June 2014 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 June 2014. 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:

June 10, 2014 - Freshwater Wetlands File No. OCI-FW-12-147 and FW C12-0127 re: Yonatan Mabat for property located immediately east of Quaker Lane, approximately 580 feet south-southeast of the intersection of Centerville Road (Route 177) and Quaker Lane, Assessor's Plat 241, Lot 33 in the city of Warwick. The Respondent owns the property. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertains to clearing in Swamp and Flood Plain and filling (in the form of at least soil material, crushed stone, and tree and shrub debris), clearing, grading and creating soil disturbance within a Riverbank Wetland, Perimeter Wetland associated with the Swamp, and Flood Plain. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 9,000 square feet of freshwater wetland. On October 1, 2012, November 20, 2012, April 26, 2013 and January 14, 2014 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On October 19, 2012 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violation. The notice required specific actions to correct the violation. The Respondent submitted a letter to the OC&I that was received on December 27, 2012 stating his intention to comply with the notice. The Respondent was present during the April 26, 2013 inspection and again stated to the inspector that he intended to correct the violation. The Respondent failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease and desist from any further alteration of the freshwater wetlands and restore the altered wetlands. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,000.

June 16, 2014 - Hazardous Waste File No. OCI-HW-13-122 re: New England Union Co., Inc. for a facility located at 107 Hay Street in the town of West Warwick. The Respondent is registered with the RIDEM as a large quantity hazardous waste generator at the facility. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste (Hazardous Waste Regulations) and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR). The violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to: complete a waste determination on 1 container holding a broken furnace liner, broken crucible and sand generated at the facility; prevent the release of foundry sand to the ground outside one of the facility buildings; mark 9 containers holding foundry sand with an accumulation start date; keep 5 containers holding foundry sand closed except when adding or removing waste; and label 3 containers holding used oil and 1 container holding used oil solids with the words "used oil". The OC&I inspected the facility on December 11, 2013 and documented the violations. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to come into compliance with the RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations and 40 CFR. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $30,000.

June 23, 2014 - Hazardous Waste File No. OCI-HW-13-114 re: Geib Refining Corporation for a facility located at 399 Kilvert Street in the city of Warwick. The Respondent is registered with the RIDEM as a large quantity hazardous waste generator at the facility. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste (Hazardous Waste Regulations) and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR). The violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to: label and keep closed except when adding or removing waste two (2) one gallon containers holding nitric acid; store one 55 gallon satellite accumulation container holding nitric acid as the point of generation; and provide annual training to company employees who handle hazardous waste. The OC&I inspected the facility on November 15, 2013 and documented the violations. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to come into compliance with the RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations and 40 CFR. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $17,094.

June 24, 2014 - Underground Storage Tank File No. 2014-24-00535 re: Ahmed Choudhry for property located at 5300 Post Road in the town of Charlestown. The property includes a former gasoline service station and 2 underground storage tanks (USTs or tanks) used for the storage of petroleum products (facility). ASAD ALI, LLC owns the property. On January 17, 2014 the Rhode Island Secretary of State revoked the Certificate of Organization/Registration for ASAD ALI, LLC. The Respondent is the last known president of the corporation. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). The violations pertain to the failure to: pay UST registration fees; investigate a release of petroleum; and permanently close USTs that are abandoned. On March 7, 2013 the RIDEM received a site investigation report for the property (SIR). The SIR revealed that 1 groundwater monitoring well on the property has levels of ethylbenzene and toluene in the groundwater that exceed the RIDEM's Groundwater Quality Rules. On April 2, 2013 the RIDEM issued a letter to the Respondent that required the Respondent to implement a quarterly monitoring program and submit quarterly analytical reports to the RIDEM (Corrective Action Plan). On or about December 6, 2013 the RIDEM issued an invoice to the Respondent for payment of registration fees for the USTs. The invoice stated that the registration fees have not been paid since calendar year 2006 and that the Respondent owes registration fees and late fees of $1,540. The invoice required immediate payment of the fees. On February 20, 2014 the RIDEM inspected the facility and reviewed the facility file. Based on the inspection and file review, the RIDEM determined that the USTs are abandoned. As of the date of the NOV, the Respondent has failed to implement the Corrective Action Plan or pay the fees owed. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondent to achieve compliance with the RIDEM's UST Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $13,270.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

