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

 
February 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 February 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:

February 4, 2013 - OWTS Designer License D2003 and OWTS-12-125 re: Robert Curran. The Respondent holds Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) License No. D2003 to design OWTSs in Rhode Island. The Respondent is the designer of record for application number 0627-0788 for the installation of an OWTS at 42 Sloop Drive in the town of Portsmouth. 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 (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the Respondent's failure to comply with the requirements of licensed designers involved with a RIDEM permitted installation or repair of an OWTS. OWTS designers are required to adhere to the following rules: witness and inspect the installation of the OWTS that he or she designed; directly witness and inspect the OWTS during installation to resolve any instances of noncompliance; inspect the OWTS during installation prior to calling the RIDEM for any RIDEM required inspections; and complete and submit a Certificate of Construction that certifies that the OWTS was installed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and in accordance with the OWTS permit and the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations. In response to a complaint filed by the owners of 42 Sloop Drive, RIDEM investigated the Respondent's actions in the installation of the OWTS at the property. The investigation revealed the following: failure to witness and inspect the OWTS installation as evidenced by, among other facts, (i) the Respondent had no communication with the individual who the Respondent stated installed the OWTS; (ii) a letter from the Respondent to the RIDEM wherein the Respondent stated that he was under the assumption that the license installer was doing the work; (iii) statements from the installer to the RIDEM that he had not worked with the Respondent for 1½ to 2 years as of July 2012; and (iv) the Respondent could not produce copies of his inspection reports and photographs of the OWTS installation; failure to directly witness and inspect the OWTS installation to resolve any instances of noncompliance as evidenced by an inspection by the RIDEM on August 1, 2011 of the OWTS installation that determined that the aggregate material used was not in accordance with the RIDEM permit; failure to inspect the OWTS installation prior to calling the RIDEM on August 1, 2011 for a required final cover inspection as evidenced by the RIDEM's inspection conducted that same day which revealed that the OWTS installation was not complete; and failure to properly certify that the OWTS was installed in accordance with the permit as evidenced by the Certificate of Construction submitted by the Respondent to the RIDEM with his signature dated July 2, 2011, which was 32 days prior to the actual completion of the OWTS installation. The RIDEM had previously issued a warning letter to the Respondent on November 17, 2003 for his work on an OWTS installation. The letter warned the Respondent that further instances of failure to comply with the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations may result in the suspension or revocation of his license. On September 27, 2012 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violations. The notice gave the Respondent an opportunity to show cause why the OC&I should not suspend or revoke his license. The Respondent submitted a letter to the OC&I on October 11, 2012 wherein he stated that he did not wish to appeal any action taken by the RIDEM with regard to this matter. In the NOV, the OC&I revoked the Respondent's OWTS license. The NOV stated that the Respondent may not engage in any work associated with OWTS design until such time that the Respondent possesses an OWTS designer license. The Respondent may not re-apply for an OWTS designer license for a period of not less than 5 years from the date of issuance of the NOV.

February 4, 2013 - Hazardous Waste File No. OCI-HW-12-82 re: Narragansett Jewelry Co., Inc. (d/b/a C & J Jewelry Company, Inc.) for a facility located at 100 Dupont Drive in the city of Providence. The Respondent is registered with RIDEM as a small quantity hazardous waste generator at the facility. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is 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 Respondent's failure to: complete a waste determination on a polishing dust generated at the facility; store one 55 gallon container holding corrosive hazardous waste labeled 'pit solution' for no more than 90 days (the container had been stored for 9 ½ months); mark one 55 gallon container holding about 10 gallons of hazardous waste labeled 'spent soldering waste' and one 55 gallon container of hazardous waste labeled 'pit solution' with an accumulation start date; mark the 'spent soldering waste' container with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identification number and EPA waste number on the label; label one above ground storage tank holding about 200 gallons of corrosive hazardous waste with the words "hazardous waste"; label 29 boxes holding fluorescent bulbs and 5 used electronics with the words "universal waste"; provide secondary containment system for the pit solution containers and spent soldering waste container; conduct weekly inspections of the containers and the above ground storage tank; provide annual training to employees; and develop a contingency plan that had all the key elements. The OC&I inspected the facility on August 6, 2012 and documented the violations. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to come into compliance with the RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations and 40 CFR. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $36,382.00.

