July 2015 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 July 2015. 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 emailed to dem.filereview@dem.ri.gov. More information is available at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/customertech/file-review.php. Please note that formal case names appearing in blue text are linked to a PDF version of the unsigned document.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Formal Enforcement Actions Settled or Resolved:

July 2, 2015 - Dam File No. 226 (Yawgoog Pond Dam) re: Rhode Island Boy Scouts for property located approximately 1,440 feet southwest of the intersection of Camp Yawgoog Road and Marvel Road between Yawgoog Pond and Wincheck Pond in the town of Hopkinton. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by RIDEM as High Hazard. The Respondent owns the dam. On April 18, 2013, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violation pertained to the Respondent's failure to maintain the dam in a safe condition. The dam was inspected on November 22, 2011. The inspection revealed the following conditions: excessive brush, small trees and deadfall along the downstream embankment to the right of the gatehouse that did not allow a proper inspection to be performed; and an inoperable low level gate. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to remove the small trees, brush and deadfall from the downstream embankment, retain a professional engineer to inspect the embankment 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 Respondent was also ordered to repair the low level gate. The OC&I did not assess an administrative penalty. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent fully complied with the NOV.

July 9, 2015 - Water Pollution File No. OCI-WP-14-93, X-ref RIPDES RIR100844 re: Manafort Brothers Incorporated for property identified as the Providence Viaduct Bridge No. 578 on Interstate 95 in the city of Providence. On April 5, 2013, the RIDEM authorized the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) to discharge storm water associated with the reconstruction of Bridge 578 under the 2008 General Permit for Stormwater Discharge Associated with Construction Activity. The Respondent was awarded the construction contract and certified that it is responsible for complying with the permit. The permit requires the Respondent to: design, install and maintain effective erosion, runoff and sediment controls; prevent daily construction activities from causing pollution; and ensure that all erosion, runoff, sediment and pollution prevention controls remain in effective operating condition and are protected from activities that would reduce their effectiveness. On March 16, 2015, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, the RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations, and the RIDEM's Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The violations pertained to the failure to comply with the permit. On August 13, 2014, the OC&I inspected the property during a rain storm. The inspection revealed that storm water laden with sediment was flowing from the property onto the street and entering into the Woonosquatucket River and that no erosion, runoff or sediment controls were installed. On that same day, the OC&I received electronic mail from the RIDOT's resident engineer. The engineer stated that there was an erosion issue, most of the sediment was retained within a temporary coffer dam, and that the Respondent acted quickly and installed stone and hay bales to control sediment runoff from the property from entering onto the street and into the river. In the NOV the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $6,250. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $2,500, which was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

July 24, 2015 - OWTS File No. 14-102 re: John L. Sunderland and Lucy B. Sunderland for property located at 1641 East Main Road, Assessor's Plat 48, Lot 13 in the town of Portsmouth. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondents. On January 2, 2015, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violation pertained to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to the surface of the ground. On May 6, 2014 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On May 13, 2014 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondents by certified mail for the violation. The notice required specific actions to correct the violation. On May 17, 2014 the notice was delivered to the Respondents. As of the date of the NOV, the Respondents have 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 $800. The Respondents did not file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. The Respondents complied with the NOV by repairing the OWTS and paid a reduced penalty of $350, which resolved the NOV.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

July 21, 2015 - Freshwater Wetland and Solid Waste File Nos. 2007 359 FW and C07-0074 and Superior Court File No. PM 14-1930 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant Pray Hill Pines, LLC for property located approximately 750 feet east of Pray Hill Road, with a driveway entrance situated between Utility Pole Numbers 11 and 12, approximately 3,100 feet northeast of the intersection of Pray Hill Road and Route 101, in the town of Glocester. The Defendant owns the property. On November 8, 2007 the OC&I issued an NOV to the former property owners, Pray Hill Farms, LLC, alleging that Pray Hill Farms, LLC violated Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetland Act and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act and Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act and the RIDEM's Solid Waste Regulations. The freshwater wetland violations pertained to clearing, filling (in the form of soil material), excavating, grading and creating soil disturbance within a Swamp and Perimeter Wetland associated with the Swamp that resulted in the alteration of approximately 4.5 acres of Swamp and 3.75 acres of Perimeter Wetland. The solid waste violation pertained to the disposal of approximately 180 cubic yards of solid waste (consisting of tree stumps) that were brought in from off the property. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered Pray Hill Farms, LLC to cease and desist any further unauthorized alteration to freshwater wetlands, cease the disposal of solid waste on the property, restore all freshwater wetlands, and properly remove or process the tree waste within 30 days. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $15,000. Pray Hill Farms, LLC failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD and failed to comply with the NOV. The NOV was recorded in the land evidence records of the town of Glocester. On June 15, 2009 the corporate Certificate of Organization/Registration for Pray Hill Farms, LLC was revoked by the Rhode Island Secretary of State. On March 29, 2012 the Defendant acquired the property. The Defendant failed to comply with the NOV. On April 10, 2014, the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM asked the court to order the Defendant to comply with the NOV and pay the administrative penalty assessed in the NOV. Prior to a hearing on the complaint, the RIDEM entered into an agreement with the Defendant and the principals of Pray Hill Farms, LLC, who are Mark Reo (Reo) and Joseph DiBiase (DiBiase). Pursuant to the agreement, Reo and DiBiase paid $5,000 each to the OC&I and the Defendant agreed to complete the wetland restoration as specified in the NOV by May 15, 2016.

