Actions Settled or Resolved
This report includes formal enforcement actions issued or resolved by the Office of Compliance & Inspection for the month of May 2001. 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.
May 15, 2001 - OC&I/UST File No. 00-01961 re: Kacheg Topalian, Edward Breault and Duke Doan d/b/a Sunnyhill Farm for property located at 364 Dexter Street, Assessor's Plat 6, lot 3, Central Falls. The OC&I alleges in a 1st Amended NOV that the Respondents violated sections of RIDEM's Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (" the UST Regulations"). These violations pertain to corrosion protection upgrade requirements for UST systems, precision-testing requirements, and requirements to install overfill protection. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations and assessed a penalty of $20,190.00. A previous NOV was issued to Respondents Kacheg Topalian and Edward Breault on September 12, 2000. This matter was heard before the AAD. The 1st Amended NOV is the result of a decision from the AAD allowing OC&I to add Duke Doan as a Respondent to the enforcement action.
May 4, 2001 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 99-028 re: The Town of Westerly for property located on Westerly-Bradford Road (Rte. 91) involving the Town's Transfer Station and the Town's Public Works Garage located at 8 Springbrook Road in Westerly. The OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent on December 30, 1999 alleging violations of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Protection of the Environment) and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management. The OC&I alleged that its investigation of the Respondent revealed multiple violations pertaining to the improper management and handling of hazardous waste. The violations involved offering hazardous waste to an unlicensed storage or disposal facility, offering hazardous waste for transport by an unlicensed transporter, transporting hazardous waste without proper manifests, improper storage of hazardous waste without a containment system for spill control, failing to keep containers of hazardous waste closed, failing to properly mark or label containers, failing to conduct weekly inspections of containers, failing to develop a hazardous waste contingency plan, failing to conduct training for personnel dealing with hazardous waste and failing to submit the names of agents authorized to sign hazardous waste manifests. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $35,342.40. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing the OC&I and the Respondent executed a consent agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent was brought into full compliance with the regulations and agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $20,272.00 on or before July 31, 2001.
May 10, 2001 - OC&I/Septic System File No. C192-41 re: Santo N. Lombardi for property located at 36 Highland Avenue, otherwise identified as Assessor's Plat 104, Lot 11 in the Town of Coventry. On February 14, 1994, the RIDEM issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated sections of DEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (the "ISDS Regulations") by allowing sewage to discharge to the surface of the ground from the septic system at the property. The RIDEM ordered the Respondent to immediately have the system pumped by a licensed septage hauler; continue such pumping until the system is repaired; immediately take steps to reduce the discharge of sewage to the system and commence work on repair to the system. The RIDEM assessed a penalty of $3,000. The Respondent failed to comply with the NOV and the RIDEM filed an action in Superior Court. The Respondent repaired the septic system in December 1998. The OC&I continued to require payment of the penalty. The penalty of $3,000.00 was paid and the OC&I released the NOV on May 10, 2001.
May 11, 2001 - OC&I/UST File No. 00-00542 re: DB Marketing Company, Inc. et al for Smith Street Sunoco located at 1815 Smith Street, Assessor's Plat 16, Lot 988, in the Town of North Providence. On November 20, 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV alleging that the Respondents violated Sections 12.01 and 12.04 of the UST Regulations prohibiting substantial modification of UST systems without prior written notification to and approval by the Director. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $2,500.00. The Respondents appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing the Respondents and the OC&I executed a consent agreement to resolve the enforcement action wherein it was acknowledged that the Respondents provided appropriate documentation to ensure that cathodic protection upgrades are present on the USTs and that RIDEM approval for the upgrades are now in place. The Respondents agreed to a penalty of $1,250.00.
May 14, 2001 - OC&I/RCRA File No. 99-042 re: Portland Transmission Company located at 290 Smith Street, Assessor's Plat 67, Lot 91 in the City of Providence. On December 14, 1999, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rule 5.08 of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management by failing to determine if wastes produced by the generator meet the definition of a hazardous waste. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $4,400.00. The Respondent did not request a hearing at AAD. Prior to proceeding to Superior Court, the Respondent tested all of its waste and found that the wastes generated on site are not hazardous. To resolve the enforcement action, the Respondent and the OC&I executed a consent agreement wherein the Respondent agreed to a penalty of $800.00.
May 21, 2001 - OC&I/UST File No. 99-01096 re: The City of Cranston relating to the Aqueduct Pumping Station located at 430 Scituate Avenue, Assessor's Plat 20/2, Lot 2122 in the City of Cranston. On March 9, 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Providence Water Supply Board, The City of Providence and the City of Cranston alleging violations of RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations alleged against the City of Cranston related to precision testing, spill containment basins and overfill protection that occurred during the City's operation of the facility up until January 1997. The OC&I ordered compliance with the Regulations by all Respondents and assessed an overall penalty in the NOV of $14,338.00. The City of Cranston appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the OC&I and the City executed a consent agreement to resolve the NOV against the City of Cranston. The City agreed to a penalty of $7,063.40. A portion of this penalty ($720.00) will be in the form of a Supplemental Environmental Project ("SEP") for an Above Ground Storage Tank training program for City employees. The remaining portion of the penalty ($6,343.40) has been paid to the RIDEM.
May 21, 2001 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI96-303 re: David J. & Elaine M. Moniz relating to property located at 72 Walnut Street, Assessor's Map 9-7, Block 27, Card 8a in the Town of Tiverton. On December 28, 1999, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that they violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems ("the ISDS Regulations"). The violations related to the Respondents allowing the overflow or spillage of sewage on or to the surface of the ground on at least four occasions. The OC&I ordered compliance with the ISDS Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $4,000.00. The Respondents appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondents corrected the violation by connecting the sewerage system from the property to the public sewerage system in July 2000. Following correction of the violation, the Respondents were able to document to the OC&I their inability to pay the penalty. The OC&I released the NOV on May 21, 2001.
May 22, 2001 - OC&I/UST File No. 00-03176 re: Mohamad Nabil Sasa, Sasa Service, Inc., B&A Petroleum, Inc., Afif Khoury, and Ronald A. Acciardo for property located at 2862 Hartford Avenue, Assessor's Plat 57, lot 61 in the Town of Johnston. On September 28, 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that Respondents violated sections of RIDEM's UST Regulations pertaining to corrosion protection upgrade requirements, precision testing, and installation of spill containment basins. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $23,180.00. The Respondents appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondents met with the OC&I and were able to provide documentation and information not readily available to the RIDEM that compliance with the UST Regulations had actually been met prior to issuance of the NOV. Based upon documentation received, the OC&I agreed to release the NOV.
May 31, 2001 - OC&I/UST File No. 00-01747 re: George F. O'Neill, Stephen J. O'Neill, and George's Service Station, Inc. for property located at 125 Plainfield Street, Assessor's Plat 105, Lots 391 and 392 in the City of Providence. On May 25, 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated sections of RIDEM's UST Regulations pertaining to precision testing requirements and the installation of spill containment basins. The OC&I ordered compliance with the Regulations and assessed a penalty of $38,210.00. The Respondents appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondents and the OC&I executed a consent agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondents have removed the USTs from the property. The OC&I agreed to reduce the penalty to $12,000.00 based upon the Respondent's inability to pay the assessed penalty.