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 July 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 Customer and Technical Assistance. The OC&I often resolves formal enforcement actions through negotiated settlement agreements prior to hearing before the AAD.
July 7, 2003 - OC&I/LUST File No. 03-1927 re: John R. Gullison and KJ's Pub, Inc. regarding property located at 59-61 Aquidneck Avenue, Assessor's Plat 115 SE Lot 169-A in the Town of Middletown. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Law, RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Groundwater Quality, the Oil Pollution Control Regulations and portions of RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertain to the release or discharge of pollutants in the form of oil/petroleum to the waters of the state from USTs at the property, failing to complete a site investigation and failing to properly manage oil spill clean up debris. The OC&I ordered the Respondents to retain a qualified environmental consultant, complete a Site Investigation Report and, if necessary, prepare a Corrective Action Plan and implement said plan. The Respondents were also ordered to submit documentation of disposal of contaminated soil excavated from the property. In the NOV, OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $32,500.00.
July 8, 2003 - OC&I/UST File No. 03-00584 re: Shifa Salih, Eldaim M. Edriss and Red Sea, Inc. for property located at 72 Putnam Avenue, Assessor's Plat 39, Lot 126 in the Town of Johnston. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertain to the Respondents' failure to comply with 60-day testing of impressed current cathodic protection systems, precision testing requirements for UST systems, annual testing of line leak detectors, monthly testing of UST continuous monitoring systems ("CMS"), annual testing requirements of UST CMS, maintenance of all test records and maintenance of inventory control records. OC&I ordered compliance with the UST Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $14,595.00.
July 9, 2003 - OC&I/UST File No. 03-02439 re: The Town of North Kingstown/North Kingstown School Department for property located at 100 Fairway Drive, Assessor's Plat 88, Lot 21 in the Town of North Kingstown. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the UST Regulations. The violations pertain to the Respondents' failure to meet continuous interstitial space monitoring for double-walled USTs, deactivating a continuous monitoring system ("CMS") except for repairs, failing to conduct monthly and annual testing of leak monitoring equipment and maintaining testing records. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondents to place their noncompliant USTs into temporary closure until a new CMS is installed and operational and to provide OC&I will all monthly and annual testing records. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $17,687.00.
July 11, 2003 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI98-248 re: South County Management LLC for property located at 6 Maple Lake Farm Road, Assessor's Plat 29, Lot 46 in the Town of Charlestown. The property includes three separate multi family (2 unit) dwellings and a garage. 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). The violations pertain to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground (through the garage) and onto South County Trail from the septic system for one of the dwellings and improper maintenance of the septic system for another dwelling as evidenced by non-sanitary waste (oil) and elevated sewage levels in the septic system. On June 7, 2001, July 6, 2001, and December 17, 2001 OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NOI) to the Respondent for these violations. The NOIs required the Respondent to pump and inspect the systems and repair the systems, if necessary. The Respondent failed to comply with the NOIs. OC&I received complaints that sewage was continuing to overflow (through the garage) onto South County Trail in April 2003. OC&I issued an Immediate Compliance Order (ICO) to the Respondent on May 23, 2003. The ICO ordered the Respondent to immediately have the system pumped by a licensed septage hauler and continue such pumping until the system was repaired. The Respondent failed to comply with the ICO. RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court (see below). In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondent to immediately cease the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground and to repair the failed septic systems. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $6,400.00.
