006, the RIDEM issued an NOV to Defendant alleging that Defendant violated Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act and the RIDEM's Solid Waste Regulations. The violation pertained to the operation of a solid waste management facility without a license and disposing of solid waste at other than a licensed solid waste management facility. The RIDEM's inspection of the property revealed that approximately 527 cubic yards of solid waste was deposited on the ground and land filled on the property. The solid waste consisted of scrap metal, white goods, construction and demolition debris and other mixed solid waste. In the NOV Defendant was ordered to cease operating a solid waste management facility without a license, cease disposing of solid waste on the property, and properly dispose of the solid waste at a licensed facility. A penalty of $25,000 was assessed in the NOV. Defendant did not file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD and did not comply with the NOV. On March 16, 2016, the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court asking the Court to order Defendant to comply with the NOV. The link to the complaint is www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/compinsp/enfact/actions/conte316.pdf. Prior to a hearing on the complaint, Defendant properly removed and disposed of the solid waste on the property. On December 20, 2016, the Court entered an Order by agreement of the parties. Defendant is required to pay an administrative penalty of $12,000, in 24 monthly installments of $500.

December 21, 2016 - Water Pollution File No. WP 12-9 and WP 10-049 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-0890 re: Plaintiffs Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM and Peter F. Kilmartin, Attorney General, State of Rhode Island vs. Rhode Island Recycled Metals, LLC, Edward Sciaba, Sr. and AARE, LLC for property located at 434 Allens Avenue, Assessor's Plat 47, Lot 601 and 444 Allens Avenue, Assessor's Plat 55, Lot 10 in the city of Providence. A business engaged in the recycling of metal operates at the property (Facility). Rhode Island Recycled Metals, LLC (RIRM) operates the Facility. Edward Sciaba is the on-site manager of and for RIRM. AARE, LLC (AARE) owns the property. AARE acquired the property on April 16, 2014 from ACR Realty, LLC (ACR). ACR was the owner of the property at all times relevant to this matter prior to the transfer of ownership to AARE. On May 7, 2012, the RIDEM issued an NOV to ACR and RIRM alleging that Defendants violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations, RIDEM's Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, and RIDEM's Oil Pollution Control Regulations. The link to the NOV can be found at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/compinsp/enfact/actions/rirm512.pdf. Defendants filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, on July 25, 2013, the RIDEM, RIRM and ACR executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The link to the Agreement can be found at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/compinsp/enfact/actions/rirecycl713.pdf. On August 6, 2013, the Agreement was recorded in the land evidence records and was binding upon all successors to ACR. Defendants paid the $25,000 cash penalty, but failed to comply with any of the other terms of the Agreement. On March 4, 2015, the RIDEM and the Attorney General filed a complaint in Superior Court asking the Court to order Defendants to comply with the Agreement and pay a stipulated penalty of $750 per day for each day during which the noncompliance continued, starting on October 1, 2014. On March 20, 2015 and April 17, 2015, the Court signed a Consent Order and an Interim Preliminary Injunction, respectively, which restrained Defendants from conducting certain activities on the Property. On July 27, 2016, the Court signed an Order Appointing Special Master, who was charged with developing a plan to resolve all the environmental issues at the property and, upon approval of the plan by the Court, implement the plan. The Special Master was authorized to engage any professionals he deemed necessary to develop and implement the plan. Defendants were required to pay all costs associated with the plan. As security for payment of the costs, Defendants were required to deposit $50,000 into an escrow account to be held pending Court approval of the Special Master's costs and replenish the escrow account to $50,000. On December 21, 2016, after consideration of the plan presented by the Special Master to remove the derelict vessels from the water and the statements made by Defendants and the objections of Plaintiffs, the Court entered an Order to remove the vessels. The Order requires Defendants to remove the vessels in the following order: the partially sunken submarine, the partially sunken ferry, the tugboat, and if directed by the Special Master, the partially sunken boat, Fishhawk. All work is to be paid for by Defendants and must be done in accordance with any and all approvals required from Federal, State and local agencies. By January 15, 2017, Defendants are required to submit an application to the applicable regulatory agencies to remove the submarine and by January 21, 2017 deposit $300,000 into an escrow account held by the Special Master to secure the performance by Defendants of the removal of the vessels in accordance with the Order.

December 29, 2016 - OWTS File No. 12-41 and Superior Court File No. PC 2014-6054 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant Michael D. Boyajian for property located at 22 Clara Avenue, Assessor's Plat 355, Lot 38 in the city of Warwick. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by Defendant. On June 1, 2012 the OC&I issued an NOV to Defendant alleging that Defendant violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The link to the NOV is www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/compinsp/enfact/actions/boyajian612a.pdf. Defendant failed to file an appeal of the NOV and failed to comply with the NOV. On March 19, 2014, the OC&I inspected the property and observed that sewage was overflowing from the OWTS to the surface of the ground. On December 9, 2014, the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court asking the Court to order Defendant to comply with the NOV. On December 29, 2016, the Court entered an Order by the agreement of the parties to resolve the complaint. Defendant agreed to pump the system as needed to prevent sewage overflows, cease laundry use, and repair the system within 270 days of entry of the Order. Defendant also agreed to pay a cash penalty of $1,000 within 90 days of entry of the Order.