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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > January 2003 Summary

 
January 2003 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 January 2003. 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 Technical and Customer 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 Maureen Casey at 401-222-4700 ext. 7307, fax 401-222-3810.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

January 23, 2003 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI98-153 re: William and Janine Becker for property located at 99 Eton Avenue, Assessor's Plat 317, Lot 58, in the city of Warwick. The property includes a single-family rental dwelling. OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (the "ISDS Regulations"). The violations pertain to the discharge of laundry waste to the surface of the ground and into the street and the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the septic system for the dwelling. On or about December 11, 2000 OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NOI) to the Respondents. The NOI required the Respondents to take immediate action to cease the laundry and sewage discharges and repair the failed septic system. The NOI was returned to OC&I as unclaimed on January 19, 2001. On January 31, 2001, a DEM Environmental Police Officer hand delivered the NOI to the residence. A follow up inspection in March 2002 revealed that the violations still existed at the property. To date, the Respondents have failed to adequately comply with the terms of the NOI. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondents to immediately cease the discharge of laundry waste and sewage to the surface of the ground and to repair the failed septic system. OC&I assessed a penalty of $2,600.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

January 1, 2003 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI 97-91 re: Bernard Realty, LLC for property located at 18 Lincoln Avenue, Assessor's Plat 96, Lot 79 in the Town of Coventry. The property includes a multi family rental dwelling. On April 25, 2002 OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging a violation of the ISDS Regulations. The violation pertained to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the septic system for the dwelling. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease the discharge of sewage and repair the septic system. OC&I assessed a penalty of $4,000. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to a hearing with AAD, the Respondent installed a new septic system and paid an administrative penalty of $2,500.00.

January 10, 2003 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI 95-262 re: Four Corners Development Associates, Inc. for property located at 2211 Diamond Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 21, Lot 361 in the Town of Cumberland. The property includes a single-family dwelling. On March 15, 2002 OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging a violation of the ISDS Regulations. The violations pertained to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the septic system for the dwelling, failure to maintain the septic system in good working order, and alteration or repair of the septic system without an approval from RIDEM. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground and connect the sewerage system for the property to the town sewerage system. OC&I assessed a penalty of $3,800.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to a hearing with AAD, the Respondent connected the sewerage system for the property to the town sewerage system. The OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the administrative penalty. The Respondent agreed to pay a penalty of $2,500.00 through an initial payment of $1,000.00 and monthly installments of $500.00 thereafter. The Respondent has paid the initial payment of $1,000.00.

January 13, 2003 - OC&I/UST File No. 99-00653 Amended NOV re: John J. Paterra, II and Food 'N Fuel, Inc. for property located at 873 Cranston Street, Assessor's Plat 7, Lot 121, in the City of Cranston. On July 8, 1999, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging multiple violations of the UST Regulations pertaining to mandatory upgrade requirements, precision testing, installation of overfill protection, and inventory control records. The Respondents appealed the NOV to the AAD. Following the issuance of the NOV, the Respondents removed 4 UST's from the facility and discovered petroleum contamination at the facility. On March 21, 2001 the OC&I issued an Amended NOV to add allegations of violations of Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Law, the Rules and Regulations for Groundwater Quality, the Oil Pollution Control Regulations and additional violations of the UST Regulations. The new violations pertained to the release of pollutants to waters of the State and failure to perform a site investigation, submit a site investigation report and implement corrective action. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations, performance of a site investigation and site investigation report as well as implementation of a corrective action plan as needed. A penalty of $76,832.00 was assessed against the Respondents. The Respondents filed an appeal of the Amended NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondents and the RIDEM executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the violations. The Respondents agreed to conduct corrective action to RIDEM's satisfaction and agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $31,375.00. The penalty will be paid in various amounts and installments.

January 15, 2002 - OC&I/Solid Waste File No. 02-006 re: Olindo W. & Charlene A Cardarelli for property located at 88 Mill Street, Assessor's Plat 26, Lot 124, in the Town of Johnston. On April 25, 2002, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act by allowing solid waste in the form of processed construction & demolition debris to be deposited on the property. On 31 August 2000, the OC&I issued a Letter of Noncompliance to the Respondents informing them that RIDEM determined that solid waste was present on the property and requiring the removal of the solid waste within 30 days. Despite several extensions of the deadline for compliance with RIDEM's requirements, the Respondents have not completed the removal of the waste or provided RIDEM with required documentation of disposal at a licensed facility. Over 4000 cubic yards of C&D waste was on the property in December 2001. OC&I ordered the waste to be removed within 30 days and assessed a penalty of $8,000.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondents and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The OC&I confirmed that the Respondents removed all solid waste from the property on or about August 26, 2002. Only the penalty remained to be resolved. The Respondents agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $2,500.00 with $500.00 paid at the execution of the Consent Agreement and the remaining $2,000.00 to be paid in twelve monthly installments of $166.66.

January 22, 2003 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI 92-47 re: Alan S. & Elizabeth Pelopida for property located at 238/240 Simmonsville Avenue, Assessor's Plat 28, Lot 13 in the Town of Johnston. The property includes a multi-family rental dwelling. On April 26, 2002 OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging a violation of the ISDS Regulations. The violation pertained to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the septic system for the dwelling. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease the discharge of sewage and repair the septic system. OC&I assessed a penalty of $3,000.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to a hearing with AAD, the Respondents retained a licensed designer to evaluate the septic system. The licensed designer submitted a report to OC&I on August 20, 2002, which concluded that the septic system was functioning properly. The licensed designer submitted a second report to OC&I on October 31, 2002 recommending that certain steps be taken to ensure proper operation for future use. These steps included the installation of an effluent filter on the septic tank. The Respondents obtained a contractor to install the effluent filter, and the contractor installed the effluent filter on November 8, 2002. The Respondents further agreed to retain a licensed designer to evaluate the septic system during the wet season months to address OC&I's concern that the septic system may not function properly during those months. The OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the violation. The Respondents agreed to have the septic system inspected by a licensed designer between April 1-April 30, 2003 to determine if the system is functioning properly. The designer will then submit a report within seven (7) days to OC&I. The Respondents agreed that if the septic system is not functioning properly they would have the septic system pumped as often as needed to prevent any overflow of sewage to the surface of the ground and repair the system. The Respondents agreed to and have paid a penalty of $1,000.00.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

None settled or resolved for this month.

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rev. 2/11/03