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

 
November 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 November 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:

November 8, 2007 - OC&I/Multi-Media (Wetlands and Solid Waste) File No. 2007 359 FW; C07-0074 re: Pray Hill Farms, LLC for property located approximately 750 feet east of Pray Hill Road, with a driveway entrance situated between Utility Pole Numbers 11 and 12, approximately 3,100 feet northeast of the intersection of Pray Hill Road and Route 101, Assessor's Plat 9, Lot 36, in the Town of Glocester. The property is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the Freshwater Wetland Act and RIDEM's Freshwater Wetland Regulations and the Refuse Disposal Act and RIDEM's Solid Waste Regulations. The freshwater wetland violations pertain to clearing, filling (in the form of soil material), excavating, grading and creating soil disturbance within a Swamp and 50 Foot Perimeter Wetland that has resulted in the alteration of approximately 4.5 acres of Swamp and 3.75 acres of Perimeter Wetland. The solid waste violation pertains to the disposal of approximately 180 cubic yards of solid waste (consisting of tree stumps) that were brought in from an off site location. OC&I issued a Cease and Desist Order (C&D) to Joseph DiBiase of Izzo-Roc Construction on April 13, 2007 to cease further alterations to freshwater wetlands. On July 27, 2007 OC&I issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce ("NOIE") to the Respondent requiring restoration of the unauthorized altered freshwater wetlands. On August 16, 2007 OC&I issued a NOIE to the Respondent requiring the removal or processing of all tree waste on the property that originated off site. Inspections of the property by OC&I on August 28, 2007 and September 18, 2007 revealed that no action had been taken to remove or process the tree waste. To date, the Respondent has not complied with the NOIEs. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease and desist any further unauthorized alteration to freshwater wetlands, cease the disposal of solid waste on the property, restore all freshwater wetlands by April 15, 2008, and properly remove or process the tree waste within 30 days. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $15,000.00.

November 21, 2007 - OC&I/Septic System License No. D3051 re: Kamal Hingorany. The Respondent is currently licensed by DEM as a Class III individual sewage disposal system ("ISDS") designer. 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 errors and omissions on plans submitted to RIDEM on three (3) ISDS designs. On September 26, 2000, the Respondent submitted to RIDEM three ISDS applications and plans for alterations to ISDSs located on Neck Road and Main Road in the Town of Tiverton. The applications were returned unacceptable due to lack of information. The Respondent resubmitted the applications which were approved by RIDEM in November and December 2000. The ISDSs were not installed and the approvals expired in November and December 2005. On June 19, 2006, the Respondent resubmitted the alteration applications. The plans for each application did not show any public wells. RIDEM approved one of the applications in July 2006. Following additional review on the remaining applications, RIDEM questioned the lack of information regarding public wells and returned the applications. On January 5, 2007, the Respondent resubmitted all three applications to RIDEM. The plans now showed three public wells on nearby lots that included commercial businesses identified as Four Corners Grill, Provender, and Gray's Ice Cream. The previous plans submitted to RIDEM showed the existing well for Provender; however, the well was identified as a private well. The plans showed that the public wells for Provender and Four Corners Grill were within 400 feet of the proposed ISDS and the Respondent requested a variance from the requirement in the ISDS Regulations for a 400 foot setback from a public well for any component of an ISDS. RIDEM received documents from the RI Department of Health that showed that the public wells for Provender, Gray's Ice Cream, and Four Corners Grill have been active since 1982, 1985, and 1997, respectively. The findings of the RIDEM review of the ISDS applications were presented to the ISDS Designer Licensing Review Panel. The Panel is appointed by the Director and recommended to RIDEM that the Respondent's license be suspended for six (6) months. On June 22, 2007 OC&I issued to the Respondent a Notice of Intent to Suspend or Revoke Respondent's License #D3051. On September 5, 2007 a preliminary hearing was held by the OC&I. The OC&I determined that the Respondent failed to show cause why RIDEM should not suspend Respondent's license. In the NOV, OC&I ordered that the Respondent's license be suspended for a period of six (6) months and assessed an administrative penalty of $3,000.00.

