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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > March 2010 Summary

 
March 2010 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 March 2010. 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 addressed to Leanne DeCosta at 401-222-4700 ext. 7218, fax 401-222-3810.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

March 2, 2010 - Water Pollution File No. 04-186 re: JF Realty LLC and Joseph Ferreira for property located at 290 Curran Road in the town of Cumberland. The property is owned by JF Realty LLC. The property includes an automobile salvage yard and a storm water conveyance system that discharges storm water from the property through two outfall pipes to Curran brook. JF Realty LLC leases the property to LKQ Advanced Auto Recycling, Inc., which was dissolved as a corporation on September 21, 2006. Joseph Ferreira is the president of LKQ Advanced Auto Recycling, Inc. OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the Rhode Island Water Pollution Act and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violation pertains to the discharge of pollutants (in the form of sediment) from the property to Curran brook. On November 20, 2009 OC&I inspected the property during a rain storm. The inspection revealed turbid water discharging from the two outfall pipes into Curran brook. Samples collected during the inspection were analyzed for turbidity and showed that the discharge from the pipes caused a violation of the water quality critieria for turbidity. The water quality criteria for turbidity for Curran brook is not to exceed 5 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTUs) over background. The turbidity of the water in Curran brook upstream of the outfall pipes was 1.6 NTUs and the turbidity of the water downstream of the outfall pipes was 6.8 NTUs. The turbidity of the water discharging from the outfall pipes ranged from 44.6-64.0 NTUs. In the NOV the Respondents were ordered to retain the services of a qualified environmental professional to evaluate the property, the storm water drainage system and the salvage yard operations to determine the cause of the violation, develop a plan to correct the violation, and upon approval by OC&I, implement the plan. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,670.00.

March 25, 2010 - Water Pollution File No. 10-006 re: Tiverton School Department. The Respondent owns and operates a wastewater treatment facility located at 100 North Brayton Road in the town of Tiverton. The facility treats sanitary wastewater from the Tiverton High School and the Tiverton Middle School. The Respondent is the holder of Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) Permit No. RI0100200. The permit authorizes the Respondent to discharge treated wastewater from the facility to a wooded marsh tributary to Sin and Flesh brook. The permit requires the Respondent to: take effluent wastewater samples at a later time than the influent wastewater samples; take effluent wastewater samples for laboratory analyses for biological oxygen demand (BOD5), total suspended solids (TSS), and fecal coliform bacteria weekly, total ammonia monthly, and total phosphorous, total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), total nitrate, and total nitrite quarterly; summarize monitoring results obtained during the previous month and report the results to RIDEM in a Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR); include with the DMR a copy of the analytical report; properly operate and maintain all components of the facility; take all reasonable steps to minimize or prevent any discharge which has a reasonable likelihood of adversely affecting human health or the environment; report to RIDEM within 24 hours of occurrence any violation or noncompliance which may endanger health or the environment, including daily maximum discharge limit violations; comply with the following discharge limits for BOD5: 15 milligrams per liter (mg/l) as a daily maximum, weekly average, and monthly average; comply with the following discharge limits for TSS: 15 mg/l for a daily maximum and a weekly average; and comply with the following discharge limits for total ammonia: 10.6 mg/l as a daily maximum, 1.66 mg/l as a monthly average (May through September), and 3.38 mg/l as a monthly average (October through April). On January 19, 2005 RIDEM issued an Order of Approval to the Respondent to construct an automated sodium biosulfate dechlorination system. The plans approved as part of the Order of Approval require the Respondent to inject sodium biosulfate into the wastewater at the inlet of the dechlorination tank and sample the wastewater at the outlet of the dechlorination tank. OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the Rhode Island Water Pollution Act, RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations, RIPDES Regulations, and Rules and Regulations for the Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Treatment Facilities. The violations pertain to the failure to comply with numerous provisions of the permit and the Order of Approval. On October 20, 2009 an inspection of the facility by RIDEM revealed the following: sodium biosulfate was being injected at the outlet of the dechlorination tank and wastewater was being sampled at the inlet of the dechlorination tank; the timer controls on the aeration system's air blowers' on/off cycles were not being adjusted to enhance system performance; and visual inspections (instead of a numerical control process) were being used to determine the amount of activated sludge to be returned to the aeration basin. RIDEM reviewed the DMRs and laboratory analytical reports from October 2008 through September 2009 and determined that the Respondent had 45 discharge limit violations for BOD5, TSS, and final ammonia; failed to correctly report data on the DMRs for 17 parameters; failed to notify RIDEM of violations of the maximum daily discharge limits within 24 hours; failed to take effluent wastewater samples at a later time than the influent wastewater samples for BOD5 and TSS for 15 weekly periods; failed to submit analytical laboratory results with the DMRs for BOD5, TSS and fecal coliform for two weekly periods; failed to submit analytical laboratory reports with the DMRs for total ammonia for three monthly periods; and failed to submit an analytical report with the DMR for total phosphorous, TKN, total nitrate, and total nitrite for one quarterly period. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondent to immediately report any violations of noncompliance which might endanger health or the environment, including violations of maximum daily limits and immediately comply with the sampling frequencies and hydraulic detention time sampling requirements in accordance with the permit. The NOV also ordered the Respondent to submit to OC&I within 30 days: revised DMRs to correct the data; the steps taken or that will be taken to comply with the permit, an updated operations and maintenance manual that includes revised procedures to ensure compliance with the permit; and a letter from a qualified consultant that the sodium biosulfate feed point and final effluent composite sample point are in the locations required in the Order of Approval. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $61,500.00.

