May 2015 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 2015. 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 emailed to dem.filereview@dem.ri.gov. More information is available at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/customertech/file-review.php. Please note that formal case names appearing in blue text are linked to a PDF version of the unsigned document.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

May 22, 2015 - Hazardous Waste File No. OCI-HW-13-2, 13-19, 13-21, 13-22, 13-23, 13-24, 13-46 and 13-47 re: PJC of Rhode Island, Inc. (d/b/a Rite Aid Corporation) for eight pharmacies at the following locations: 170 Granite Street in the town of Westerly; 2136 Mendon Road in the town of Cumberland; 5945 Post Road in the town of North Kingstown; 7691 Post Road in the town of North Kingstown; 1665 Mineral Spring Avenue in the town of North Providence; 719 Tiogue Avenue in the town of Coventry; 1080 Bald Hill Road in the city of Warwick; and 250 Atwood Avenue in the city of Cranston. The Respondent is registered with the RIDEM as of February 2014 as a large quantity hazardous waste generator at each of the pharmacies. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste (Hazardous Waste Regulations) and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR). The violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to: properly dispose of hazardous waste in the form of unsaleable pharmaceuticals (warfarin, nicotine, lindane, and mercury), containers which formerly held hazardous waste (warfarin) and other regulated waste (xylene, toluene and corrosive liquids); properly characterize the hazardous waste; and properly notify the RIDEM of its regulated waste activities at each of its pharmacies. The OC&I inspected the pharmacies from October 2012 through April 2013. In August 2013, the RIDEM issued a letter to the Respondent requesting specific information relating to its management of unsaleable pharmaceuticals. In October 2013, the Respondent provided information to the RIDEM in response to the August letter. In January 2014, the RIDEM issued a second certified letter to the Respondent requesting copies of records. The January letter was delivered to the Respondent; however, the Respondent failed to respond to the letter. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to come into compliance with the RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations and 40 CFR. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $116,250.

Formal Enforcement Actions Settled or Resolved:

May 26, 2015 - Hazardous Waste File No. 13-76 re: Amado Velasquez, Aaron Velasquez, and Vito Matarese for property located at 385 Huntington Avenue in the city of Providence. The property includes a building in which an automobile parts, salvage and repair business operates. Vito Matarese owns the property. Amado Velasquez and Aaron Velasquez operate the business. On January 16, 2015, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste (Hazardous Waste Regulations) and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR) and the RIDEM's Oil Pollution Control Regulations. The violations pertained to the release of oil to the land and the improper management of hazardous waste. The OC&I inspected the property on July 15, 2013. The inspection revealed the following: an area of stained soil in close proximity to the "shop building" indicative of a release of oil; one 5 gallon container holding absorbent material containing used oil; and three lead/acid automobile batteries that were not properly labeled. During the inspection, Aaron Velasquez informed the inspector that the absorbent material was not evaluated to determine if it meets the definition of hazardous waste. Mr. Velasquez further informed the inspector that the batteries were intended to be managed as universal waste. The Respondents failed to prevent the release of oil to the land and failed to properly clean up the spilled oil. Aaron Velasquez and Amado Velasquez also failed to determine if the absorbent material met the definition of a hazardous waste and failed to properly label the batteries. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to remove and properly dispose at a licensed facility all of the oil contaminated soil and collect samples to demonstrate that all the oil was removed. In addition, Aaron Velasquez and Amado Velasquez were ordered to: properly label the batteries, and sample the absorbent material in the container to determine if it meets the definition of hazardous waste and, if it does, manage the absorbent material as hazardous waste in accordance with RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5,000.00 against the Respondents for the release of oil and a penalty of $5,000.00 against Aaron Velasquez and Amado Velasquez for the improper management of hazardous waste. The Respondents failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD, but complied with the Order portion of the NOV. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to pay an administrative penalty $2,500, which was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

May 27, 2015 - OWTS File No. 2008 2553 IS and CI 08-0093 re: Jennifer L. Gasior for property located at 58 South Main Street, Assessor's Plat 45, Lot 91.002 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a 4 bedroom family dwelling and was owned by the Respondent. On October 13, 2009, the OC&I issued an NOV to Ms. Gasior alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violation pertained to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground and the use of a failed OWTS. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to immediately cease the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground, reduce the discharge of sewage to the OWTS, pump the OWTS as needed to prevent overflows, have the OWTS inspected by a licensed designer to determine the cause of the failure, and repair the OWTS, if necessary. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,400. The Respondent failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD and failed to comply with the NOV. The NOV was properly recorded in the land evidence records of the town of Coventry and was purchased after said recording by Jennifer L. Tremblay. Ms. Tremblay complied with the NOV, including payment of the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

