December 2018 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 (OC&I) for December 2018. 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 the OC&I used to determine the penalty, and, by law, allows a respondent the ability to appeal or contest the NOV to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) Administrative Adjudication Division (AAD). Since most NOVs are contested cases, the OC&I 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 the RIDEM's Office of Customer and Technical Assistance. The OC&I often resolve 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 Angela Spadoni at 401-222-4700 ext. 7307, fax 401-222-3810. Please note that formal case names appearing in blue text are linked to a PDF version of the unsigned document.

ENFORCEMENT WEB PAGE UPDATE FOR DECEMBER 2018

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

December 26, 2018 – Water Pollution File No. OCI-WP-18-46 X-ref RIPDES RI0100013 re: City of Cranston. The City of Cranston, Rhode Island (Cranston) owns a wastewater collection and treatment system (facility). On September 30, 2008, the RIDEM issued a permit to Cranston to discharge treated wastewater from the facility to Pawtuxet River. The OC&I alleges that Respondent violated the permit, Rhode Island’s Water Pollution Act, the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Water Quality Regulations (250-RICR-150-05-1) and the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (250-RICR-150-10-1). View the NOV.

Formal Enforcement Actions Settled or Resolved:

December 6, 2018 – On Site Wastewater Treatment System File No. OCI-OWTS-18-65 and OWTS Designer License D-3026 re: Eugene Spring for property located at 486 Atlantic Avenue in the Town of Westerly, Rhode Island. The property includes a single-family residence that is served by an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS). Respondent designed the OWTS and inspected the installation of the OWTS. On October 12, 2018, the OC&I issued an NOV to Respondent alleging that Respondent violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. View the NOV. Prior to the deadline for Respondent to file an appeal of the NOV to the AAD, the OC&I and Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. See the Agreement.

December 7, 2018 – Water Pollution File Nos. 15-83 X-ref RIPDES RI0100013 re: Veolia Water North America Operating Services, LLC and City of Cranston, Rhode Island. The City of Cranston, Rhode Island (Cranston) owns a wastewater collection and treatment system (facility). Veolia Water North America Operating Services, LLC operates the facility on behalf of Cranston. On September 30, 2008, the RIDEM issued a permit to Cranston to discharge treated wastewater from the facility to Pawtuxet River. The permit does not authorize Cranston to discharge wastewater from the facility to any other waters of the State. On January 3, 2018, the OC&I issued an NOV to Respondents alleging that Respondents violated the permit, Rhode Island’s Water Pollution Act, the RIDEM’s Water Quality Regulations, the RIDEM’s Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and the RIDEM’s Rules and Regulations for the Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Treatment Facilities. View the NOV. Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV to the AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, Respondents complied with the Order section of the NOV and paid a reduced penalty of $25,000 to fully resolve the NOV.

December 10, 2018 – On Site Wastewater Treatment System File No. OCI-OWTS-18-67 and OWTS Installer License L-0576 re: Robert Russo for property located at 486 Atlantic Avenue in the Town of Westerly, Rhode Island. The property includes a single-family residence that is served by an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS). Respondent installed the OWTS. On October 12, 2018, the OC&I issued an NOV to Respondent alleging that Respondent violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. View the NOV. Prior to the deadline for Respondent to file an appeal of the NOV to the AAD, the OC&I and Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. See the Agreement.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

December 3, 2018 – Hazardous Waste File No. 2007 746 HW and Superior Court File No. PM 14-1033 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant William L. Ricci for property located at 715R Branch Avenue in the City of Providence, Rhode Island. The property includes the former Wanskuck Mill Power House building and was owned by Wanskuck Steam Power Co (WSP). Defendant is the former president of WSP. WSP had its corporate status revoked by the Rhode Island Secretary of State in 1993. Wanskuck Steam and Power HVAC Co., LLC was listed in the Rhode Island Secretary of State corporation database as the successor corporation to WSP. Defendant was the former owner of Wanskuck Steam and Power HVAC Co., LLC. Wanskuck Steam and Power HVAC Co., LLC had its corporate status revoked by the Rhode Island Secretary of State in 2011. On January 12, 2010, the OC&I issued an NOV to Defendant alleging that Defendant violated Rhode Island's Oil Pollution Control Act and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management, Oil Pollution Control Regulations, and Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials. The violations involved the improper storage of hazardous waste, the discharge of oil onto the land, and the abandonment of underground storage tanks used to store petroleum products. The NOV ordered Defendant to take specific actions to correct the violations and assessed an administrative penalty of $129,328. Defendant did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD and did not comply with the NOV. On February 21, 2014, the RIDEM filed a complaint in the Superior Court and asked the court to order Defendant to comply with the NOV. On September 11, 2015, the RIDEM and Defendant came to an agreement that was entered as an order of the Court (Court Order) to resolve the Order section of the NOV. Defendant complied with the Court Order. On December 3, 2018, the RIDEM and Defendant came to an agreement that was entered as an order of the Court to resolve the administrative penalty assessed in the NOV. Defendant agreed to pay $60,000 in multiple payments over 4 years, with the exception that if all payments are made on time the total penalty owed is $50,000. The first payment of $10,000 was due on December 31, 2018 and was paid. The remaining penalty is to be paid in quarterly payments of $2,500.