November 2007 Septic System Notices of Violation issued by the OC&I:

The OC&I alleges that the Respondent(s) in all of the following referenced cases are 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 overflow of sewage from the individual sewage disposal system ("ISDS") that is located on the property to the surface of the ground, the failure of the ISDS, and/or the discharge of waste water from a sink to the surface of the ground. In each case OC&I issued at least one Notice of Intent to Enforce ("NOI") to the Respondent(s). The NOI required the Respondent(s) to take specific corrective actions to resolve the violation. In each case the Respondent(s) failed to comply with the requirements of the NOI. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent(s) to cease the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground, pump the ISDS as needed to prevent overflows, and/or repair the ISDS.

OC&I assessed the following administrative penalties against each named Respondent:

David Zeramby ($1,000.00); Maurice J. Murphy ($2,000.00); and Donna Rodriguez ($400.00).

November 23, 2007 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI 06-0084 re: David Zeramby for property located at 155 Brookside Drive, Assessor's Plat 149, Lot 230 in the Town of North Kingstown The property is assessed as a three-bedroom single family dwelling and is owned by the Respondent.

November 23, 2007 - OC&I/Septic System File No. 2007 0613 IS x-ref CI 05-0054 re: Maurice J. Murphy for property located at 20 West Street, Assessor's Plat 25, Lot 37 in the Town of Hopkinton. The property is assessed as a three-bedroom single family dwelling and is owned by the Respondent.

November 23, 2007 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI 99-0027 re: Donna Rodriguez for property located at 45 Cobble Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 15, Lot 40 in the Town of Lincoln. The property is assessed as a three-bedroom single family dwelling and is owned by the Respondent.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

November 5, 2007 - OC&I/ISDS File No. CI 06 - 30 re: Johanna S. Smith for property located at 308 Saugatucket Road, Assessor's Plat 42, Lot 3 in the Town of South Kingstown. The property includes a mobile home and is owned by the Respondent. On March 26, 2007 the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent 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 violations pertained to a failed ISDS at the Property. In the NOV the Respondent was ordered to pump the ISDS to prevent overflows, retain a licensed designer to evaluate the ISDS to determine the cause of the failure and repair the ISDS, if necessary. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $600.00. The Respondent failed to file an appeal to contest the NOV with AAD. On April 11, 2007, the Respondent submitted an application to RIDEM to repair the failed ISDS. On May 1, 2007, RIDEM approved the Respondent's application. On July 11, 2007 RIDEM issued the Respondent a Certificate of Conformance stipulating ISDS repairs had been completed in accordance with the ISDS Regulations. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, the Respondent and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to a penalty of $300.00, which was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

November 7, 2007 - OC&I/Water Pollution File No. 07 - 07 re: Narragansett Bay Commission and Veolia Water North America Operating Systems, LLC. The Narragansett Bay Commission ("NBC") owns the Bucklin Point Water Pollution Control Facility (the "Facility") located at 102 Campbell Avenue in the City of East Providence. NBC is the holder of Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit No. RI0100072. The permit authorizes NBC to discharge treated domestic and industrial wastewater from the Facility to the Seekonk River in accordance with effluent limitations, monitoring requirements and certain other conditions. Veolia Water North America Operating Services, LLC ("Veolia Water") operated the Facility for NBC at the time of the alleged violation. On June 15, 2007 OC&I issued a NOV to Respondents NBC and Veolia Water alleging certain violations of the Water Pollution Act, RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations, and RIDEM's Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Regulations. The violation pertained to the unauthorized discharge of 1.55 million gallons of untreated wastewater from the Facility to the Seekonk River on June 25, 2005. In the NOV, OC&I ordered NBC to submit documents relating to proper operation and maintenance of generators at the Facility. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $12,500.00. NBC and Veolia Water filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. NBC submitted information to RIDEM on the cause of the unauthorized discharge that supported the dismissal of Veolia Water as a Respondent to the NOV. NBC also submitted information to RIDEM on the actions taken (which included the replacement of electrical equipment and implementation of new operating procedures) to ensure that the cause of the unauthorized discharge would not recur. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, NBC, Veolia Water, and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. Veolia Water was dismissed as a Respondent in the NOV. NBC agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $5,000.00, which was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

