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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > May 2007 Summary

 
May 2007 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 May 2007. 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:

May 10, 2007 - OC&I/AIR File No. 07-04 re: Gem Cleaners, LLC for its facility located at 1478 Atwood Avenue in the Town of Johnston. The Respondent operates a dry cleaning machine at this location which uses perchloroethylene ("PCE") as a cleaning solvent. PCE is a listed toxic air contaminant by RIDEM. The facility is co-located with a business that sells food or food products. Respondent's dry cleaning machine is subject to RIDEM's Air Pollution Control ("APC") Regulation No. 23 entitled "Control of Perchloroethylene Emissions from Dry Cleaning Operations". RIDEM's Office of Air Resources ("OAR") conducted inspections of the Respondent's facility on 24 May 2004, 11 August 2005 and 28 March 2006 and repeatedly found that the Respondent was in noncompliance with specific equipment, inspection and recordkeeping requirements of APC Regulation No. 23. The OAR issued correspondence to the Respondent informing the Respondent on or about 29 June 2004, 23 August 2005 and 6 June 2006 that Respondent was found to be in noncompliance with the applicable APC Regulation and was required to achieve compliance. The OC&I alleges in its NOV that the Respondent is in violation of multiple sections of APC Regulation No. 23. The violations pertain to Respondent's failure to upgrade its dry cleaning machine to a closed-loop dry-to-dry machine equipped with a refrigerated condenser, a secondary carbon adsorber and a drying sensor, or install a vapor barrier that meets regulatory requirements; failure to place dikes, berms or other containment devices in areas where spills are most likely to occur to prevent spilled PCE from reaching floor drains or permeable flooring or ensure that floor drains and flooring in the vicinity of the dry cleaning machine are sealed so as to be impermeable to PCE; failure to conduct weekly inspections for liquid and vapor leaks; failure to record the temperature of the air-vapor stream as measured by the temperature gauge at least once per week; failure to maintain a log of PCE purchases, dates of purchase and purchase receipts; and failure to maintain a record of the number of loads dry cleaned each calendar month. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease using its current dry cleaning machine until compliance is achieved with APC Regulation No. 23 and compliance has been confirmed by the RIDEM. A penalty in the amount of $17,500.00 was assessed for Respondent's noncompliance.

May 21, 2007 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI 03-0035 re: Kenneth J. Adams for property located at 3 Montauk Avenue, Assessor's Plat 165, Lots 213 and 140 and Atlantic Avenue, Assessor's Plat 165, Lot 214 (collectively, the "properties") in the Town of Westerly. Lot 213 includes a residential one story dwelling ("cottage") that is connected to a cesspool ("cottage cesspool"). Lot 214 includes two separate structures. The first structure is an eight unit motel that includes four motel units, four efficiency units, an office, and a storage area that are connected to an individual sewage disposal system ("ISDS") for the motel ("motel ISDS"). The second structure is a two unit motel that is connected to the cottage cesspool. The properties are owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of 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 pertain to the following: for the 8 unit motel, the construction of four efficiency units and connection of the plumbing from the efficiency units to the motel ISDS (that was not designed to accommodate the additional flow from the efficiency units); for the 2 unit motel, connecting the plumbing to the cottage cesspool without approval by DEM and installing an outside cold/hot water shower that discharges waste to the surface of the ground; and for the cottage, the construction of the cottage cesspool without approval by DEM. The Respondent was advised by DEM on numerous occasions from 1984 to present that the motel ISDS was not adequate for the efficiency units and that a new approved ISDS had to be installed for this use. DEM approved applications submitted by the Respondent in 1984 and 1993 for a new ISDS; however, the Respondent did not install an ISDS. The Respondent submitted an application to DEM for a new ISDS in 2005 to treat the flow from all the structures on the properties; however, DEM returned the application as deficient, and the Respondent did not resubmit the application to DEM. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to immediately cease further use of the cottage cesspool, the outside shower, and the efficiency units, permanently cap all plumbing fixtures, and have the cottage cesspool pumped by a licensed septage hauler and filled with clean gravel. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,800.00.

