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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > May 2009 Summary

 
May 2009 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 2009. 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 5, 2009 - OC&I/Septic System File No. 2008 2245 IS and CI 08-21 re: The Jason C. Whitford Irrevocable Trust-1989 for property located at 22 Tripps Corner Road, Assessor's Map 35, Block 2, Lot 4 in the Town of Exeter. The property includes a one-bedroom family dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the septic system (through the use of a portable pump). On January 23, 2009, OC&I conducted an inspection of the property and observed a garden hose and electric cord extending from beneath the septic system's cover. On January 27, 2009 OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NIE) to the Respondent. The NIE required the Respondent to reduce the discharge of sewage to the septic system through the use of water conservation devices, arrange to have the system pumped by a licensed septage hauler as needed to prevent overflows, have the system inspected by a licensed designer to determine the cause of the failure, and repair the system, if necessary. OC&I received a response to the NIE on March 6, 2009. The Respondent agreed to submit a repair application to RIDEM within 2 weeks. To date, the Respondent has not complied with the requirements of the NIE. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to immediately cease the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground by complete and permanent removal of the hose, pump, and/or any other equipment used to pump the sewage from the septic system, reduce the discharge of sewage to the septic system, pump the system as needed to prevent overflows, have the system inspected by a licensed designer to determine the cause of the failure, and repair the system, if necessary. In the NOV, OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,000.00.

May 7, 2009 - OC&I/UST File No. 2009-02125 re: Apache Oil Company, Inc. for property located at 356 West Main Road, Assessor's Plat 108NW, Lot 73 in the Town of Middletown. The property includes a convenience store and gas station. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). The violation pertains to the failure to submit a completed Compliance Certification Checklist, Certification Statement Form, and Return to Compliance Plan (collectively, the Compliance Certification Forms) on or before June 30, 2007 for the facility's underground storage tanks that are used for storage of petroleum products and are registered with RIDEM. OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NIE) to the Respondent. The NIE required the Respondent to take specific corrective actions to resolve the violation. The Respondent failed to comply with the requirements of the NIE. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to submit the completed Compliance Certification Forms. The NOV also included an administrative penalty of $3,000.00.

May 8, 2009 - OC&I/Hazardous Waste File No. 2008 1926 HW re: Tanury Industries, Inc. for a facility located at 6 New England Way in the Town of Lincoln. The Respondent operates a commercial business engaged in electroplating and is registered with RIDEM as a large quantity hazardous waste generator. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management. The violations pertain to the following: failure to properly label containers holding hazardous waste; failure to keep containers of hazardous waste closed at all times unless adding or removing hazardous waste from the containers; failure to indicate the accumulation start date for the waste held in the containers; failure to comply with the 90 day storage limit for hazardous waste accumulation; failure to provide secondary containment for all containers holding liquid hazardous waste; and failure to properly contain, label, and document universal waste comprised of mercury fluorescent bulbs. OC&I inspected the facility and documented the violations on March 20, 2008. At the time of the inspection the OC&I inspectors advised the Respondent of the violations and the actions necessary to correct the violations. On March 3, 2009 OC&I inspected the facility and determined that the Respondent had resolved all the noncompliance issues observed in the prior year. In the NOV, OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $35,000.00.

May 18, 2009 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetland File No. 2008 1820 FW and C08-0011 re: Richard and Anneke Pilavin for property located approximately 100 feet northeast of Meadow Road, adjacent to house number 6, approximately 150 feet northwest of the intersection of Meadow Road and Pine Tree Lane, Assessor's Plat 26, Lot 272 (formerly Plat 26, Lot 64) in the Town of Lincoln. The property is currently owned by the Respondents. On April 16, 1999, the RIDEM Office of Water Resources issued an insignificant alteration permit to the prior owner of the property. The permit was recorded in the land evidence records of the Town of Lincoln. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertains to clearing, filling (in the form of soil material and stones), and constructing portions of a retaining wall within Swamp and clearing, filling (in the form of at least soil material and stones) and constructing portions of a retaining wall and patio stairs within the 50-foot Perimeter Wetland of the Swamp. These activities resulted in the unauthorized alteration of 10,800 square feet of freshwater wetland. OC&I inspected the property and documented the violations in January 2008 and February 2008. On March 11, 2008 OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NIE) to the Respondents requiring restoration of the wetlands. The Respondents retained a consultant and submitted a restoration plan to OC&I on September 12, 2008 to comply with the NIE. As the proposal involved allowing some of the alterations to remain, OC&I advised the Respondents in a letter issued on October 14, 2008 that OC&I would be issuing an NOV. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to restore the freshwater wetlands on the property. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $8,000.00.