July 29, 2003- OC&I/Wetlands File No. C01-0390 and ISDS File No. CI 02-181 re: John Studley and Lisa Studley for property located at 47 Indian Trail, Assessor's Plat 324, Lot 37.2 in the Town of Coventry. The property includes a single-family dwelling. OC&I alleges the Respondents are in violation of the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act (the Freshwater Wetland Regulations) and the ISDS Regulations. The violations pertain to clearing, filling, and construction (in the form of a garage, deck, walkway and concrete patio) within the 50-foot Perimeter Wetland of Flat River Reservoir. The Respondents did not have a permit from DEM to alter freshwater wetlands on the property. The violations also pertain to renovations to > 50% of the existing floor space of the dwelling without first submitting a System Suitability Determination (SSD) application to DEM to determine if the existing septic system is adequate. The Respondents were verbally warned by OC&I to cease work within the freshwater wetlands and were issued a written order to cease and desist construction activities at the property. The Respondents failed to comply with the OC&I directives. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondents either to retain a qualified professional to demonstrate that the wetland alterations do not represent a significant alteration to wetland values or fully restore the freshwater wetlands. OC&I also ordered the Respondents to submit an SSD application and comply with all conditions of any approval issued by DEM regarding the septic system. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $2,400.00.
July 30, 2003 - OC&I/OPC File No. 03-DREW re: Drew Oil Corporation and Elizabeth A. Drew for property located on Calder Street, Assessor's Plat 11/2, Lots 1676 and 1886 in the City of Cranston. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act and portions of RIDEM's Oil Pollution Control Regulations. The violations pertain to the release of approximately 275 gallons of oil/petroleum from an oil transfer operation that took place on the property. The release/discharge of oil took place during an oil transfer that was not monitored and allowed oil to enter waters of the State of Rhode Island. In addition, the Respondents failed to meet the requirements of the Oil Pollution Control Regulations pertaining to overfill prevention, labeling requirements, monthly inspections of Aboveground Storage Tanks ("AST"), maintenance of inspection records, submittal of annual reports and emergency plans for ASTs. The Respondents were ordered to submit a compliance plan for the facility and to comply with all regulatory requirements. A penalty in the amount of $22,500.00 was assessed in the NOV.
July 31, 2003- OC&I/Wetlands File No. C02-0235 re: James Colucci for property located at 87 Iroquois Trail, approximately 400 feet south of the intersection of Iroquois Trail and Arrowhead Trail, Assessors Plat 18, Lot 308 in the Town of Glocester. OC&I alleges the Respondent is in violation of the Freshwater Wetlands Regulations. The violations pertain to clearing, excavating, filling, and constructing a driveway within a Forested Wetland, excavating within a second Forested Wetland, clearing and installing a drain within an Emergent Plant Community, and filling and creating soil disturbance within an Area Subject to Storm Flowage. These activities have resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 25,200 square feet of wetlands. The Respondent did not have a permit to alter the freshwater wetlands on the property. In the NOV OC&I ordered the restoration of the unauthorized altered wetlands. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $3,000.
July 21, 2003 - OC&I/ UST File No. 03-02857 re: South County Hospital Healthcare System for property located at 100 Kenyon Avenue, Assessor's Plat 64-1, Lot 122 in the Town of South Kingstown. On 31 March, 2003, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent was in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials ("the UST Regulations"). The violations pertained to Respondent's failure to conduct monthly and annual testing of leak monitoring equipment, maintain monthly and annual test records, maintain spill containment basins and failure to meet fill-pipe labeling requirements. The OC&I ordered the Respondent to comply with the Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $4,479.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondent and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent was able to produce some records ordered in the NOV but was not able to produce all records. Also, the Respondent was able to show compliance with some portions of the order section of the NOV. As of the result of settlement, the penalty was reduced to $2,819.00.
July 22, 2003 OC&I/Wetlands File Nos. C00-0218, C00-0219, C00-0220, C00-0221, C00-0272, C00-0273, C00-0275, and C00-0276 re: Ashford Homes, LLC for eight separate properties located on Sturbridge Way in the Town of West Warwick. The properties are single family dwellings that were constructed by the Respondent. On July 13, 2001 OC&I issued 8 NOVs to the Respondent alleging violations of the Freshwater Wetland Regulations. The violations pertained to clearing, filling, grading, and construction activities within Perimeter Wetland. OC&I assessed a total penalty for all the NOVs of $15,600. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOVs with the AAD. Prior to the hearing on the NOVs, the Respondent and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement actions. The Respondent agreed to restore the altered freshwater wetlands on each property provided that access to the property can be obtained from the property owner. The OC&I agreed to a reduced total penalty of $8,300.00. The reduced penalty has been paid in full.
