Actions Settled or Resolved
This report includes formal enforcement actions issued or resolved by the Office of Compliance & Inspection for the month of January 2001. 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.
January 8, 2001 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI96-173 re: Thomas A. Pingitore for property located at 61 Cherry Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 34, lot 453 in the Town of Johnston. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems ("the ISDS Regulations") by allowing the overflow or spillage of any treated or untreated sanitary sewage on or to the surface of the ground. Inspectors from the RIDEM on at least 8 occasions from 1996 to 2000 observed the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the Respondent's failed septic system. Although the RIDEM issued informal enforcement letters in an attempt to obtain compliance, the Respondent did not repair the failed septic system. The OC&I ordered the Respondent to immediately pump the septic system to prevent overflowing sewage to the surface of the ground and continue pumping until the sewerage system at the property is connected to the public sewerage system. Connection to the public sewerage system is required within 30 days. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $8,000.00. The Respondent has appealed the NOV to the AAD.
January 17, 2001 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 00-098 and Solid Waste File No. 00-049 re: The City of Woonsocket for property located at Davison Avenue, Assessor's Plat 28H, lot 12, File 3 in the City of Woonsocket. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Hazardous Waste Management Act and Refuse Disposal Act along with applicable regulations when it transported hazardous waste from a construction site and stored/disposed of the waste at a former landfill operated by the City. In addition, the Respondent was observed to be disposing of solid waste at the former landfill and operating a solid waste management facility without a license. The OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease any continued acceptance or disposal of waste, removal of all waste disposed of on site and required a landfill closure plan. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $35,485.36. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD.
January 19, 2001 - OC&I/AIR File No. 01-01 re: The Original Bradford Soap Works, Inc. located at 200 Providence Street in the Town of West Warwick. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent violated Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 9 entitled, "Air Pollution Control Permits" when it failed to comply with all conditions of a permit issued to the Respondent. The violations pertain to monitoring and testing of air pollution control equipment. The Respondent was ordered to comply with the permit conditions and were assessed a penalty in the amount of $11,250.00. The Respondent has appealed the NOV to the AAD.
January 24, 2001 - OC&I/WETLANDS File No. C00-053 re: Zarrella Development Corporation for property located at house number 70 on Watch Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 12C, Lot 390, in the Town of East Greenwich. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent violated the Freshwater Wetlands Act and sections of the Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act by constructing a deck in noncompliance with a permit/approval issued to the Respondent. The Respondent has a prior history of noncompliance with a permit issued by the RIDEM for this particular site/property. The OC&I ordered the Respondent to submit a revised plan depicting the unauthorized deck and to submit an application review fee otherwise required if the Respondent had properly applied for the deck. A penalty of $1,600.00 was assessed against the Respondent.
January 31, 2001 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 00-027 re: Northland Environmental, Inc./Philips Services Corporation for property located at 252 and 275 Allens Avenue, in the City of Providence. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents violated multiple sections of the Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management at the Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility operated by Respondents. The violations pertain to requirements related to proper management of reactive waste, collection system operation, container storage, containment systems, record keeping, marking and labeling tanks and hazardous waste, tanks usage, aisle space and annual internal inspection of tanks. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations and the facility's permit and assessed a penalty in the amount of $34,500.00.
January 4, 2001 - OC & I/SEPTIC SYSTEM File No. CI93-3 re: Paul Bjorkland for rental property located at 66-68 Boston Street, Coventry. The RIDEM issued a NOV to the Respondent on February 11, 1994 for discharging sewage to the surface of the ground from a failed septic system. RIDEM assessed a penalty of $1,000. The Respondent failed to repair the septic system or pay the administrative penalty. Numerous inspections of the property by RIDEM over the next five years revealed continued sewage overflows. On March 29, 1999 RIDEM filed a lawsuit in Superior Court. A Superior Court Order was entered on July 23, 1999 requiring the Respondent to repair the septic system and pay the administrative penalty of $1,000. The Respondent failed to comply with the Court Order and was adjudged in contempt by the Superior Court and ordered to pay an additional $500 penalty. On December 21, 2000 the Respondent repaired the failed septic system. The Respondent also paid the penalties of $1,500.
January 5, 2001 - OC&I/LUST File No. 99-03410 re: William Cardoza, Bill's Auto Repair and Towing for property located at 516 Child Street, Assessor's Plat 20, Lot 170, in the Town of Warren. On July 21, 1999, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging violations of the Water Pollution Control Act, Oil Pollution Control Regulations, and the Regulations pertaining to Underground Storage Tanks. These violations pertain to a discharge of pollutants/petroleum to waters of the state, site investigation requirements, precision testing requirements for USTs and the installation of overfill protection. The OC&I ordered corrective action and compliance with the regulations and assessed a penalty of $40,940.00. On January 5, 2001, the Respondent and the OC&I executed a consent agreement to resolve the NOV wherein it was agreed that the Respondent was able to show partial compliance with the regulations and agreed to further compliance including corrective action. The Respondent agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $10,250.00.
January 11, 2001 - OC&I/UST File No. 99-01602 re: Arthur J. Ogni, Gloria Y. Ogni and Arthur J. Ogni, Jr. d/b/a Art's Sunoco for property located at 326 Central Avenue, Assessor's Plat 8A, lot 353, in the City of Pawtucket. On April 30, 1999, the OC&I issued a NOV to Respondents Arthur and Gloria Ogni alleging Respondents violated sections of RIDEM's UST Regulations pertaining to: mandatory upgrade requirements for UST facilities; precision testing requirements and written test results; installation of spill containment basins; installation of overfill protection; maintenance of daily written inventory records and access to such records; investigation of suspected releases; and abandonment of UST systems. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations and assessed a penalty of $92,750.00. During AAD proceedings on the NOV, OC&I learned that Respondent Arthur Ogni, Jr. took over operation of the facility in approximately 1996. On June 14, 2000, the NOV was amended to include Arthur Ogni, Jr. On January 11, 2001, the Respondents and the OC&I executed a consent agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to complete a Site Investigation Report and to comply with Corrective Action if necessary. The OC&I considered the Respondent's ability to pay the assessed penalty. Following evaluation of the circumstances, the OC&I agreed to reduce the penalty to $12,000.00 and allowed for a payment schedule over time to complete the payment.