July 28, 2015 - Multi Media/OWTS and Water Pollution/File Nos. OWTS CI 11-076 and WP 94-236 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-2088 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Daniel H. Keene and Cindy M. Keene for a property located at 6 Andrews Terrace, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 220 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a 6 bedroom, multi family dwelling. The Defendants own the property. On September 6, 2011, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations), Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Act, and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertained to the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling through a pipe to the bank of the Branch River and into the Branch River. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendants to reduce the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling, such as through the installation and use of water conservation devices and fixtures and install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to treat the wastewater from the dwelling in accordance with the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,700. The Defendants filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD, but later withdrew their appeal. The Defendants failed to comply with the NOV. On May 19, 2015, the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM asked the court to order the Defendants to comply with the NOV or vacate the property and pay the full penalty assessed in the NOV. Prior to a hearing on the complaint, the RIDEM and the Defendants entered into a Consent Order. The Defendants agreed to submit an application to the RIDEM within 30 days to install an OWTS or vacate the dwelling within 30 days if the Defendants fail to follow through on the installation. The Defendants also agreed to pay the full administrative penalty of $3,700.

July 28, 2015 - Multi Media/OWTS and Water Pollution/File Nos. OWTS CI 11-075 and WP 94-236 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-2087 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants David A. Whitney and Annette L. Whitney for a property located at 2 Andrews Terrace, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 216 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a 6 bedroom, multi family dwelling. The Defendants own the property. On September 6, 2011, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations), Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Act, and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertained to the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling through a pipe to the bank of the Branch River and into the Branch River. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendants to reduce the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling, such as through the installation and use of water conservation devices and fixtures and install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to treat the wastewater from the dwelling in accordance with the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,700. The Defendants failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD and failed to comply with the NOV. On May 19, 2015, the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM asked the court to order the Defendants to comply with the NOV or vacate the property and pay the full penalty assessed in the NOV. Prior to a hearing on the complaint, the RIDEM and the Defendants entered into a Consent Order. The Defendants agreed to submit an application to the RIDEM within 30 days to install an OWTS or vacate the dwelling within 30 days if the Defendants fail to follow through on the installation. The Defendants also agreed to pay the full administrative penalty of $3,700.

July 28, 2015 - Multi Media/OWTS and Water Pollution/File Nos. OWTS CI 11-023 and WP 94-236 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-2089 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant David J. Morin for a property located at 10-A Andrews Terrace, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 213 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a 6 bedroom, multi family dwelling. The Defendant owns the property. On May 9, 2011, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendant alleging that the Defendant violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations), Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Act, and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertained to the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling through a pipe to the bank of the Branch River and into the Branch River. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendant to reduce the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling, such as through the installation and use of water conservation devices and fixtures and install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to treat the wastewater from the dwelling in accordance with the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,300. The Defendant filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD, but later withdrew his appeal. The Defendant failed to comply with the NOV. On May 19, 2015, the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM asked the court to order the Defendant to comply with the NOV or vacate the property and pay the full penalty assessed in the NOV. Prior to a hearing on the complaint, the RIDEM and the Defendant entered into a Consent Order. The Defendant agreed to submit an application to the RIDEM within 30 days to install an OWTS or vacate the dwelling within 30 days if the Defendant fails to follow through on the installation. The Defendant also agreed to pay the full administrative penalty of $3,300.

July 28, 2015 - Multi Media/OWTS and Water Pollution/File Nos. OWTS CI 11-024 and WP 94-236 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-2090 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant Christine L. Carey for a property located at 12 Andrews Terrace, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 215 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a 6 bedroom, multi family dwelling. The Defendant owns the property. On May 9, 2011, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendant alleging that the Defendant violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations), Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Act, and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertained to the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling through a pipe to the bank of the Branch River and into the Branch River. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendant to reduce the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling, such as through the installation and use of water conservation devices and fixtures and install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to treat the wastewater from the dwelling in accordance with the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,300. The Defendant filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD, but later withdrew her appeal. The Defendant failed to comply with the NOV. On May 19, 2015, the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM asked the court to order the Defendant to comply with the NOV or vacate the property and pay the full penalty assessed in the NOV. Prior to a hearing on the complaint, the RIDEM and the Defendant entered into a Consent Order. The Defendant agreed to submit an application to the RIDEM within 30 days to install an OWTS or vacate the dwelling within 30 days if the Defendant fails to follow through on the installation. The Defendant also agreed to pay the full administrative penalty of $3,300.