May 27, 2015 - Hazardous Waste File No. OCI-HW-13-122 re: New England Union Co., Inc. for a facility located at 107 Hay Street in the town of West Warwick. The Respondent is registered with the RIDEM as a large quantity hazardous waste generator at the facility. On June 16, 2014, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste (Hazardous Waste Regulations) and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR). The violations pertained to the Respondent's failure to: complete a waste determination on 1 container holding a broken furnace liner, broken crucible and sand generated at the facility; prevent the release of foundry sand to the ground outside one of the facility buildings; mark 9 containers holding foundry sand with an accumulation start date; keep 5 containers holding foundry sand closed except when adding or removing waste; and label 3 containers holding used oil and 1 container holding used oil solids with the words "used oil". In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to come into compliance with the RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations and 40 CFR. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $30,000. The Respondent failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD, but complied with the Order portion of the NOV. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, the Respondent agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $11,250 and perform a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) valued at $5,000. The SEP involved constructing an enclosure around its equipment to prevent the release of foundry sand to the ground. The Respondent paid the penalty and completed the SEP.

May 29, 2015 - Underground Storage Tank File Nos. 2014-24-0535, 2013-077-00607, 2013-133-00607 and 2014-44-0609 re: ASAD ALI, LLC, Desai, Inc. and Ahmed Choudhry for facilities located at the following addresses: 5300 Post Road in the town of Charlestown (Charlestown Facility); 1353 Park Avenue in the city of Cranston (Cranston Facility); and 320 Broad Street in the town of Cumberland (Cumberland Facility). The Charlestown Facility includes a former gasoline service station and 2 underground storage tanks (USTs or tanks) used for the storage of petroleum products, the Cranston Facility includes a convenience store, a motor fuel filling station and 2 USTs and the Cumberland Facility includes a convenience store, motor fuel filling station, 3 USTs and 4 groundwater monitoring wells. ASAD ALI, LLC (ALI) owns each of the facilities. On May 14, 2014, the Rhode Island Secretary of State revoked the Certificate of Organization/Registration for ALI. Ahmed Choudhry is the last known president of ALI. The Cumberland Facility and the Cranston Facility are currently in operation. Desai, Inc. operates the Cranston Facility. The Charlestown Facility is currently not in operation. On March 7, 2013, the RIDEM received a site investigation report for the Charlestown Facility. The report revealed that 1 groundwater monitoring well had levels of ethylbenzene and toluene in the groundwater that exceeded the groundwater standards in the RIDEM's Groundwater Quality Rules. On April 2, 2013, the RIDEM issued a letter to Mr. Choudhry that required him to implement quarterly groundwater monitoring at the Charlestown Facility and submit the reports to the RIDEM. On April 15, 2014, the OC&I issued an NOV to ALI and Desai, Inc. alleging that the Respondents violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations) at the Cranston Facility. On June 24, 2014, the OC&I issued an NOV to Mr. Choudhry alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM's UST Regulations at the Charlestown Facility. On December 3, 2014, the OC&I issued an NOV to Mr. Choudhry alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM's UST Regulations at the Cumberland Facility. The violations at the Cranston Facility pertained to the failure to submit a completed Certified UST Facility Operators Registration Form to the RIDEM to verify that trained and certified UST facility operators were assigned to the facility prior to August 1, 2012 and on duty at the facility during all operating hours and the failure to submit a completed Compliance Certification Checklist, Certification Statement Form, and Return to Compliance Plan for the USTs at the facility. The violations at the Charlestown Facility pertained to the failure to pay UST registration fees, investigate a release of petroleum, and permanently close USTs that are abandoned. The violations at the Cumberland Facility pertained to the failure to perform periodic tightness testing of single walled USTs every 2 years, repair a malfunctioning leak monitoring device, immediately investigate release detection signals and alarms, keep spill containment basins and sumps free of liquid, label UST fill ports to identify the product stored inside the tank, perform a groundwater evaluation in calendar year 2013 of the groundwater monitoring wells, ensure that trained and certified Class A, B and C operators are assigned to the facility and on duty during all operating hours, maintain a list of all Class C operators assigned to the facility, and ensure that a Class A or Class B UST facility operator conduct monthly inspections. In the NOVs the OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the RIDEM's UST Regulations and pay administrative penalties that totaled $30,270. The Respondents failed to file an appeal of any of the NOVs with the AAD, but Mr. Choudhry complied with the Order portion of the NOV at the Cumberland Facility and advised the RIDEM that he wanted to place the Charlestown Facility back into operation. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOVs, the OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOVs. The Respondents agreed to bring the Cranston Facility and the Charlestown Facility back into full compliance with the RIDEM's UST Regulations by June 15, 2015 and agreed to pay a penalty of $20,000 in payments. The first payment of $8,000 was paid upon execution of the Agreement. The second payment of $9,000 is due by December 1, 2015. The final payment of $3,000 is due by June 1, 2016.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