February 5, 2013 - Air File No. 13-01 re: DSM NeoResins, Inc. for a facility located at 199 Amaral Street in the city of East Providence. On May 4, 2009 the RIDEM issued a permit to the Respondent. The permit requires the Respondent to limit emissions of triethylamine to the atmosphere to 0.15 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 Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits. The violation pertains to the Respondent's failure to comply with its permit. On October 23, 2012, the RIDEM received a letter from the Respondent. The letter stated a rupture disc on one of its reactors burst, which caused a release of triethylamine on July 24, 2012 that exceeded the maximum hourly limit of 0.15 pounds per hour. The Respondent determined the root cause of the ruptured disc was operator error. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $8,500.00.

February 26, 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. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violation pertains 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.

February 26, 2013 - Dam File No. 649 (Bridlewood Pond Upper End Dam) re: Richard J. Conti 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 Respondent owns a portion of 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 May 20, 2010. The inspection revealed vegetation on the crest that did not allow a proper inspection to be performed. On May 22, 2012, the OC&I issued a certified letter to the Respondent that included a registration form for the dam. The Respondent was required to complete and return the form to the OC&I by July 21, 2012. Thus far, the Respondent has not provided the registration form to the OC&I. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to submit the registration form, 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.

February 27, 2013 - OWTS File OWTS-12-94 and CI 12-74 re: Linda A. Carter for property located at 29 Martin Street, Assessor's Plat 16, Lot 38 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 14, 2012, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On June 18, 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. The Respondent 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.

February 27, 2013 - OWTS File OWTS-12-147 and CI 12-112 re: Paul E. Gallo and Sandra L. Gallo for property located at 44 Ideal Court, Assessor's Plat 213, Lot 21 in the city of Warwick. 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. The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to the surface of the ground. On October 3, 2012, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On November 19, 2012, 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 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 $1,000.00.

February 27, 2013 - OWTS File OWTS-12-148 and CI 12-113 re: Carla J. Caparrelli for property located at 111 Scituate Avenue, Assessor's Plat 44, Lot 395 in the town of Johnston. 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 October 1, 2012, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On October 4, 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. The Respondent 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.

February 28, 2013 - OWTS File OWTS-12-119 and CI 12-91 re: Gloria Jean Gardiner for property located at 81 North Road, Assessor's Plat 49-1, Lot 87 in the town of South Kingstown. 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 17, 2012, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On October 11, 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. The Respondent 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 $1,000.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

February 1, 2013 - Hazardous Waste File No. HW 2011-58 re: Northland Environmental, LLC for a facility located at 275 Allens Avenue in the city of Providence. On December 1, 2007 the RIDEM issued a permit to the Respondent to operate a Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility pursuant to the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste (the Hazardous Waste Regulations) and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The permit requires the Respondent to: maintain a minimum of 2 feet of aisle space between rows of waste containers stored at the facility; properly operate and maintain all facilities and systems of treatment and control that are installed or used to achieve compliance with the permit; inspect drum labels prior to acceptance at the facility; assign and attach a tracking number to a container prior to moving it to the storage area; properly manage emergency equipment; and test and maintain equipment. On November 2, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The violation pertained to Respondent's failure to comply with its permit. The RIDEM inspected the facility on September 23, 2011. The inspection revealed the following: failure to maintain a minimum of 2 feet of aisle space in one of the buildings; failure to properly label one container; failure to label 9 containers; failure to mark 14 containers with a tracking number; failure to mark 3 containers with an accumulation start date; failure to maintain a fire extinguisher with a certification tag; and failure to label 2 loose cathode ray tubes as universal waste. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to provide a two-foot wide aisle space between containers holding hazardous waste, properly label and mark all containers holding hazardous waste, and have all fire protection equipment tested to assure proper operation in time of emergency. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $16,250.00. The Respondent did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondent complied with the Order section of the NOV and paid a reduced penalty of $4,062.50, which resolved all the issues in the NOV.

