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

 
February 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 February 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 Kayla Saccoccio 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:

February 2, 2012 - Air File No. 11-24 re: Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation and BroadRock Gas Services LLC for the solid waste landfill located at 65 Shun Pike in the town of Johnston. The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation ("RIRRC") owns and operates the landfill. BroadRock Gas Services LLC ("BroadRock") installs, maintains and operates the landfill gas ("LFG") collection system, which includes gas collectors, two electrical generation plants and several flares. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 17 - Odors and, additionally, that RIRRC is in violation of the RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits. The violations pertain to objectionable odors traveling beyond the landfill's property line and the RIRRC's failure to comply with its permit. On April 18, 1990, the RIDEM issued a permit to the Rhode Island Solid Waste Management Corporation for the landfill (the "1990 Permit"). The 1990 Permit authorized the landfill to install and operate a 400 cubic feet per minute remote gas flare ("RF1"). The 1990 Permit requires RIRRC to notify the RIDEM of any breakdown or malfunction of RF1 resulting in the discharge of raw landfill gas to the atmosphere within one hour of its occurrence. The RIDEM received the following odor complaints concerning the landfill in 2011: 2 (January); 4 (February); 3 (March); 1 (April); 2 (May); 0 (June); 1 (July); 8 (August); 9 (September); 46 (October); 95 (November); and 72 (December). The RIDEM inspected the area around the landfill on the following dates in 2011: October 12; October 17; November 4; November 17; November 25; November 28; and December 19. On each date, the RIDEM inspector detected a LFG odor from the landfill that was objectionable beyond the property line of the landfill. On November 28, 2011, the RIRRC notified the RIDEM that, on November 23, 2011, RF1 became inoperable and did not become operational again until November 25, 2011. On December 16, 2011, the RIRRC submitted to the RIDEM a report prepared by its consultant, SCS Engineers. The SCS report stated that the LFG odors in September through December 2011 are the result of the following factors: typical weather conditions present during the Fall season; an increase in the amount of odiferous compounds in the LFG, particularly from Phase V of the landfill; an increase in fugitive LFG emissions, due to a decrease in LFG collection, particularly from Phase V of the landfill; a decrease in LFG collection efficiency as a result of the gas collectors being partially or fully watered-in; and inadequate intermediate landfill cover in the inactive areas of Phase V of the landfill. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to take a number of measures to prevent the reoccurrence of the objectionable odors, many of which were recommendations in the SCS report. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $52,500.00 against RIRRC and BroadRock for the objectionable odors and an administrative penalty of $2,500.00 against RIRRC for failing to notify the RIDEM of the malfunction of RF1.

February 13, 2012 - Air File No. 11-17 re: Rhode Island College for its campus located at 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue in the city of Providence. 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 violations pertain to the installation and operation of emergency generators at the campus without a permit from the RIDEM. On February 5, 2009, the RIDEM issued a written notice to the Respondent for the violations that involve several of the emergency generators that are the subject of this notice. The notice required specific actions to correct the violations. Inspections by the RIDEM in February and March 2011 revealed that the Respondent failed to comply with the notice and installed additional generators without obtaining a required permit from the RIDEM. In April 2011, the Respondent submitted to the RIDEM minor source permit applications for eight diesel-fired emergency generators at the campus, which are located at: New Residence Hall, Clark Science Lab, Gaige Hall Data Center; Fogarty Life Science Classroom; Building 1; Building 7; Donovan Dining Center; and Sweet Hall. The Respondent self-reported to the RIDEM the violations involving Donovan Dining Center and Sweet Hall. The generator at New Residence Hall was installed in August 2007 and has a maximum heat input capacity of 10.5 million British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour. The generators at the remaining sites were installed after November 15, 2007 and have engines of 50 horsepower (HP) or larger. 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 and an initial start up date on or after November 15, 2007 or for any fuel burning device designed to burn liquid fuels having a maximum heat input capacity of 5.0 million BTUs or more per hour. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $17,000.00.