March 2010 Septic System Notices of Violation issued by the OC&I:

The OC&I alleges that the Respondent(s) in all of the following referenced cases are in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems or the Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violations pertain to the overflow of sewage from the sewage disposal system that is located on the property to the surface of the ground. In each case OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce ("NIE") to the Respondent(s). The NIE required the Respondent(s) to take specific corrective actions to resolve the violation. In each case the Respondent(s) failed to comply with the requirements of the NIE. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent(s) to cease the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground, pump the system as needed to prevent overflows, and/or repair the system.

OC&I assessed the following administrative penalties against each named Respondent: Russell E. Dansereau ($1,400.00); Musa Abdul Karim ($1,400.00); Patricia A. Hall ($2,200.00); John Martin, Jr. ($2,200.00); and Stanley Irza ($1,600.00).

March 4, 2010 - Septic System File No. CI04-253 re: Russell E. Dansereau for property located at 3 Seneca Street, Assessor's Plat 39, Lot 13 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a dwelling that is owned by the Respondent.

March 18, 2010 - Septic System File CI09-024 re: Musa Abdul Karim for property located at 15 Boston Street, Assessor's Plat 63, Lot 184 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a dwelling and is owned by the Respondent.

March 18, 2010 - Septic System File CI09-076 re: Patricia A. Hall for property located at 73 Douglas Pike, Assessor's Plat 10, Lot 56 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a dwelling and is owned by the Respondent.

March 22, 2010 - Septic System File CI09-063 re: John Martin, Jr. for property located at 27 Church Street, Assessor's Plat 4, Lot 129 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a dwelling and is owned by the Respondent.

March 25, 2010 - Septic System File CI07-040 re: Stanley Irza for property located at 669 Winter Street, Assessor's Plat 20, Lot 69 in the city of Woonsocket. The property includes a dwelling and is owned by the Respondent.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

March 4, 2010 - Freshwater Wetland File No. 2008 2580 FW and C08-137 re: Arthur Saucier and Debra Nespolo for property located approximately 275 feet south of Buxton Street at utility pole no. 10 and approximately 600 feet southwest of its intersection with Homecrest Avenue, Assessor's Plat 1, Lot 43, in the town of North Smithfield. The property is owned by the Respondents. RIDEM issued a permit to alter freshwater wetlands to construct a single-family dwelling with a deck, gravel driveway, and private well on the property. The permit required the installation of permanent buffer zone markers to delineate the wetland edge. No work was allowed within freshwater wetlands beyond the markers. On November 10, 2008, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the Rhode Island Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertained to clearing and filling (in the form of soil and concrete house foundation) within a Swamp; clearing, grading, and filling (in the form of soil) within a 50 foot Perimeter Wetland associated with the Swamp; and physical relocation of the buffer zone markers in nonconformance with the permit. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of 4,275 square feet of Swamp and 4,265 square feet of 50-foot Perimeter Wetland associated with the Swamp. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to restore all altered freshwater wetlands on their property. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $12,500.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to restore the freshwater wetlands in accordance with a plan submitted to RIDEM on October 21, 2009. The plan requires the removal of all fill from the Swamp in the rear of the property and requires planting in most areas of the Perimeter Wetland. RIDEM allowed the Respondents to maintain fill in Swamp and Perimeter Wetland in the front of the property that was associated with the driveway for the dwelling. The Respondents agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $11,500.00 in two installments. The first installment of $6,000.00 was paid upon execution of the Agreement. The second installment of $5,500.00 is due on or before June 30, 2010.