June 13, 2014 - Dam File No. 187 (Middle Pond Dam) re: Michael E. Soucy and Roberta Soucy for property located north of Dawn Lane, east of Knotty Oak Road (Route 116) and west of Benoit Street in the town of Coventry. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by the RIDEM as Significant Hazard. The Respondents own the dam. On July 30, 2012 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violation pertained to the Respondents' failure to maintain the dam in a safe condition and the failure to register the dam. The dam was inspected on May 24, 2010. The inspection revealed the following conditions: vegetation on the upstream side and crest of the dam that did not allow a proper inspection to be performed; a sloughed and failed section of the crest and downstream side of the embankment; an improperly maintained primary spillway, specifically, compressed culver pipes, no headwalls, undermining of pipes, erosion and the outlet end of the pipes, and subject to clogging with debris; and an improperly maintained auxiliary spillway, specifically trees and brush with deadfall that could obstruct flow. The OC&I considered the dam unsafe because of the excessive vegetation, the sloughed embankment, and the improperly maintained spillways. On May 23, 2012, the OC&I issued a certified letter to the Respondents that included a registration form for the dam. The Respondents were required to complete and return the form to the OC&I by June 13, 2012. The Respondents failed to provide the registration form to the OC&I. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to submit the registration form, clear the embankment and spillway of vegetation, retain a professional engineer to inspect the dam (that had to include an evaluation of the primary spillway and sloughed section of 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 OC&I did not assess an administrative penalty. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondents complied with the Order section of the NOV to resolve the NOV.

June 17, 2014 - Dam File No. 023 (Smith & Sayles Reservoir Dam) re: Sand Dam Reservoir Association for property located approximately 3,400 feet southwest of the intersection of Main Street (Route 44) and Chestnut Hill Road, immediately south of Chestnut Hill Road, in the town of Glocester. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by the RIDEM as Significant Hazard. The Respondent owns the dam. On January 2, 2014 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 July 26, 2012. The inspection revealed vegetation on the upstream embankment and downstream embankment that did not allow a proper inspection to be performed. The OC&I considered the dam unsafe because of the vegetation that inhibited a proper inspection. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to remove the vegetation, retain a professional engineer to inspect the dam, 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 OC&I did not assess an administrative penalty. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent complied with the Order section of the NOV to resolve the NOV.

June 19, 2014 - 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 the RIDEM as Significant Hazard. The Respondent owns the dam. On June 11, 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 29, 2011. The inspection revealed that the entire downstream slope was 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 the 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 had to provide a summary of the excavation work, which at a minimum had to include information on the depth of the excavation, how the excavated area was filled and the type of fill used. The report had to include 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. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent complied with the Order section of the NOV to resolve the NOV.

June 20, 2014 - Underground Storage Tank File No. 2013-097-02122 re: Ruth E. Mansi and Apple Valley Car Wash, Inc. for property located at 6 Cedar Swamp Road in the town of Smithfield. The property includes a motor fuel filling station and 2 underground storage tanks (USTs or tanks) used for the storage of petroleum products (facility). Ruth E. Mansi owns the property. Apple Valley Car Wash, Inc. operates the facility. On April 17, 2014 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). The violation pertained to the failure to submit a completed Certified UST Facility Operators Registration Form to the RIDEM to verify that trained and certified UST facility operators were assigned to the facility prior to August 1, 2012 and on duty at the facility during all operating hours. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the RIDEM's UST Regulations within 60 days. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5,000. The Respondents failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. The Respondents complied with the Order section of the NOV and agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $1,250, which was paid to resolve the NOV.

June 20, 2014 - Hazardous Waste File No. 13-29 re: David Vigliotti and Anthony Caprio (d/b/a Empire Auto Body) for a property located at 2151B Hartford Avenue in the town of Johnston. The property includes a building in which an automobile body repair business operates (the facility). The facility is operated by the Respondents. Empire Auto Body is registered with the RIDEM as a small quantity hazardous waste generator at the facility. On December 6, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste (Hazardous Waste Regulations) and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR). The violations pertained to the following: failure to obtain a permit from the DEM prior to treating or disposing of hazardous waste; improper disposal of used oil to the land; improper labeling; failure to keep containers closed; failing to transport used oil using a licensed transporter; and failure to test and maintain fire protection equipment. The OC&I inspected the facility on February 21, 2013. The inspection revealed that the Respondents were storing waste paints and thinner in a 5 gallon container that was open and unlabeled. The inspection also revealed that the Respondents were storing used oil in a 30 gallon container and two 5 gallon containers that were not properly labeled. The inspector spoke with David Vigliotti at the time of the inspection. Mr. Vigliotti stated that: no hazardous waste has been shipped off site in years; he pours liquid paint waste into a 5 gallon container and once it dries out places the container in a dumpster used for solid waste; used oil is taken by a person who burns it for energy recovery at his business; and used automobile filters are drained and disposed in the solid waste dumpster. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to come into compliance with the RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations and 40 CFR. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $29,160. The Respondents failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. The Respondents complied with the Order section of the NOV, and the OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $7,597.50. The Respondents paid $1,597.50 upon signing the Agreement, and agreed to pay the remaining penalty in 24 monthly payments of $250 beginning on July 15, 2014.