February 21, 2012 - Air File No. 11-22 re: Rhode Island Department of Corrections for its facilities located at 18 Slate Street, 51 West Street, and 13 Fleming Road, all in the city of Cranston. 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 violations pertain to the installation and operation of emergency generators at the facilities without a permit from the RIDEM. On September 27, 2011, the RIDEM received minor source permit applications for three diesel-fired emergency generators at the facilities. The generator at 18 Slate Street has a maximum heat input capacity of 10.8 million British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour and was installed in 1989. The generator at 51 West Street has a maximum heat input capacity of 8.1 million BTUs per hour and was installed in 1991. The generator at 13 Fleming Road has a 520 horsepower (HP) engine and was installed in March 2007. 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 and an initial start up date on or after November 15, 2007 or for any fuel burning device designed to burn liquid fuels having a heat input capacity of 5.0 million BTUs or more per hour. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,700.00.

February 24, 2012 - Water Pollution File No. WP 11-023 re: Clariant Corporation for property located at 500 Washington Street in the town of Coventry. The property includes a wastewater treatment facility formerly used to treat sanitary and industrial process wastewater generated from manufacturing operations at the property. The Respondent was issued Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) Permit No. RI0000132 on December 31, 2001 and became effective on March 1, 2002. The permit authorized the Respondent to discharge treated wastewater from the facility to the Pawtuxet River. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, the RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations, the RIDEM's RIPDES Regulations, the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Treatment Facilities and the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to comply with its permit and its approved Operation and Maintenance Manual for the facility and its use of an onsite wastewater treatment system (an emergency holding tank or EST) without approval by the RIDEM. On October 21, 2010, the RIDEM inspected the facility. The inspection revealed that wastewater was being discharged to the Pawtuxet River without aeration. On November 9, 2010, the RIDEM advised the facility site manager, John Paul, that it was a violation to discharge wastewater to the river without aeration. Mr. Paul stated that he would arrange for storage of the wastewater. On November 10, 2010, Mr. Paul advised the RIDEM that the facility had ceased discharging wastewater to the river and that the wastewater was being diverted to an EST. On November 12, 2010, Mr. Paul advised the RIDEM that the wastewater in the EST was being transported to the Cranston Water Pollution Control Facility and that approximately 350,000 gallons of wastewater in the primary and secondary tanks at the facility were discharged to the river on November 11, 2010. The RIDEM received from the Respondent monthly operating reports for the months of December 2009 through November 2010 (MORs). The MORs included the following information: the facility ceased use of the aerators on December 23, 2009; the facility discharged approximately 103 million gallons of wastewater to the river from December 23, 2009 through November 10, 2010; and that the facility ceased discharging wastewater from the facility to the river as of November 11, 2010. On January 25, 2011, the Respondent submitted a letter to the RIDEM, which included the following information: all manufacturing operations at the property ceased as of May 31, 2009; approximately 146.2 million gallons of water from the river was diverted through the facility from June 1, 2009 through November 10, 2010; and approximately 9.1 million gallons of wastewater was discharged from the facility to the river from June 1, 2009 through November 10, 2010. The EST is still in use. The Respondent did not apply to the RIDEM for a new permit for its discharge. The Respondent did not receive approval from the RIDEM to cease aeration and bypass the aeration system. The Respondent did not receive approval from the RIDEM to dilute the wastewater with river water. The Respondent did not receive approval from the RIDEM to discharge partially-treated wastewater to the river. The Respondent did not receive approval from the RIDEM for the EST. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to submit a proposal for a permanent solution to the violation, which must include either connection of all buildings on the property to the town's sewerage system or the permanent cutting and capping of the plumbing for all the buildings on the property or some combination of both. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $112,200.00.

February 24, 2012 - Septic System File CI 11-53 re: Anthony and Mary Ellen Zavota for property located at 270 West Greenville Road, Assessor's Plat 17, Lot 33 in the town of Scituate. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondents. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On May 24, 2011, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On May 25, 2011, the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondents for the violation. The notice required that specific actions be taken to correct the violation. The Respondents failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system, and, if it's determined that a repair is needed, to connect the plumbing for the dwelling to the town's sewerage system (if sewers will be available within one year) or repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,400.00.