May 22, 2007 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetlands File No. C05-0240 re: Shirley Ellis & Ronald A. McNabb for property located approximately 150 feet north of Church Street, at utility pole number 46/324, approximately 1200 feet west of its intersection with New Kings Factory Road, Assessor's Plat 11A, Lot 39, in the Town of Richmond. The property is owned by the Respondents. OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the Freshwater Wetland Act and RIDEM's Freshwater Wetland Regulations. The violation pertains to filling (in the form of gravel and sand), installing a garage foundation, a canopy structure, associated building materials, clearing and creating soil disturbance activities within a 50-foot Perimeter Wetland associated with a Swamp and within a 100-foot Riverbank Wetland associated with a Stream. The activities resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 4,225 square feet of Freshwater Wetlands. On December 29, 2005, OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce ("NOI") to the Respondents requiring restoration of the altered wetlands. The Respondents submitted a letter to OC&I on April 25, 2006 agreeing to partially restore the altered wetlands. On May 3, 2006, an inspection performed by OC&I revealed an additional unauthorized activity involving the installation of approximately 80 linear feet of stockade fence. On June 28, 2006 and November 3, 2006, inspections conducted by OC&I revealed that the restoration work required in the NOI was not completed. In the NOV the Respondents were ordered to restore all freshwater wetlands. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,000.00.

May 31, 2007 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetlands File No. C06-0088 re: Janet Rady & Jeffrey Vaillancourt for property located approximately 80 feet south of Wood River Drive, at utility pole number 8, approximately 100 feet west of the intersection of Wood River Drive and Valley Lodge Drive, Assessor's Plat 3B, Lot 4-1A, in the Town of Richmond. The property is currently owned by Janet Rady. Jeffrey Vaillancourt is Ms. Rady's son-in-law and was involved in work at the property. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the Freshwater Wetland Act and RIDEM's Freshwater Wetland Regulations. The violations pertain to clearing, grading, and filling (in the form of chipped wood, soil material, stumps, and slash) within a 200-foot Riverbank Wetland and 50-foot Perimeter Wetland. The activities resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 3,500 square feet of Riverbank Wetland. On July 14, 2006 OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NOI) to Janet Rady requiring restoration of the altered wetlands. On December 29, 2006, OC&I performed an inspection that revealed additional unauthorized activities within the previously altered Freshwater Wetlands and also revealed construction of a house foundation in a location not authorized by a permit issued by RIDEM on May 27, 2004. OC&I issued a Cease and Desist Order to the contractor conducting work on the property. Mr. Vaillancourt spoke with the OC&I supervisor on several occasions to obtain guidance on what action was necessary to resolve the violations, and he agreed to restore the altered wetlands as required in the NOI. On January 17, 2007, OC&I performed an inspection that revealed that certain corrective actions had been taken by Respondents; however, the Respondents did not fully comply with the NOI by failing to plant altered regulated wetlands with shrubs and trees and failing to remove the foundation from its non-permitted location in regulated Freshwater Wetlands. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to cease and desist from any further unauthorized alterations and to restore all freshwater wetlands. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $7,500.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

May 14, 2007 - OC&I/UST File No. 06 - 00912 re: Motiva Enterprises, LLC and M.H.W., Inc. for property located at 200 Union Avenue, Assessor's Plat 42, Lot 47 in the City of Providence. The Respondents are owners and/or operators of five underground storage tanks ("USTs") that are located on the property consisting of three 12,000-gallon gasoline USTs, one 1,000-gallon waste oil UST and one 1,000-gallon No. 2 heating oil UST. On January 11, 2007 the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials ("the UST Regulations"). The violations pertained to Respondents' failure to test the line leak detectors for their gasoline USTs during each of the years 2000 and 2002, failure to maintain spill containment basins free of liquids or debris on one of the gasoline USTs and the waste oil UST and failure to equip three of their tank field observation wells with tamper resistant covers. The OC&I issued a Letter of Noncompliance ("LNC") to Respondents on 8 May 2006 informing Respondents of the noncompliance and requirement to correct the violations. Attempts to contact the Respondents following issuance of the LNC to resolve the violations were unsuccessful. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the UST Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $3,492.00. The Respondents did not request a hearing to contest the NOV; however, Respondents met with the OC&I and provided documents to show that Respondents actually had achieved compliance with specific sections of the UST Regulations cited in the NOV prior to its issuance. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, the Respondents and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondents agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $996.00 for past noncompliance cited in the NOV.

