March 2022 Enforcement Action Summary

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued
Formal Enforcement Actions Settled or Resolved
Superior Court Actions Filed
Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved

This report includes formal enforcement actions issued or resolved by the Office of Compliance & Inspection (OC&I) for March 2022. 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 the OC&I used to determine the penalty, and, by law, allows a respondent the ability to appeal or contest the NOV to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) Administrative Adjudication Division (AAD). Since most NOVs are contested cases, the OC&I 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 the RIDEM's Office of Customer and Technical Assistance. The OC&I often resolve formal enforcement actions through negotiated settlement agreements prior to hearing before the AAD.

Media inquiries should be addressed to Jay Wegimont at 401-222-4700 ext. 2772402. Requests for file reviews should be emailed to Angela Spadoni at 401-222-4700 ext. 2777307, fax 401-222-3810. Please note that formal case names appearing in blue text are linked to a PDF version of the unsigned document.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

March 1, 2022 – Onsite Wastewater Treatment System File No. OCI-OWTS-14-258 re: Estate of Michael Vacca, Estate of Luigi Vacca, Lisa Fields, Lynne Worthington, and John Vacca for a property located at 1109/1111 Succotash Road, Assessor's Plat I-J, Lot 47 in Narragansett, Rhode Island. The property includes two residential dwellings that are served by a cesspool. Respondents own the property. OC&I alleges that Respondents violated Rhode Island’s Cesspool Phase Out Act and Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. View the NOV.

March 9, 2022 – Freshwater Wetland File No. OCI-FW-21-114 and FWW Application 20-0133 re: PADULA BUILDERS, INC. for property located approximately 85 feet southeast from East Greenwich Avenue at Utility Pole #9098 and approximately 265 feet southwest from the intersection of East Greenwich Avenue and Dogwood Drive, Assessor’s Plat 30, Lot 17 in West Warwick, Rhode Island. On July 20, 2020, RIDEM issued a determination letter to Respondent consisting of an approved plan and conditions regarding a proposed housing development project. The letter required Respondent to install permanent buffer markers along the limit of disturbance, install erosion and sediment controls and not perform any work within freshwater wetlands. OC&I alleges that Respondent violated the terms of the letter and Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. View the NOV.

Formal Enforcement Actions Settled or Resolved:

March 7, 2022 – Underground Storage Tank File No. OCI-UST-19-39-00642 re: MARTINS ACQUISITIONS, LLC and MARTINS PETROLEUM, INC. for property located at 481 Warren Avenue, Assessor’s Map 307, Block 36, Parcel 18 in East Providence, Rhode Island. The property includes a convenience store and a motor fuel filling station (facility). MARTINS ACQUISITIONS, LLC owns the property. MARTINS PETROLEUM, INC. operates the facility. On February 22, 2021, OC&I issued a NOV to Respondents alleging that Respondents violated Rhode Island’s Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials. View the NOV. Respondents did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Respondents fully complied with the NOV, including payment of the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

March 7, 2022 – Water Pollution File No. OCI-WP-17-15 and RIPDES Permit RI0100111 re: City of Woonsocket and SYNAGRO WOONSOCKET, LLC for a wastewater treatment facility located on Cumberland Hill Road in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The facility includes a sewage sludge incinerator. The City of Woonsocket (Woonsocket) owns the facility. SYNAGRO WOONSOCKET, LLC (Synagro) operates the incinerator under a long-term lease with Woonsocket. On September 18, 2008, RIDEM issued a permit to Woonsocket to discharge treated wastewater from the facility to Blackstone River. The permit requires that Woonsocket meet limits for nitrogen, ammonia and phosphorous. On October 10, 2014, RIDEM issued an approval to Synagro to operate the incinerator. The approval requires Synagro to operate the incinerator in a manner that does not cause the facility to violate its limits for nitrogen and phosphorous. On July 10, 2018, OC&I issued a NOV to Respondents alleging that Woonsocket and Synagro violated the permit and approval, respectively, and Rhode Island’s Water Pollution Act, Water Quality Regulations, Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and Rules and Regulations for Sewage Sludge Management. View the NOV. Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, OC&I and Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. View the Agreement.

March 10, 2022 – Underground Storage Tank File No. OCI-UST-18-27-02082 re: Maria Esquiaqui, Elizabeth Esquiaqui and Columbia Auto Service, Corp. for property located at 1156 (also identified as 1160) Westminster Street, Assessor’s Plat 32, Lot 529 in Providence, Rhode Island. The property includes a motor fuel storage and dispensing system and underground storage tanks that are used for storage of petroleum product (facility). Maria Esquiaqui and Elizabeth Esquiaqui own the property. Columbia Auto Service, Corp. operates the facility. On March 6, 2019, OC&I issued a NOV to Respondents alleging that Respondents violated Rhode Island’s Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Regulated Substances and Hazardous Materials. View the NOV. Respondents did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Respondents fully complied with the NOV, including payment of the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

March 15, 2022 – Water Pollution File No. OCI-WP-15-80 and RIPDES Permit RI0100072 re: City of Pawtucket. The City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island owns and operates a wastewater collection system that discharges wastewater to a wastewater treatment facility in East Providence, Rhode Island that is owned and operated by the Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC). On December 31, 2001, RIDEM issued a permit to NBC. The permit authorized NBC to discharge wastewater from combined sewer outfall (CSO) 203A to the waters of the State. The permit prohibited the dry weather discharge of wastewater from CSO 203A. On February 1, 2007, the permit expired. NBC submitted a timely and complete permit reapplication to RIDEM and in accordance with Rhode Island’s Regulations for the Pollutant Discharge Elimination System the expired permit remained in full force and effect and was fully enforceable. On March 10, 2020, OC&I issued a NOV to Respondent alleging that Respondent violated Rhode Island’s Water Pollution Act and Water Quality Regulations. View the NOV. Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, OC&I and Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. View the Agreement.

March 28, 2022 – Onsite Wastewater Treatment System File No. OCI-OWTS-14-258 re: Estate of Michael Vacca, Estate of Luigi Vacca, Lisa Fields, Lynne Worthington, and John Vacca for a property located at 1109/1111 Succotash Road, Assessor's Plat I-J, Lot 47 in Narragansett, Rhode Island. The property includes two residential dwellings that are served by a cesspool. Respondents own the property. On March 1, 2022, OC&Iissued a NOV to Respondents alleging that Respondents violated Rhode Island’s Cesspool Phase Out Act and Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. View the NOV. Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, OC&I and Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. View the Agreement.

Superior Court Actions Filed:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

March 16, 2022 – On Site Wastewater Treatment System File No. OCI-OWTS-19-15 and Superior Court File No. PC-2021-03968 re: Plaintiff, Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant George Brennan for property located at 193 Simmonsville Avenue, Assessor's Plat 28, Lot 93 in Johnston, Rhode Island. The property includes a single-family residence that is served by an onsite wastewater treatment system. Defendant owns the property. On May 24, 2019, OC&I issued a NOV to Defendant alleging that Defendant violated Rhode Island’s Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. View the NOV. Defendant did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD and did not comply with the NOV. On June 14, 2021, RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court against Defendant asking the Court to order Defendant to comply with the NOV. View the Complaint. Prior to a hearing on the Complaint, Defendant complied with the Order section of the NOV and RIDEM and Defendant filed a Consent Order that was signed by the Court. The Consent Order requires Defendant to pay a penalty of $1,200 in monthly installments of $100 beginning on March 1, 2022.