July 23, 2003 - OC&I/LUST File No. 01-3595 re: David J. Langley, Dave's Auto Service Center, Inc. and P-Cove Properties, LLC for property located at 34 Narragansett Parkway, Assessor's Plat 292, Lot 388, in the City of Warwick. On 30 March 2001, the OC&I issued a NOV to Respondents David J. Langley and Dave's Auto Service Center, Inc. alleging that the Respondents violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Law, RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Groundwater Quality, the Oil Pollution Control Regulations and portions of RIDEM's Underground Storage Tank ("UST") Regulations. The violations, inter alia, pertain to the release or discharge of pollutants (oil/petroleum) to the waters of the state. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations including a site investigation report and corrective action plan/remediation if necessary, reimbursement to RIDEM for its investigation and costs of remediation at the site. OC&I also ordered the submission of all reports required by the regulations and a closure application for the USTs at the facility along with a closure assessment. The OC&I assessed a penalty of $52,500.00. The City of Warwick at a tax sale sold the property. Following foreclosure of the prior owner/operator's right-to-redemption in July 2001, the Property was acquired by P-Cove Properties, LLC in September 2001. DEM contacted P-Cove Properties, LLC and advised them of their responsibility as owners of the property to meet all performance requirements under the UST Regulations as they related to the clean up of all oil/petroleum released to the environment. In order to resolve all issues regarding a release of oil/petroleum at the Property, the OC&I and P-Cove properties, LLC executed a consent agreement. P-Cove Properties, LLC agreed to comply with all clean up activities under the UST Regulations. Nothing in the Consent Agreement shall be construed to waive, release or satisfy RIDEM's claims against either Respondents David J. Langley or Dave's Auto Service Center, Inc.
July 31, 2003 - OC&I/UST File Nos. 00-01106, 01107, 01108, 01111, and 01112 re: the City of Cranston for properties located at the Cranston Highway Garage at 20 Phenix Avenue and the Cranston Fire Department at Station One, 131 Park Avenue, Station Two, 301 Pontiac Avenue, Station Ten, 1155 Scituate Avenue and Station 12, 1041 Oaklawn Avenue in the City of Cranston. On 6 July 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated multiple portions of the UST Regulations. The violations pertained to corrosion protection upgrade requirements, precision testing, spill containment basins, overfill protection, and abandonment of UST systems. Not all violations occurred at all facilities cited. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered compliance with the UST Regulations including the submission of Closure Assessment Reports, Site Investigation Reports and Corrective Action Plans if necessary. The Respondent was ordered to submit all results of missing tests and to verify installation of spill containment and overfill protection. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $98,830.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondent and the OC&I executed a consent agreement to resolve the enforcement action. Following issuance of the NOV, the Respondent closed all USTs at the subject properties. The Respondent discovered a release of oil/petroleum to the environment at the 20 Phenix Avenue property. As part of the Consent Agreement, the Respondent agreed to complete the investigation of the release and to implement appropriate remedial efforts relating to subsurface contamination. The OC&I agreed to a reduced penalty in the amount of $66,685.00 and further agreed to allow the Respondent to offset the penalty in the form of a Supplemental Environmental Project ("SEP"). The SEP consists of the removal of six USTs from City property. The removal of the USTs will remove a potential threat from the environment that is not otherwise required by the UST Regulations. Removal of the USTs must be completed no later than June 30, 2004. The Respondent must document all costs of the removal and certify that it has met all requirements set forth in the RIDEM SEP policy. In the event that removal of the USTs costs less than the penalty in the Consent Agreement, the Respondent must pay the cash difference to the RIDEM.