May 15, 2007 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetlands File No. C-1444 re: Louis Frye for property located west of Tower Hill Road, north of Saugatucket Road, Assessor's Plat 42-2, Lot 25 in the Town of South Kingstown. On May 25, 1984 RIDEM issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging certain violations of RIDEM's Freshwater Wetland Act and RIDEM's Freshwater Wetland Regulations. The violations pertained to filling, grading, excavation, clearing, road construction, and culvert installation within a 100-foot Riverbank Wetland, Floodplain, and 50-foot Perimeter Wetland. In the NOV the Respondent was ordered to restore all freshwater wetlands. RIDEM assessed an administrative penalty of $1,000.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent and RIDEM executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to restore the altered wetlands. RIDEM agreed to waive the administrative penalty. The Respondent and RIDEM executed an amended Consent Agreement on April 17, 1985; however the Respondent did not restore the altered wetlands by the deadline specified in the Consent Agreement so RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court. The Respondent's attorney advised RIDEM in response to the complaint that his client had initiated work to restore the altered wetlands, but he did not complete the restoration due to a terminal illness and that he would be unable to complete the work. The property was acquired by Jack Taylor in 1993 after the death of Mr. Frye (his stepfather). Since the NOV was recorded in the land evidence records, the legal responsibility for restoring the wetlands was transferred to Mr. Taylor. Mr. Taylor was advised in a letter issued by RIDEM on December 1, 2004 of his responsibility to restore the altered wetlands; however, Mr. Taylor took no further action at that time. More recently, Mr. Taylor contacted OC&I to discuss resolution of the violation and agreed to restore the altered wetlands as outlined in a letter from OC&I to Mr. Taylor on January 17, 2007. Mr. Taylor completed the restoration to the satisfaction of OC&I, thereby resolving this case.

May 18, 2007 - OC&I/UST File No. 06 - 01879 re: Bank of America Corporation, First States Investors 5200, LLC, and Trammell Crow Services, Inc. for property located at 125 Dupont Drive, Assessor's Plat 50, Lot 724 in the City of Providence. Respondent First States Investors 5200, LLC is the owner of the property. Respondents Bank of America Corporation and Trammel Crow Services, Inc. are the operators of the facility. The property contains four USTs consisting of a 5,000-gallon, a 10,000-gallon, and a 2,500-gallon UST used for the storage of diesel fuel and a 10,000-gallon UST used for the storage of No. 2 heating oil. On January 31, 2006 the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertained to Respondents' failure to comply with the UST Environmental Results Program ("ERP") requirements set forth in Rule 8.03 of the 2005 UST Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered compliance with the UST Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $3,000.00. The Respondents did not file a request for a hearing with the AAD. The Respondents complied with the order portion of the NOV and achieved compliance with UST Regulation 8.03. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, the Respondents and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondents agreed to a penalty in the amount of $2,500.00. The penalty was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

May 18, 2007 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI 04 - 114 re: Ricky A. & Marie J. Mottram for property located at 62 State Street, Assessor's Plat 357, Lot 455 in the City of Warwick. The property is owned by the Respondents and includes a single family home. On November 27, 2006 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging certain violations of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems ("the ISDS Regulations"). The violation pertained to sanitary sewage being discharged to the surface of the ground from the individual sewage disposal system (ISDS). In the NOV the Respondents were ordered to immediately reduce the discharge of sewage to the ISDS, pump the ISDS as needed to prevent the overflow of sewage, retain a licensed designer to evaluate the ISDS to determine if the ISDS is failed, and if so, repair the ISDS or connect to public sewers. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,600.00. Respondent Marie Mottram filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Ms. Mottram connected the plumbing for the house to the Warwick municipal sewerage system to resolve the violation. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, Respondent Marie Mottram and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. Ms. Mottram agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $800.00 in monthly installments of $200.00.

