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 June 2013. 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 email@example.com. 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.June 11, 2013 - Dam File No. 514 (Lake Aldersgate Dam) re: New England Conference of the United Methodist Church d/b/a Camp Aldersgate for property located approximately 4,000 feet northeast of the intersection of Chopmist Hill Road and Snake Hill Road and approximately 1,300 feet northwest of Snake Hill Road, in the town of Glocester. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by RIDEM as Significant Hazard. The Respondent owns the dam. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violation pertains to the Respondent's failure to maintain the dam in a safe condition. The dam was inspected on November 29, 2011. The inspection revealed that the entire downstream slope is covered in vines and deadfall that did not allow a proper inspection to be performed and that the embankment crest was being excavated to install a sewer line. The Respondent did not obtain approval from RIDEM for the excavation work. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to remove the vines 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. The report must provide a summary of the excavation work, which at a minimum must include information on the depth of the excavation, how the excavated area was filled and the type of fill used. The report must specify any specific actions necessary to return the dam to a safe condition and a schedule to complete the work. The OC&I did not assess an administrative penalty.
June 17, 2013 - Solid Waste File No. 02-001 re: New England Ecological Development, Inc. and Louis L. Vinagro, Jr. for property located at 23 Green Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 32, Lots 14, 21, 22 and 25 in the town of Johnston. On August 2, 2002 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act and multiple sections of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Composting Facilities and Solid Waste Management Facilities. The violations observed at the facility included at least the following: operating processing equipment without specific approval from RIDEM; drainage problems and standing water at the facility; leachate collection systems clogged and non-operational; operating a compost facility without the required registration/license; disposal of unauthorized solid waste within the facility's storage cells; unauthorized use of processed construction & demolition debris for berm construction and capping of the storage cells; increasing the height of the storage cells without approval of RIDEM; storage of solid waste outside of the protective structure of the transfer facility; excessive dust and waste storage violations; operating the facility in noncompliance with its operating and engineering plans; construction of unapproved berms to hold back wastes and use of inappropriate material to construct the berms; objectionable odors detected beyond the property line of the facility; late submission of the facility's air and water monitoring plan; failure to submit a plan for an active gas collection system for the facility; and failing to abide by the facility's operating plan approved by RIDEM. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondents to attain compliance with the law and the RIDEM's regulations and correct all the violations cited in the NOV. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $500,000.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The property is the subject of several RIDEM NOVs issued to New England Ecological Development Inc. (NEED) or Louis L. Vinagro, Jr. (Vinagro) and other civil actions alleging violations of Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act. NEED filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and as of the date of the signing of this Agreement is in receivership. Also, as a result of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cleanup of a solid waste landfill associated with a separate property owned by Vinagro on Green Hill Road, Vinagro is required to pay a multi-million dollar settlement to the EPA. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I received documents that show the Respondents do not have the financial means to comply with the Order section of the NOV or pay any portion of the penalty assessed in the NOV, and the OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to implement a surface emission and groundwater monitoring plan for the property and maintain a stable slope on the exterior berms. The Respondents also agreed to immediately notify RIDEM and implement corrective actions if the monitoring shows any exceedances of the RIDEM's regulatory standards.
June 18, 2013 - OWTS File No. 12-120 and CI 12-92 re: June E. Rowan for property located at 905 Joslin Road, Assessor's Plat 79, Lot 37 in the town of Burrillville. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. On March 8, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent 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. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent 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 $1,400.00. The Respondent did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondent repaired the OWTS and agreed to pay a penalty of $500.00, which was paid to the RIDEM, thereby resolving the NOV.
June 19, 2013 - OWTS File OWTS-12-43 and CI 11-107 re: KSM Realty, LLC for property located at 81 Read Avenue, Assessor's Plat 64, Lot 58 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. On November 2, 2012 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent 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. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent 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 $800.00. The Respondent did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondent fully complied with the NOV, thereby resolving the case.