November 7, 2007 - OC&I/ISDS File No. CI99-160 re: Sun Valley LLC for property located at 1219 Main Street, Assessor's Plat 5B, Lot 4, in the Town of Richmond. The property includes a motel identified as the Sun Valley Motel and is owned by Sun Valley LLC. On December 1, 2006 OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging certain violations of the 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 a failed ISDS at the property that treats sewage from the motel (the "Motel ISDS"). In the NOV the Respondent was ordered to pump the Motel ISDS as necessary to prevent overflows of sewage to the ground surface and repair the ISDS. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $600.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. On July 19, 2007 the Respondent submitted an Application for System Suitability Determination ("SSD") to RIDEM requesting an approval to discharge sewage from the motel to a separate ISDS (the "Restaurant ISDS") that serves a restaurant at the property that has been closed for approximately two (2) years. RIDEM approved the SSD Application on August 14, 2007. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to file an application to connect the plumbing from the motel to the Restaurant ISDS as an interim repair and complete all work to connect the plumbing within 14 days of approval by RIDEM. The Respondent also agreed that on or before April 1, 2008 either an application would be submitted to RIDEM for a long term repair for the Motel ISDS or documents would be submitted showing that the motel was demolished. The Respondent further agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $600.00, which was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

November 9, 2007 - OC&I/Freshwater Wetlands File No. C00-0474 re: Snh V. Dao and My T. Nguyen for property located south of Partition Street on Assessor's Plat 308, Lot 391, in the City of Warwick. The violation is located on the property approximately 50 feet south of Partition Street, opposite utility pole 16, behind house number 226, approximately 250 feet east-southeast of the intersection of Partition Street and Potomac Road. The property is owned by Snh V. Dao and My T. Nguyen. On November 30, 2006 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging certain violations of the Freshwater Wetland Act and RIDEM's Freshwater Wetland Regulations. The violations pertained to filling, clearing and grading (in the form of at least soil material, slash, concrete and assorted debris) within a Swamp, portions of which are also 100-foot Riverbank Wetland, and 50-foot Perimeter Wetland. These activities resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 875 square feet of Swamp and 2,275 square feet of Riverbank Wetland and Perimeter Wetland. In the NOV the Respondents were ordered to restore the altered wetlands and to pay a penalty in the amount of $1,400.00. The Respondents failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, the Respondents and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to restore the freshwater wetlands by May 1, 2008, pay an administrative penalty of $700.00, and pay an application review fee of $150.00 (which represents the fee they would have paid had they properly applied to RIDEM for the wetland alterations that OC&I allowed to remain in place). The administrative penalty and application review fee were paid upon execution of the Agreement.

November 13, 2007 - OC&I/Septic System File No. CI03-0032 re: Brian Jackson and Lynn Jackson for property located at 47-49 Sprague Street, Assessor's Plat 29, Lot 29 in the Town of Portsmouth. The property includes a dwelling assessed by the Town of Portsmouth as a 4-bedroom residential duplex and is owned by the Respondents. On July 31, 2007 OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging certain violations of the 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 a failed ISDS at the property. In the NOV, the Respondents were ordered to pump the ISDS as necessary to prevent overflows of sewage to the ground surface and repair the ISDS. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $1,200.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondents and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to submit an application to RIDEM to repair the ISDS and complete the repair within 120 days of approval by RIDEM. The Respondents also agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $960.00 in monthly installments of $80.00. The Respondents paid the first installment upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