May 18, 2009 - OC&I/Septic System File No. 2007 854 IS and CI 07-0111 re: Sandra Ramos for property located at 24 McClellan Street, parcel ID number 03403850000 in the City of Providence. The property includes a three-bedroom family dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems and the RIDEM Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violation pertains to the failure of the septic system. On June 25, 2007, OC&I conducted an inspection of the property and observed that the level of sewage in the septic system was above the inlet pipe. On August 9, 2007 OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NIE) to the Respondent. The NIE required the Respondent to reduce the discharge of sewage to the septic system through the use of water conservation devices, arrange to have the system pumped by a licensed septage hauler as needed to prevent overflows, have the system inspected by a licensed designer to determine the cause of the failure, and repair the system, if necessary. OC&I inspected the property on February 2, 2009 and again observed that the septic system had failed and that sewage was evident on the surface of the ground adjacent to the septic system's cover. To date, the Respondent has not complied with the NIE. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to reduce the discharge of sewage to the septic system, pump the system as needed to prevent overflows, have the system inspected by a licensed designer to determine the cause of the failure, and repair the system, if necessary. In the NOV, OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,800.00.

May 28, 2009 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetland File No. C06-0073 re: Michael Sepe and North-Eastern Tree Service for property located immediately east of Marine Drive, approximately 500 feet east of the intersection of Marine Drive and Pontiac Avenue, in the proximity of utility pole number 125, Assessor's Map 5, Block 4, Lot 2427 in the City of Cranston. The property has been owned by Donald Sepe (deceased) and Michael Sepe since March 15, 1999. North-Eastern Tree Service operates a commercial business at the property. Michael Sepe is the president of North-Eastern Tree Service and is a farmer as defined in Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertains to clearing and filling (in the form of at least wood chips) within 200-foot Riverbank Wetland. These activities resulted in the unauthorized alteration of 9,000 square feet of freshwater wetland. OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation in February 2006 and May 2006. On June 19, 2006 OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NIE) to the Respondents requiring restoration of the wetlands. In September 2006, a meeting was held at the property with Mr. Sepe, OC&I, and the RIDEM Division of Agriculture to describe the required restoration. Mr. Sepe was informed that the fill placed within the Riverbank Wetland did not meet the standard of normal farming and ranching activity and must be removed. In April 2007 OC&I inspected the property and observed that much of the fill remained in place. In May 2008 OC&I inspected the property and observed that alterations of freshwater wetlands remain. The alterations involve clearing, filling (in the form of mulch material, wood chips, soil material, cut timber [logs], slash, and other various materials), grading, and creating soil disturbance within 200 foot Riverbank Wetland, all of which is encompassed by zones of 100 year Floodplain. These activities resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 1 acre of freshwater wetland. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to restore the freshwater wetlands on the property. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,500.00.

May 28, 2009 - OC&I/Water Pollution/File No. 2007 1607 WP and WP07-151 re: Rhedom Realty Corporation, Domenico Associates, Dirk Patriarca, and A-1 Restaurant Supply for property located at 221 Admiral Street, Assessor's Plat 76, Lot 387 in the City of Providence. The property includes a commercial building. Rhedom Realty Corporation and Domenico Associates are the owners of the property. Rhedom Realty Corporation is listed as an inactive corporation with the Office of the Secretary of State. Dirk Patriarca is listed as the president of Rhedom Realty Corporation. A-1 Restaurant Supply is a tenant that operates a food service equipment supply and reconditioning business in the commercial building. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the RIDEM Underground Injection Control Regulations. The violation pertains to the unauthorized discharge of fluids into a subsurface structure. In December 2007 and March 2008, OC&I performed inspections of the property. The inspections revealed that a grated subsurface structure was present in the building and that fluids associated with the degreasing of food service equipment were being discharged into the structure. The fluids contained grease and a highly caustic cleaning agent. OC&I determined that the structure did not discharge to the City of Providence sewerage or storm systems. On April 25, 2008 OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce (NIE) to Dirk Patriarca and A-1 Restaurant Supply. The NIE advised the Respondents that the grated structure is considered an underground injection control (UIC) system and that no approval was issued by RIDEM for the UIC system. The NIE required the Respondents to immediately cease the discharge of fluids to the UIC system and either obtain a permit for the UIC system or close the UIC system. To date, the Respondents have not complied with the requirements of the NIE. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to take the same actions as required in the NIE. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,500.00.

May 28, 2009 - OC&I/Hazardous Waste File No. 2008 1731 HW re: International Etching, Inc. for a facility located at 29 Ninigret Avenue in the City of Providence. The Respondent operates a commercial business engaged in high tech industrial etching and is registered with RIDEM as a large quantity hazardous waste generator. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management. The violations pertain to the following: failure to determine if any of the waste meets the definition of hazardous waste; failure to maintain the external secondary containment systems free of cracks and gaps; failure to keep on file a written assessment by a professional engineer attesting to the structural integrity of the hazardous waste storage tank system; failure to perform an annual review of hazardous waste training; and failure to maintain adequate decontamination equipment based upon the hazards posed by the wastes handled. On January 17, 2008 OC&I inspected the facility and documented the violations. At the time of the inspection the OC&I inspectors advised the Respondent of the violations and the actions necessary to correct the violations. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to take specific actions to correct the violations. OC&I also assessed an administrative penalty of $13,500.00.