May 31, 2007 - OC&I/UST File No. 05 - 00625 re: Hawk Enterprises, Inc., Elie N. Sakr and Pierre N. Sakr for property located at 119 Greenville Avenue, Assessor's Plat 17, Lot 126 in the Town of Johnston. On May 27, 2005 the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated RIDEM's UST Regulations. Respondents are the owners and operators of six USTs consisting of three 6,000-gallon gasoline USTs, one 6,000-gallon diesel UST, one 1,000-gallon waste oil UST and one 1,000-gallon heating oil UST. The violations pertained to Respondents' failure to equip their 1,000-gallon waste oil UST with an automatic tank gauging system, failure to compile inventory control records for the three 6,000-gallon gasoline USTs and the 6,000-gallon diesel UST from November 2001 through November 2004, failure to perform tank tightness testing for all of the 6,000-gallon USTs for 1996, 2002 and 2003 and the 1,000-gallon waste oil tank from 1996 through 2003, failure to perform annual functionality testing of the line leak detectors for all of the 6,000-gallon USTs for 1995, 1996 and 1998 through 2003, failure to perform monthly testing of the continuous monitoring system ("CMS") for three years, failure to perform annual certification testing of the CMS for six years, failure to keep the collection sump for one of the 6,000-gallon gasoline USTs free of liquid, failure to maintain the CMS in an operable condition, failure to maintain the spill containment basins for the 6,000-gallon diesel UST and the two 1,000-gallon USTs free of liquids and solid debris and failure to label the fill ports for the two 1,000-gallon USTs to identify the material stored inside the tanks. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the UST Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $31,688.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondents and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondents agreed to achieve compliance on all outstanding noncompliance issues set forth in the NOV within 30 days of execution of the Consent Agreement and agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $24,551.00. The OC&I agreed to allow the Respondents to pay $5,000.00 of the penalty at execution of the Consent Agreement and to pay the remaining $19,551.00 in 24 monthly installments starting on July 15, 2007. The initial $5,000.00 has been paid.

May 31, 2007 - OC&I/UST File No. 06 - 02998 re: Citizens Bank of Rhode Island for property located at 115 Tripps Lane ? (a/k/a One Citizens Drive), Assessor's Map 409, Block 9, Parcel 21 in the City of East Providence. On March 12, 2007 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials ("the UST Regulations"). The Respondent maintains two 15,000-gallon USTs on the property that are used to store diesel fuel. The violations pertained to Respondent's failure to conduct monthly testing of the UST continuous monitoring leak system, failure to conduct annual testing to certify the continuous monitoring leak system is operating properly, failure to maintain spill containment basins, failure to equip the USTs with submerged fill tubes, failure to label the fill port to the USTs and failure to equip the tank field observation wells with labeled, tamper resistant covers. On June 12, 2006, the OC&I issued a Letter of Noncompliance to the Respondent informing the Respondent of its noncompliance and requiring that the Respondent achieve compliance within 60 days of receipt of the LNC. By letter dated August 22, 2006 the OC&I informed the Respondent that it had yet to certify compliance with the LNC. As of the issuance of the NOV, the Respondent had not achieved compliance or responded to the OC&I. In the NOV, the Respondent was ordered to achieve compliance with the UST Regulations and was assessed a penalty in the amount of $8,830.00. The Respondent failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD; however, following receipt of the NOV, the Respondent met with OC&I and provided documentation that it had achieved compliance with the order portion of the NOV. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the collection of the penalty assessed in the NOV, the Respondent and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $7,510.00. The penalty was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

None settled or resolved this month.

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