March 8, 2010 - Air File No. 09-03 re: Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center for property located at 830 Chalkstone Avenue in the city of Providence. On December 16, 2009 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Air Pollution Control Regulation (APC) No. 9, entitled "Air Pollution Control Permits". The violation pertained to the installation of a 3M Steri-vac ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilizer without applying for or receiving a Minor Source Permit from RIDEM. The violation was first documented by RIDEM during an inspection on December 19, 2008. In correspondence dated February 12, 2009 the Respondent provided RIDEM with operational information for the sterilizer. The Respondent reported that EtO usage ranged from 14.0 pounds per year in 2003 to 12.72 pounds per year in 2008. APC Regulation No. 9 requires a permit for EtO usage over 1.0 pound per year. RIDEM issued a Notice of Alleged Violations (NOAV) to the Respondent on April 30, 2009. In response to the NOAV, the Respondent submitted a permit application and fee to RIDEM on June 9, 2009. In the NOV, OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,666.00. The Respondent did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to pay $1,166.00, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement.

March 24, 2010 - Freshwater Wetlands File No. 2007 552 FW re: Paul J. & Emily A. Neves for property located approximately 700 feet north of the intersection of Black Plain Road and Mattity Road and approximately 100 west of Black Plain Road, Assessor's Plat 11, Lot 246, formerly a portion of Assessor's Plat 11, Lot 145 in the town of North Smithfield. The property is owned by the Respondents. On March 24, 2008, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertained to clearing, filling (in the form of at least soil material), and creating soil disturbance within a Wetland Complex and Perimeter Wetland. The violations resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 8,000 square feet of the Wetland Complex and 12,250 square feet of Perimeter Wetland. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to cease and desist from any further unauthorized wetland alterations and to restore all freshwater wetlands. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $10,000.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to restore the altered wetlands in accordance with a plan submitted to OC&I on June 24, 2009 and pay $6,250.00 in four installments. The first installment of $3,130.00 was paid upon execution of the Agreement. The remaining three installments will be paid over the next three months.

March 29, 2010 - Multi Media-Hazardous Waste and Air/File Nos. 2007 1493 HW and Air 08-05 re: D & D Chrome Plating, Inc. for a facility located at 355 Dexter Street, Assessor's Plat 310, Lot 368 in the city of Providence. The Respondent operates a chrome electroplating process at the facility and is registered with RIDEM as a small quantity hazardous waste generator. On January 2, 2009, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management and RIDEM's Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 9 entitled "Air Pollution Control Permits". The hazardous waste violations pertained to the following: failure to properly label tanks holding hazardous waste; failure to indicate the accumulation start date for the waste held in the tanks; failure to conduct weekly inspections of the tanks; failure to maintain a minimum of two feet of freeboard within the tanks to prevent spillage of hazardous waste; failure to have a written contingency plan to respond to emergencies; failure to provide hazardous waste training to employees; failure to complete a small quantity generator report; and failure to properly label all containers holding hazardous waste. The air violations pertained to the unauthorized installation and operation of equipment (chrome electroplating) that is a stationary source of air pollutants without an approval from RIDEM. Inspections of the facility by OC&I in November 2007 and by OC&I and RIDEM's Office of Air Resources (OAR) in December 2007 revealed the violations. On March 11, 2008 OAR issued a Notice of Alleged Violations (NOAV) to the Respondent for failing to apply for and obtain a minor source permit from OAR prior to installation of the chrome electroplating process. The NOAV required the Respondent to submit an application and permit fee. The Respondent submitted the application, but it failed to submit the permit fee. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to comply with the hazardous waste regulations and immediately cease use of the chrome electroplating process and not operate the process without first obtaining a permit issued by OAR. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $51,906.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondent complied with the ordered actions in the NOV, with the exception of providing hazardous waste training to its employees. The Respondent provided Federal tax returns for the last three years to demonstrate an inability to pay any of the administrative penalty. 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 provide hazardous waste training to its employees within sixty days and pay $8,500.00 in thirteen installments. The first installment of $2,500.00 was paid upon execution of the Agreement. The remaining twelve installments will be paid over the next twelve months.