November 13, 2007 - OC&I/UST File Nos. 03-03617 and 05-03617 re: Alzaibak, Inc., Gapes Realty, LLC and George's Gas for property located at 1215 Stafford Road, Assessor's Map 4-10, Block 113, Lot 5, in the Town of Tiverton. On March 10, 2003 and again on January 27, 2006 the OC&I issued NOVs to the Respondents. In the 2003 NOV the OC&I alleged 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 the Respondents' failure to install mandatory corrosion protection for steel USTs and piping systems, conduct monthly testing of UST continuous monitoring systems, conduct annual testing of continuous monitoring systems and maintain all monthly and annual testing records. The Respondents were advised of their noncompliance with the Regulations in a Letter of Noncompliance issued by the OC&I on 20 August 2001. The Respondents were given 60 days to comply with the Regulations. Further advisories of noncompliance were issued in writing on 4 December 2001 and 7 March 2002. Despite these repeated contacts, the Respondents did not comply with the Regulations. In the 2003 NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondents to comply with the Regulations regarding corrosion protection upgrade and to submit all monthly and annual testing records. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $6,472.00. In the 2006 NOV the OC&I alleged that the Respondents violated RIDEM's UST Regulations pertaining to the UST Environmental Results Program ("ERP") requirements set forth in Rule 8.03 of the 2005 UST Regulations. In January 2005, the RIDEM provided UST facilities with an ERP Compliance Certification Checklist and forms booklet and a certification workbook for UST facilities. Owners and operators of UST facilities were strongly encouraged to complete and submit a compliance certification checklist, statement, and return to compliance plan on or before June 30, 2005. In January and March 2005, RIDEM issued letters to UST facilities informing them that RIDEM was revising the UST Regulations to make participation in the ERP Compliance Certification Program mandatory and again informed UST facilities to complete and submit the certification forms before June 30, 2005. On June 9, 2005, RIDEM issued a letter to UST facilities informing them that the revised UST Regulations making the ERP mandatory would become effective on 28 June 2005 and that the completed compliance certification forms must be submitted on or before June 30, 2005. The 2005 UST Regulations became effective on June 28, 2005. On July 27, 2005, the RIDEM issued a Notice of Intent to Enforce to the UST facilities that had failed to comply with the ERP requirements of the UST Regulations. The owners/operators were given until August 31, 2005 to comply with the UST Regulations. As of the issuance of the 2006 NOV, the Respondents had not complied with the ERP requirements. In the 2006 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 request a hearing to contest the 2003 NOV but did request a hearing to contest the 2006 NOV. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the 2003 NOV or proceeding to administrative hearing to resolve the 2006 NOV, the Respondents and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve both enforcement actions. The Respondents showed that they complied with the order section of the 2003 NOV and agreed to pay a revised penalty on the 2003 and 2006 NOVs. In addition, the Respondents agreed to increase groundwater monitoring at the facility from semi-annual to quarterly and agreed to submit a Site Investigation Report if it is determined that contamination warrants corrective action. The Respondents agreed to a penalty in the amount of $3,472.00. The OC&I agreed to accept $472.00 upon execution of the Consent Agreement and the remaining penalty amount to be paid in monthly installments of $1,000.00.

November 30, 2007 - OC&I/Septic System File No. 2007 891 IS, x-ref 06-31 re: Michael Westcott and Karen Westcott for property located at 1374 Lonsdale Avenue, Assessor's Plat 4, Lot 99 in the Town of Lincoln. The property includes a dwelling assessed by the Town of Lincoln as a 4-bedroom single family building and is owned by the Respondents. On July 17, 2007, OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging certain violations of the 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 a failed ISDS at the property. In the NOV, the Respondents were ordered to pump the ISDS as necessary to prevent overflows of sewage to the ground surface and repair the ISDS. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $2,000.00. The Respondents failed to file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. On September 4, 2007, the Respondents connected the plumbing for the dwelling to the Town of Lincoln sewerage system. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, the Respondents and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $1,500.00, which was paid to RIDEM.

November 30, 2007 - OC&I/Wetlands File No. C01-0321 re: Richard M. Lauro and Maria B. Lauro for property located approximately 2,300 feet west of Anna Sayles Road, opposite Utility pole 3-1 and approximately 3,800 feet west of the intersection of Anna Sayles Road and Ledgemont Drive, at #8 Winsor Court, Assessor's Plat 29, Lot 343 in the Town of Lincoln. On January 14, 2004 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging certain violations of the Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Freshwater Wetland Regulations. The violations pertained to clearing, grubbing, grading, filling and constructing a concrete retaining wall on the property. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of 7,500 square feet of Perimeter Wetland associated with a Swamp and 16,500 square feet of a Swamp, portions of which are Riverbank Wetland. In the NOV the Respondents were ordered to restore the freshwater wetlands. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $2,000.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. An administrative hearing was held before AAD on September 27, 2004 and RIDEM issued a Final Decision and Order ("D & O") on December 8, 2004. The D & O required restoration of the altered wetlands and payment of the penalty. The Respondents failed to file an appeal of the D & O with the Superior Court and failed to comply with the D & O. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the D & O, the Respondent Maria Lauro (currently the sole owner of the property) and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the matter. The Respondent agreed to restore the freshwater wetlands in accordance with a restoration plan approved by OC&I by November 30, 2007. The Respondent also agreed to pay the full administrative penalty of $2,000.00 and an application review fee of $150.00 (which represents the fee the Respondent would have paid had she properly applied to RIDEM for the wetland alterations that OC&I allowed to remain in place). The administrative penalty and application review fee were paid upon execution of the 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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