February 5, 2013 - Water Pollution File No. 12-93 and WP 12-075 X-ref RIPDES RIR100812 re: Belmont Commons, Inc. for property located at 115 Manton Street in the city of Pawtucket. On March 16, 2011 the RIDEM issued a General Permit for Stormwater Discharge Associated with Construction Activity. The permit requires the Respondent to: keep a copy of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) on site at all times; inspect all pollution prevention measures at least once every seven days; and prepare and sign reports that document the results of the inspections. On November 27, 2012 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 violation pertained to the Respondent's failure to comply with the permit. On June 18, 2012 the RIDEM inspected the property. The inspection revealed that the Respondent failed to keep a copy of the SWPPP on site and failed to prepare and sign weekly inspection reports. In the NOV, OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,000.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent paid a reduced penalty of $1,500.00, which resolved the NOV.

February 19, 2013 - Underground Storage Tank File No. 2012-02276 re: Orchard View Manor, Inc. for property located at 135 Tripps Lane, Assessor's Map 409, Block 9, Parcel 1 in the city of East Providence. The property includes a nursing home and an underground tank used for storage of diesel fuel (facility). The Respondent owns the property and operates the facility. On January 29, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent 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: properly maintain the continuous monitoring system (CMS) as evidenced by a malfunctioning "power" status indicator lamp; file a registration form with the RIDEM for the Class A and Class B UST facility operators assigned to the facility; have a trained Class A or Class B UST facility operator assigned to the facility; have a list of all Class C UST facility operators assigned to the facility available; and keep the spill containment basin free of liquid. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondent to achieve compliance with the RIDEM's UST Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,500.00. The Respondent did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondent complied with the Order section of the NOV and paid a reduced penalty of $625.00, which resolved all the issues in the NOV.

February 25, 2013 - Freshwater Wetlands File No. C01-0142 re: Albert Pafume for property located at 96 Timber Ridge Road, Assessor Plat 25, Lot 41 in the town of Charlestown. The property is one of the lots within a 4 lot subdivision that was issued a permit from RIDEM on October 7, 1999. On September 26, 2002 the OC&I issued an NOV to Green Hill Builders (Green Hill) alleging that Green Hill violated Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertained to clearing, filling, grubbing, and excavating approximately 2,165 square feet of Perimeter Wetland. In the NOV OC&I ordered the restoration of the unauthorized altered wetlands. The OC&I assessed a penalty of $1,000.00. On February 25, 2004 the OC&I and Green Hill executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Agreement required Mr. Pafume to grant access to Green Hill to restore the altered wetlands. Mr. Pafume refused to grant access to Green Hill. The OC&I's review of aerial photographs revealed that Mr. Pafume altered additional freshwater wetlands on the property. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV or issue a separate NOV or both, the OC&I and Mr. Pafume executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the violations. Mr. Pafume agreed to restore the altered wetlands to comply with the permit that RIDEM issued. No penalty was assessed in the Consent Agreement.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

February 14, 2013 - OWTS File CI 11-32 and Superior Court File No. PC 13-0805 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Michael A. Tucciarone and Annette R. Sousa for property located at 1708 Flat River Road, Assessor's Plat 58, Lot 4 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Defendants. On September 14, 2011, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertained to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) that treats the wastewater from the toilets, showers and sinks for the dwelling and the discharge of laundry wastewater from the OWTS that treats laundry wastewater from the dwelling. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendants to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the systems, and, if it's determined that a repair is needed, to repair the systems in accordance with the RIDEM's OWTS regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,000.00. The Defendants filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Defendants submitted documentation to the OC&I to show that they did not have the financial means to repair the OWTSs or pay any portion of the penalty assessed in the NOV, and the OC&I and the Defendants executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Defendants agreed to pump the system that treats the wastewater from the toilets, showers and sinks for the dwelling as often as necessary to prevent any and all overflows, discontinue all use of the washing machine at the dwelling until the system is repaired, limit occupancy of the dwelling to no more than 4 persons until their system is repaired, install low-flow water fixtures on the sinks and shower and a low-flow toilet, and repair the system (including connecting the plumbing from the washing machine into the repaired system) when the property is sold or transferred to a new owner. The OC&I waived the administrative penalty assessed in the NOV. On December 7, 2012 and January 22, 2013 the OC&I inspected the property and observed sewage overflowing to the ground surface in three locations in the rear yard and also confirmed that 8 people were living in the house. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM is asking the court to vacate the property until the OWTSs are permanently repaired.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

None settled or resolved this month.

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