May 19, 2015 - Multi Media/OWTS and Water Pollution/File Nos. OWTS CI 11-076 and WP 94-236 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-2088 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Daniel H. Keene and Cindy M. Keene for a property located at 6 Andrews Terrace, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 220 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a 6 bedroom, multi family dwelling. The Defendants own the property. On September 6, 2011, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations), Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Act, and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertained to the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling through a pipe to the bank of the Branch River and into the Branch River. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendants to reduce the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling, such as through the installation and use of water conservation devices and fixtures and install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to treat the wastewater from the dwelling in accordance with the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,700. The Defendants filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD, but later withdrew their appeal. The Defendants have failed to comply with the NOV. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM is asking the court to order the Defendants to comply with the NOV or vacate the property and pay the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

May 19, 2015 - Multi Media/OWTS and Water Pollution/File Nos. OWTS CI 11-075 and WP 94-236 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-2087 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants David A. Whitney and Annette L. Whitney for a property located at 2 Andrews Terrace, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 216 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a 6 bedroom, multi family dwelling. The Defendants own the property. On September 6, 2011, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations), Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Act, and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertained to the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling through a pipe to the bank of the Branch River and into the Branch River. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendants to reduce the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling, such as through the installation and use of water conservation devices and fixtures and install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to treat the wastewater from the dwelling in accordance with the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,700. The Defendants failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD and have failed to comply with the NOV. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM is asking the court to order the Defendants to comply with the NOV or vacate the property and pay the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

May 19, 2015 - Multi Media/OWTS and Water Pollution/File Nos. OWTS CI 11-023 and WP 94-236 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-2089 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant David J. Morin for a property located at 10-A Andrews Terrace, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 213 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a 6 bedroom, multi family dwelling. The Defendant owns the property. On May 9, 2011, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendant alleging that the Defendant violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations), Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Act, and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertained to the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling through a pipe to the bank of the Branch River and into the Branch River. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendant to reduce the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling, such as through the installation and use of water conservation devices and fixtures and install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to treat the wastewater from the dwelling in accordance with the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,300. The Defendant filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD, but later withdrew his appeal. The Defendant has failed to comply with the NOV. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM is asking the court to order the Defendant to comply with the NOV or vacate the property and pay the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

May 19, 2015 - Multi Media/OWTS and Water Pollution/File Nos. OWTS CI 11-024 and WP 94-236 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-2090 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant Christine L. Carey for a property located at 12 Andrews Terrace, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 215 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a 6 bedroom, multi family dwelling. The Defendant owns the property. On May 9, 2011, the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendant alleging that the Defendant violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations), Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Act, and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertained to the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling through a pipe to the bank of the Branch River and into the Branch River. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendant to reduce the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling, such as through the installation and use of water conservation devices and fixtures and install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to treat the wastewater from the dwelling in accordance with the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,300. The Defendant filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD, but later withdrew her appeal. The Defendant has failed to comply with the NOV. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM is asking the court to order the Defendant to comply with the NOV or vacate the property and pay the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

May 19, 2015 - OWTS File No. CI 95-289 and Superior Court File No. PC-2015-2083 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Lyle G. Monroe, Shirley M. Monroe and Wanda B. Monroe for property located at 581 Trimtown Road, Assessor's Plat 42, Lot 42 in the town of Scituate. The property includes a 7-bedroom single family dwelling that is owned by the Defendants. On March 3, 2008, the OC&I issued an NOV to Defendants Lyle G. Monroe and Shirley M. Monroe alleging that the Defendants violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violations pertained to the overflow of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) that is located on the property to the surface of the ground. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendants to cease the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground, pump the OWTS as needed to prevent overflows, and repair the OWTS. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $800. The Defendants filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. The Defendants submitted financial documents to the OC&I that showed to the satisfaction of the OC&I that the Defendants did not have the financial ability to repair the failed OWTS at that time or pay any portion of the administrative penalty. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Defendants executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Defendants agreed to the following actions until the OWTS was repaired: pump the OWTS as often as necessary to prevent the overflow of sewage to the surface of the ground, discontinue all use of the washing machine at the dwelling, limit occupancy of the dwelling to no more than 2 persons, and vacate the dwelling and keep the dwelling unoccupied if the OC&I documented through an inspection of the property that sewage is present on the ground surface and the Defendants failed to proceed to repair the failed OWTS. The OC&I agreed to waive the entire administrative penalty assessed in the NOV. On June 11, 2014, the OC&I inspected the property and observed sewage overflowing to the ground surface. Defendant Wanda B. Monroe stated that she now owned the property and that 7 people (including herself) reside at the dwelling and a washing machine is in use. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM is asking the court to order the Defendants to vacate the dwelling within 30 days and keep the dwelling vacant until an OWTS is installed that complies with the RIDEM's OWTS Regulations.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

None settled or resolved this month.