June 30, 2014 - Air File No. 13-07 re: Copar Quarries of Westerly, LLC for a property located at 271 Church Street in the town of Westerly. The Respondent operates a stone quarry at the property. On August 21, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 5 - Fugitive Dust. The violation pertained to the airborne transmission of dust beyond the property line of the quarry. On May 7, 2013, the OC&I inspected the quarry and surrounding neighborhood in response to complaints regarding fugitive dust. The inspector determined that fugitive dust from the quarry had traveled beyond the property line of the quarry. The inspector positioned his vehicle downwind of the quarry along Quarry Road such that the windshield could collect dust from the quarry that carried on the wind. The windshield was fully cleaned and, after 45 minutes, the inspector performed a short hand swipe over the windshield and noted that his hand had glistening particles that he attributed to dust from the quarry. Based on the wind direction and location of the vehicle, the quarry was the only source of dust detected. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to develop a plan (for the OC&I's review and comment) to comply with the RIDEM's air pollution regulation and submit the plan to the OC&I within 2 weeks. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,500. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. On September 24, 2013 and April 21, 2014 the Respondent submitted to the RIDEM a plan and addendum to resolve the order section of the NOV (the Plan). Prior to an administration hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent advised the RIDEM that as of the signing of the Agreement it is fully compliant with the Plan and that it has taken adequate precautions consistent with good industrial practice to control dust from traveling beyond the property line of the facility, which are included in the Plan. The Respondent agreed to implement and abide by the Plan and pay an administrative penalty of $1,000, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

June 13, 2014 - OWTS File No. CI04-0152 and Superior Court File No. PC 14-3007 re: Plaintiff, Janet Plaintiff L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Phillip J. Martin and Rhonda M. Martin for property located at 85 Burgess Drive, Assessor's Plat 343, Lot 425 in the city of Warwick. The property includes a single family dwelling. On December 4, 2006 the RIDEM issued a NOV to the Defendants alleging certain violations of the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. The violations pertained to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) on the property to the surface of the ground and the discharge of laundry waste to the surface of the ground. In the NOV the Defendants were ordered to pump the OWTS as necessary to prevent overflows of sewage to the ground surface, immediately and permanently cease the laundry discharge, retain a licensed designer to evaluate the cause of the OWTS failure, and repair the OWTS if necessary. The RIDEM assessed an administrative penalty of $1,600. The Defendants filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. The Defendants installed low flow water fixtures to reduce the flow of water to the OWTS and discontinued the use of the washing machine at the dwelling. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Defendants and the RIDEM executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Defendants agreed to connect the plumbing for the dwelling to the municipal sewer within 30 days of notification of the availability of sewers, keep the OWTS pumped as often as necessary to prevent overflows of sewage to the surface of the ground and pay an administrative penalty of $800, which was paid. On March 20, 2014 the RIDEM inspected the property. The inspection revealed that the Defendants were using the washing machine and that sewage was evident on the surface of the ground from the OWTS. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM is asking the Court to order the Defendants to immediately pump the OWTS, immediately cease use of the washing machine and within 30 days vacate the dwelling and keep the dwelling vacant until such time that the plumbing for the dwelling can be connected to public sewers or the OWTS is repaired in accordance with the RIDEM's regulations.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

June 1, 2014 - LUST File No. 00-28204 and Superior Court File No. PC 13-2717 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Mario V. Martone, Rose Martone and Mario's Towing for property located at 430 Charles Street, Assessor's Plat 76, Lot 503 in the city of Providence. The property was formerly operated as a gasoline service station and had 7 underground storage tanks (USTs or tanks) located on the property. The tanks were used for the storage of diesel, gasoline, heating and waste oil petroleum products. On September 14, 2009 all the tanks were permanently closed, as witnessed by the RIDEM; however, the RIDEM observed evidence of petroleum products in the soil. On September 28, 2000 the RIDEM issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated the RIDEM's Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations) and the RIDEM's Oil Pollution Control Regulations. The violations pertained to the Defendants' failure to: perform precision testing for the tanks for 1990 through 1998, install spill containment basins for 2 tanks; install overfill protection for 5 tanks; and remove and dispose of petroleum contaminated soil. In the NOV the RIDEM ordered the Defendants to correct the violations in accordance with the RIDEM's UST Regulations and the RIDEM's Oil Pollution Control Regulations. The RIDEM assessed an administrative penalty of $64,980. The Defendants failed to file an appeal of the NOV and failed to comply with the NOV. On June 6, 2013 the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court against the Defendants. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM asked the court to order the Defendants to comply with the NOV, including payment of the administrative penalty. Prior to a hearing on the complaint, the Defendants complied with the Order section of the NOV and the RIDEM and the Defendants entered an order that was signed by the Court to resolve the complaint. The Defendants were able to demonstrate through financial records that they only had the ability to pay about $6,000. The Defendants agreed to pay $6,000 in 24 monthly payments of $250 beginning on April 1, 2014.