February 29, 2012 - Freshwater Wetland File No. FW C11-0188 re: Fred R. Constancia, Marianne Constancia, and F.C.C., Inc. for property located approximately 300 feet south of Woodlawn Avenue, Pole #18, and approximately 120 feet east of the intersection of Anthony Avenue and Woodlawn Avenue, Assessor's Plat 161-B, Lot 38 in the town of Bristol. Fred Constancia and Marianne Constancia own the property (the owners). The property was transferred to the owners from F.C.C., Inc. (FCC) on September 17, 2004. On October 15, 2007, the RIDEM issued a permit to FCC to construct two residential dwellings on the property. Fred Constancia and Marianne Constancia are the president and vice president of FCC, respectively. On February 20, 2009, the RIDEM issued a revised permit to FCC. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the revised permit, Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act, and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertain to clearing within Swamp; clearing and filling (in the form of sediment) within Perimeter Wetland and Riverbank Wetland; lack of installation of temporary erosion and sediment controls; no posting of a sign in a conspicuous location on the property identifying the revised permit; constructing a dwelling in a location that differed from the location shown on the approved plan; failure to provide a copy of the recorded permit to the RIDEM; and failure to notify the RIDEM prior to commencing the work. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 17,500 square feet of freshwater wetland. The RIDEM inspected the property on December 6, 2011 and documented the violations. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to: cease and desist from any further alteration of the freshwater wetlands; submit to the RIDEM a copy of the recorded revised permit; erect or post a sign in a conspicuous location on the property identifying the revised permit; and restore the altered wetlands. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $14,000.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

February 7, 2012 - Water Pollution File No. 06-04 re: Rhode Island Department of Transportation for its public works garage on Route 14 (Plainfield Pike) in the town of Foster. On July 28, 2006, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, the RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Groundwater Quality. The violations pertained to the failure to properly manage and control runoff from the garage in the area where sand and road salt is mixed and stockpiled, which resulted in salt entering the groundwater. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to: take all necessary actions to prevent further discharge of salt to the groundwater; submit a plan for the permanent solution to the alleged violation including corrective action that will be taken and a proposed timetable for completion; and evaluate the full extent of groundwater contamination. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $125,000.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent took actions to prevent further discharge of salt to the groundwater, and the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to: test the drinking water wells (the potentially-impacted wells) in the area for 10 years; replace the wells or provide treatment of said wells if the results show chloride levels of 200 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or greater to achieve chloride levels below 125 mg/L; provide annual written reports to the RIDEM summarizing the testing and any remedial activity work performed; and send a certified letter to the property owners of the potentially impacted wells advising the owner(s) of the terms of the agreement. The Respondent also agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $25,000.00 to the RIDEM and perform two Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) at a cost of $100,000.00. The first SEP is to provide assistance to the town of Scituate in the restoration of a freshwater pond that is filled with road sand and soil located at the intersection of Route 6 and Crestview Drive in the towns of Johnston and Scituate. The Respondent was given a credit of $40,000.00 for this SEP. The second SEP is to conduct an environmental management audit (the Audit) of the Respondent's environmental policies, practices and controls that meets the requirements set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws Section 42-17.8-2 and implement the findings of the Audit in accordance with a schedule approved by RIDEM. The Respondent was given a credit of $60,000.00 for this SEP.

February 29, 2012 - Air File No. 11-09 re: New England Petroleum Terminal, LLC for a facility located at 29 Terminal Road in the city of Providence. The facility stores petroleum products. On January 12, 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. 8 - Sulfur Content of Fuels. The violation pertained to the storage, use, sale or delivery of high sulfur fuel at or from the facility without a permit from the RIDEM. On March 2, 2010, the RIDEM inspected the facility. On March 26, 2010, the RIDEM received a letter from M.J. Bradley & Associates on behalf of the Respondent. The letter stated that the facility stores high sulfur fuel in one 100,000 barrel tank and that high sulfur fuel from the facility is delivered to customers in Massachusetts. The letter requested approval from the RIDEM to store high sulfur (2%) residual oil at the facility as required by the RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 8. The RIDEM has not declared that a shortage of low sulfur fuel exists in Rhode Island during 2010 or 2011, pursuant to the RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 8. In the NOV, OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $10,000.00. The Respondent paid the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

February 29, 2012 - Air File No. 11-11 re: Global Montello Group Corp. for a facility located at 130 Terminal Road in the city of Providence. The Respondent distributes petroleum products from the facility. On January 12, 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. 8 - Sulfur Content of Fuels. The violation pertained to the delivery of high sulfur fuel for use inside or outside of Rhode Island without prior written approval of the RIDEM. On December 12, 2009, the RIDEM received a letter by facsimile from the Respondent. The letter stated that the Respondent delivers #6 high sulfur oil out of the facility. The Respondent has neither applied for nor received approval to deliver high sulfur fuel for use in or out of Rhode Island. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease delivery of high sulfur fuel from the facility until written approval from the RIDEM is received. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $10,000.00. The Respondent paid the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

None issued this month.

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