Actions Settled or Resolved
This report includes formal enforcement actions issued or resolved by the Office of Compliance & Inspection for the month of January 2002. 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 18, 2002 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI 96-73 re: Antonio & Ludiuna DeMelo for property located at 21 Dey Street, Assessor's Plat 505, Lot 5 in the City of East Providence. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents violated DEM's ISDS Regulations by allowing sewage to discharge to the surface of the ground from the septic system at the property for at least 4 1/2 years. The OC&I issued Notice's of Intent to Enforce ("NOI") to the Respondents in March 1996, December 1999 and in April 2001, but the Respondent failed to comply with the NOIs. The OC&I ordered the Respondents to immediately have the system pumped by a licensed septage hauler; continue such pumping until the system is repaired; immediately take steps to reduce the discharge of sewage to the system and commence work on repair to the system. A penalty of $3,000.00 was assessed against the Respondents.
January 22, 2002 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 01-017 re: Monet Group Inc., and Robert Mang, President for property located at 3400 Pawtucket Avenue, Assessor's Map Number 310, Block Number 5, Parcel Number 9 in the City of East Providence. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents violated portions of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management. The violations pertain to storing hazardous waste in excess of 90 days, labeling tanks and containers, documenting accumulation start dates on tanks, keeping hazardous waste containers closed, secondary containment for containers holding liquid hazardous waste, daily inspections of tanks holding hazardous waste and weekly inspections of containers. The Respondents filed for bankruptcy but did remove all hazardous waste from the facility. The Respondents no longer generates hazardous waste at this location. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $38,000.00 for regulatory noncompliance.
January 25, 2002 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 01-027 re: Michael Squillace d/b/a Vanity Cleaners for property located at 1658 Cranston Street, Assessor's Plat 8, Lot 2337 in the City of Cranston. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent violated multiple sections of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management. The violations pertain to storing hazardous waste in excess of 90 days, labeling containers, placing hazardous waste in containers, providing secondary containment, determining if wastes are hazardous, weekly inspections of containers, marking accumulation start dates, spill control equipment, developing and maintaining a contingency plan, training for employees, keeping hazardous waste containers closed, maintaining records and maintaining aisle space. The OC&I ordered compliance with the Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $36,000.00.
January 30, 2002 - OC&I/WATER POLLUTION File No. 02-01 re: US Optica Inc. for property located at 86 Tupelo Street, Assessor's Plat 92, Lots 43 and 44 in the Town of Bristol. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertain to allowing sewage from a pump station on the property to overflow to the surface of the ground and into a nearby stream on four (4) separate occasions over a period of fifteen (15) months. A penalty of $118,750.00 was assessed against the Respondent.
January 18, 2002 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI 91-393 re: Robert W. and Rita Roy for property located at 18 Thor Place, Assessor's Plat 302, Lot 164 in the City of Warwick. On or about January 2,1992 RIDEM issued a NOV to the Respondents for allegedly violating RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (the "ISDS Regulations"). The violation pertained to the overflow or spillage of sanitary sewage to the surface of the ground from the septic system at the property. The RIDEM ordered the Respondents to immediately have the system pumped by a licensed septage hauler; continue such pumping until the system was repaired; immediately take steps to reduce the discharge of sewage to the system and commence work on repair to the system. The RIDEM assessed a penalty of $4,000 against the Respondents. The Respondents did not request a hearing on the NOV. A Consent Agreement was entered into between the RIDEM and the Respondents on June 15,1993. The Respondents agreed to repair the septic system and pay an administrative penalty of $500.00. The septic system was repaired in 1993 and the penalty was paid in January 2002.
January 18, 2002 - OC&I/Wetlands File No. C99-0017 re: Best New England Inc. for property located west of the intersection of Victory Highway (RI Route 102) and Breakheart Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 48, Lot 2.3 in the Town of West Greenwich. On June 3, 1999 the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging 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. The violations pertained to clearing, filling, and grading within Swamp, Riverbank Wetland, and Perimeter Wetland. The unauthorized alterations affected approximately 2 acres of freshwater wetland. The OC&I ordered the Respondent to remove the entire fill and restore the freshwater wetlands that were altered. A penalty of $3,000 was assessed against the Respondent. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a consent agreement to resolve the violation. The Respondent agreed to restore the freshwater wetlands by removing fill and other debris, installing plantings, and creating additional freshwater wetland by November 1, 2002. The Respondent agreed to pay a penalty of $2,500.
January 25, 2002 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 01-029 re: The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation for property located at its Quonset Point Power Plant 125 Zarbo Avenue, Assessor's Plat 186, Lot 10 in the Town of North Kingstown. On August 2, 2001, the OC&I issued a NOV alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management and the Rules and Regulations for the Investigation and Remediation of Hazardous Material Releases. The violations pertained to Respondent not immediately reporting to RIDEM a release of mercury spilled at the Quonset Point Power Plant. The Respondent discovered the spill/release on July 10, 2001. RIDEM did not find out about the spill until two days after it was discovered. RIDEM only learned of the spill inadvertently through discussions with the environmental consultant/contractor that had been awarded a contract by the Respondent to clean up the spill. RIDEM monitored the clean up of the mercury until the area was certified as clean by an industrial hygienist. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $5,000.00 against the Respondent. On January 25, 2002 the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent has paid the penalty in full.