May 28, 2009 - OC&I/Air File No. 08-12 re: Quarter Moon, Inc. for a facility located at 200 Highpoint Avenue in the Town of Portsmouth. The Respondent operates a facility that is engaged in the manufacture of boats and is a stationary source of air pollutants. The Respondent was issued a permit by the RIDEM Office of Air Resources (OAR) on April 7, 2004 and a revised permit on March 19, 2007 pursuant to RIDEM Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 29 entitled "Operating Permits". The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 29. The violation pertains to the failure to submit an Annual Certification of Compliance for calendar year 2007, a semi-annual monitoring report for the reporting period ending December 31, 2007 and a semi-annual periodic report for its wood products manufacturing operations for the reporting period ending December 31, 2007 as required by the permit. On April 4, 2008 OAR issued a Notice of Alleged Violations (NOAV) to the Respondent requiring the submission of the required reports. On or about August 26, 2008 the Respondent submitted the reports to OAR. In the NOV, OC&I assessed a penalty of $2,000.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

May 11, 2009 - OC&I/UST File No. 08-03176 re: INA Petroleum, Inc. for property located at 2862 Hartford Avenue, Assessor's Plat 57, Lot 61 in the Town of Johnston. The property includes a convenience store and gas station. On February 10, 2009 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM 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 Compliance Certification Checklist, Certification Statement Form, and Return to Compliance Plan (collectively, the Compliance Certification Forms) on or before June 30, 2007 for the facility's underground storage tanks that are used for storage of petroleum products and are registered with RIDEM. In the NOV, OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,500.00 for the late submission of the Forms. The 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 enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $1,000.00, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement.

May 13, 2009 - OC&I/Water Pollution File No. WP 08-010 re: Sakonnet Point Club and Reagan Construction Corp. for property located at 11 Bluff Head Avenue in Little Compton. The property includes a yacht club and desalination water treatment facility to supply drinking water to the yacht club. Sakonnet Point Club (SPC) is the owner of the property. On November 29, 2002 RIDEM issued a permit to SPC that authorized the discharge of treated wastewater from the water treatment facility to the Sakonnet River. As part of the permit, RIDEM approved the construction of a wastewater outfall pipe to the Sakonnet River. The permit required SPC to discharge wastewater from the outfall pipe at a depth of 13 feet below sea level, perform analytical testing 1 day each month, and provide true and accurate information to RIDEM. The approved plans for the wastewater outfall pipe also required the installation of two (2) pre-cast concrete blocks to support the pipe. Reagan Construction Corp. (Reagan) was contracted by SPC to construct the wastewater outfall pipe for the water treatment facility. On March 20, 2008 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that Respondent SPC violated the Water Pollution Act, RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations, and RIDEM's Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and that Respondent Reagan violated the Water Pollution Act and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. SPC's violations pertained to the failure to discharge wastewater at the authorized depth, failure to perform analytical testing, and the failure to provide accurate information to RIDEM. Reagan's violation pertained to the unauthorized discharge of concrete to State waters. In the NOV, OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $33,750.00 to SPC and an administrative penalty of $6,250.00 to Reagan. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, OC&I and SPC executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. SPC agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $20,000.00 in two installments of $10,000 each. The first installment was paid upon execution of the Agreement. OC&I executed a separate agreement with Reagan on June 30, 2008 to resolve the penalty assessed against Reagan.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

May 18, 2009 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetland File No. C99-0067 and Superior Court File No. WC 01-549 re: Peter Wiechers for property located approximately 1,150 feet north of Tomaquag Valley Road, on property identified as number 60 Tomaquag Valley Road, opposite utility pole 12, approximately 2,500 feet northeast of the intersection of Tomaquag Valley Road and Diamond Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 4, Lot 137 in the Town of Hopkinton. The property is owned by Peter Wiechers. On December 29, 1999, the OC&I issued an NOV to Peter Wiechers alleging that he violated Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertained to draining a Pond; excavating, filling (in the form of soil material), grading and soil disturbance within the limits of the Pond; filling (in the form of soil material), creating soil disturbance, and clearing in a Pond/Shrub Wetland complex; and filling (in the form of soil material), grading, soil disturbance, and clearing within 50 foot Perimeter Wetland. These activities resulted in the unauthorized alteration of 76,125 square feet of freshwater wetland. In the NOV, OC&I ordered Mr. Wiechers to restore the freshwater wetlands on the property. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,000.00. Mr. Wiecher's attorney filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD and filed a complaint in Superior Court requesting that the Court suppress the evidence gathered by OC&I, alleging that the OC&I inspection of the property violated his client's constitutional rights. On October 9, 2002 a Consent Judgment was entered between the parties that resolved the AAD appeal and the Superior Court complaint. Mr. Wiechers agreed to restore the altered wetlands in accordance with an agreed upon restoration plan by November 30, 2002 and pay a penalty of $2,500.00. Mr. Wiechers paid the penalty, but failed to complete the restoration. On or about July 2008, RIDEM and the Attorney General's Office filed a motion in Superior Court requesting that the Court adjudge Mr. Wiechers in contempt of the Consent Judgment. To resolve the matter, Mr. Wiechers completed the restoration of the wetlands as required in the Consent Judgment and paid an additional penalty of $30,000.00.

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