March 29, 2010 - Air File No. 08-13 re: T. Miozzi, Inc. for a facility located at 75 Airport Road in the town of Coventry. The Respondent operates a facility that manufactures asphalt. The Respondent was issued a permit by RIDEM's Office of Air Resources (OAR) on June 27, 2006 pursuant to RIDEM Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 9 entitled "Air Pollution Control Permits" for the facility's asphalt drum mix plant and a new ADM/BHS 272-10 bag house (Original Permit). On April 12, 2007 OAR issued a revised permit for the addition of an Astec Model 84-0263 bag house (Revised Permit). The Revised Permit revoked the approval pertaining to the ADM/BHS 272-10 bag house. On February 8, 2008 OAR issued a permit allowing the burning of alternative fuel at the facility (Current Permit). The Current Permit incorporated and included the permit conditions from the Original Permit and Revised Permit. On June 23, 2009 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 9. The violation pertained to the failure to comply with the Original Permit requirement to perform emissions testing no later than 180 days after the July 2006 initial start up and to provide OAR with an emissions testing protocol for review and approval prior to any compliance test. The violation further pertained to the Respondent's failure to demonstrate compliance with the Current Permit requirement to achieve an average NOx emissions concentration from the rotary drum dryer at or below 109 ppmv, corrected to 7 percent O2. On March 14, 2008 OAR issued a Notice of Alleged Violations to the Respondent for the failure to perform the emissions testing and submit the emissions testing protocol. The Respondent submitted the testing protocol and conducted the testing on August 15, 2008. The testing results indicated an average NOx emissions concentration of 145 ppmv, corrected to 7 percent O2. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to take any and all necessary measures to ensure compliance with the emissions limits in the Current Permit and conduct emissions testing of the burner of the rotary drum dryer for each fuel fired in the dryer to demonstrate compliance with the emissions limits of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. OC&I also assessed a penalty of $6,750.00. The Respondent did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD and complied with all the ordered actions in the NOV. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to pay $5,000.00, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

March 17, 2010 - Septic System File No. CI05-056 and Superior Court File No. PC09-4008 re: Plaintiff W. Michael Sullivan, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Ngar Chun Lew and OCWEN Loan Servicing, LLC for property located at 74 Hopkins Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 29, Lot 214 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a single family dwelling. On August 21, 2006 OC&&I issued an NOV to Defendant Ngar Chun Lew alleging that the Defendant violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. The violation pertained to the discharge of sewage from the septic system on the property to the surface of the ground. In the NOV the Defendant was ordered to pump the septic system as necessary to prevent overflows of sewage to the ground surface, retain a licensed designer to evaluate the cause of the septic system failure, and repair the septic system if necessary. OC&&I assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $3,000.00. The Defendant did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD, so the NOV automatically became a Final Compliance Order enforceable in Superior Court. On March 25, 2009 an inspection of the property by OC&&I revealed continuing sewage overflows at the property as evidenced by sewage odor, mild laundry odor, and tall grass and dead areas around the septic system. On July 14, 2009, RIDEM filed a complaint in the Superior Court. In the complaint RIDEM asked the court to order Defendant Ngar Chun Lew to immediately pump the septic system to prevent sewage from overflowing to the ground and continue such pumping until the septic system is repaired, reduce the discharge of sewage to the septic system, retain a contractor to connect the plumbing at the dwelling to the town's sanitary sewerage system, and pay the full penalty of $3,000.00 assessed in the NOV. Prior to a hearing on the complaint, the property was foreclosed on by OCWEN Loan Servicing, LLC. In the Court Order, Defendant OCWEN Loan Servicing, LLC was ordered to comply with the NOV within ninety days and pay $3,000.00 to RIDEM within thirty days.

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