January 26, 2001 - OC & I/SEPTIC SYSTEM File No. CI 92-433 re: Joseph and Christine Bettencourt for rental property located at 25 Pierce Street, Coventry. The RIDEM issued a NOV to the Respondent on March 12, 1993 for discharging sewage to the surface of the ground from a failed septic system. RIDEM assessed a penalty of $2,000. The Respondent failed to repair the septic system or pay the administrative penalty. On August 17, 2000 RIDEM and the Respondents entered into a consent agreement whereby Respondents agreed to repair the failed septic system by September 30, 2000 and pay an administrative penalty of $1,000 by December 31, 2000. The septic system was repaired and the penalty was paid.
January 30, 2001 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 00-001 re: Xylem Finishing, Inc. for property located at 435 Warwick Industrial Drive, Assessor's Plat 342, Lot 4, Warwick. On September 20, 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated portions of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Protection of the Environment). The violations pertained to marking and labeling containers of hazardous waste, keeping hazardous waste containers closed, maintaining a hazardous waste contingency plan and personnel training relating to hazardous waste. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations and assessed a penalty of $16,200.00. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD. On January 30, 2001, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a consent agreement to resolve the NOV. The settlement was facilitated by the Respondent's ability to produce documentation after the issuance of the NOV that it was in compliance with several regulations cited in the enforcement action. This included information regarding its waste, training and contingency plan not available during RIDEM's inspection of the facility. The OC&I agreed to reduce the penalty to $2000.00 and allowed the Respondent to pay the penalty over a period of time.
January 30, 2001 - OCI/AIR File No. 00-06 re: Tilcon Capaldi, Inc. for its facility located at 875 Phenix Avenue in the City of Cranston. The OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent on 30 October 2000 for violations of Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 9 entitled, "Air Pollution Control Permits." Specifically, the Respondent failed to comply with the conditions of Permit Nos. 1487 and 1488 issued 14 April 1999 as it relates to emission testing of equipment. The OC&I assessed a penalty of $2,500. On 30 January 2001, the Respondent and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV wherein it was agreed that the Respondent has demonstrated compliance with Permit Nos. 1487 and 1488. The Respondent has agreed to and paid an administrative penalty of $1,500.
January 31, 2001 - OC&I/SOLID WASTE File No. 99-033 re: Atlantic Energy Inc. for property located at 77 Pilsudski Street, Assessor's Plat 37, lot 803, in the City of Providence. On September 23, 1999, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the Refuse Disposal Act by disposing of solid waste and by operating a solid waste management facility without a license. OC&I also alleged violations of Rhode Island's Vehicle Storage and Recycling statute. The violations related to the Respondent's storage of approximately 50,000 used tires and other mixed waste on the property. The OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease operation of a solid waste management facility, remove all waste and assessed a penalty of $18,147.00. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a consent agreement to resolve the NOV wherein it was acknowledged that all waste cited in the NOV has been removed. Removal of the waste was facilitated by a Superior Court action filed by the Attorney General's Office. The Respondent agreed to pay the penalty in full plus 12% interest on or before April 15, 2001. The total penalty to be paid is $19,235.82.
January 31, 2001 - OC&I/SOLID WASTE/WETLANDS/AIR File No. 00-043 re: Tracey L. & Robert A. Recchia, Jr., for property located at 90 Mill Street, Assessor's Map 26, Lot 153, in the Town of Johnston. On August 3, 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV alleging that the Respondents violated RI General Laws and RIDEM's rules and regulations by disposing of approximately 58,000 cubic yards of processed construction and demolition debris on the property, altering approximately 119,000 square feet of riverbank wetland and causing objectionable odors beyond the property line on at least 4 occasions. The Respondents were cited for disposal of refuse at other than a licensed facility, operating a solid waste management facility without a license, altering freshwater wetlands without a permit and violating Air Pollution Control Regulations regarding odors. The Respondents were ordered to cease accepting solid waste, immediately begin removing the waste and complete the removal within 30 days, restore the wetland area and immediately implement a plan to control odors. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $172,334.00 of which $145,084.00 was for the economic benefit of disposing of the waste at other than a licensed solid waste management facility. $27,250.00 of the penalty related to the gravity of the Respondent's actions. The Respondents appealed the NOV to the AAD. While awaiting appeal of the NOV, a separate action was filed in the Superior Court against the Respondents. The Court issued a ruling wherein it was found that the Respondents violated the environmental statutes cited pertaining to solid waste and wetlands and caused nuisance odors. The Court ordered the Respondents to undertake remedial measures, cease further violations, abate existing nuisance conditions, restore the subject wetlands and remove the illegally deposited solid waste. While negotiating final remediation, the RIDEM proceeded with the AAD hearing to resolve, at a minimum, the penalty assessed in the NOV. Prior to conclusion of the AAD hearing, the OC&I and the Respondent agreed to resolve all issues raised in the NOV by consent agreement. As a result, the Respondents agreed to remove all waste, restore the altered wetlands and agreed to a reduced gravity penalty of $15,000.00. The economic benefit portion of the penalty was waived since the Respondents will be removing all of the waste from the property. The Respondents agreed to pay all waived penalties should they fail to comply with the consent agreement.