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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > November 2011 Summary

 
November 2011 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 2011. 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. Please note that formal case names appearing in blue text may be clicked with a computer mouse to open a PDF version of the unsigned document.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

November 1, 2011 - Air File No. 11-18 re: Town of West Warwick for the wastewater treatment facility located at 1 Pontiac Avenue in the town of West Warwick. The facility includes a wastewater pumping station identified as the Maisie Quinn Pumping Station located on Duke Street. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits. The violations pertain to the installation and operation of four emergency generators at the facility without a permit from the RIDEM. The RIDEM met with the Respondent's agents after the March/April 2010 floods and explained that permits are required from the RIDEM prior to the installation of new or rebuilt/repaired emergency generators. The RIDEM learned in June 2011 that the Respondent installed emergency generators at the wastewater treatment facility. The RIDEM issued a letter to the Respondent requesting information on all emergency generators installed at its wastewater treatment facility and pumping stations. On June 15, 2011 and June 29, 2011 the Respondent's consultant submitted letters to the RIDEM regarding the installation and operation of the generators. The letters stated that three diesel fired 1,214 horsepower (HP) emergency generators with a maximum heat input capacity of 8.41 million British thermal units per hour (BTUs/hour) were installed at the wastewater treatment plant. One emergency generator was installed on or about January 14, 2011 and the other two generators were installed on or about April 3, 2011. The letter also stated that one diesel fired 1,180 HP emergency generator with a maximum heat input capacity of 6.79 million BTUs/hour was installed at the Maisie Quinn pumping station in calendar year 2003. RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 9 requires a minor source permit from the RIDEM for any emergency generator with an internal combustion engine of 50 HP or larger and an initial start up date on or after November 15, 2007 or for any fuel burning device designed to burn liquid fuels having a heat input capacity of 5.0 million BTUs or more per hour. In the NOV, the Respondent was ordered to submit to the RIDEM completed minor source permit applications for the generators. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $10,000.00.

November 4, 2011 - Freshwater Wetland File No. FW C06-0361 re: Joseph R. Vinagro Properties, LLC for property located approximately 1,000 feet north of Plainfield Pike (Route 14) and 1,000 feet east of Green Hill Road, situated 1,600 feet northwest of the commercial building at 2208 Plainfield Pike, approximately 1,200 feet northeast of the intersection of Plainfield Pike and Green Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 30, Lot 10, in the town of Johnston. The Respondent owns the property. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertain to clearing, filling (in the form of at least soil material, stone, concrete blocks, and other construction materials), grading, and creating soil disturbance within a Forested Wetland, portions of which are Riverbank Wetland; clearing, filling (in the form of at least soil material, stone, and construction materials), grading, and culverting within a Stream; and clearing, filling (in the form of at least soil material, stone, concrete blocks, and other construction materials), grading, and creating soil disturbance within Riverbank Wetland. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 3.2 acres of freshwater wetland. The OC&I inspected the property on September 15, 2006 and September 14, 2010 and documented the violations. On October 5, 2010 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violations. The notice required specific actions to correct the violations. The Respondent has failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to restore the altered wetlands. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,000.00.

November 14, 2011 - Freshwater Wetland File No. FW C07-0293 re: Walter Armstrong for property located at 1 Almy Street, Assessor's Plat 28, Lot 91, in the town of Johnston. The Respondent owns the property. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violations pertain to clearing, filling (in the form of at least soil material, boulders, rocks, stones, and various landscape features), grading, and creating soil disturbance within a Swamp, portions of which are also within Riverbank Wetland and Floodplain; clearing, filling (in the form of soil material, crushed stone, rocks, boulders, wood chips, various structures, fencing, and other various materials), grading, and creating soil disturbance within Riverbank Wetland, portions of which are also within Perimeter Wetland and Floodplain; clearing, filling (in the form of soil material and fencing material), grading, and creating soil disturbance within a second Perimeter Wetland, portions of which are also within a second Riverbank Wetland and Floodplain; and filling (in the form of soil material, crushed stone, rocks, structures, fencing and other various materials) and grading within zones of Floodplain which lie outside of other freshwater wetlands. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 1.7 acres of freshwater wetland. The OC&I inspected the property on September 5, 2007 and November 29, 2007 and documented the violations. On April 14, 2009 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violations. The notice required specific actions to correct the violations. On April 27, 2009 the OC&I received a letter from the Respondent's attorney requesting additional time to evaluate the requirements in the notice. On October 29, 2010 the OC&I issued a letter to the Respondent's attorney stating that the OC&I had not received a response to the notice. The Respondent has failed to respond to the letter or comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to restore the altered wetlands. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,750.00.

November 22, 2011 - Septic System File CI 11-89 re: Richard J. Lyons and Constance L. Lyons for property located at 42 Pinecrest Drive, Assessor's Parcel ID No. 38-4-3 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondents. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On June 15, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On June 20, 2011 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondents for the violation. The notice required that specific actions be taken to correct the violation. The Respondents failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to connect the plumbing for the dwelling to the town's sewerage system (if sewers will be available within one year) or repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,400.00.

November 22, 2011 - Septic System File CI 11-98 re: Kathleen M. Stoddard for property located at 501 Hill Street, Assessor's Plat 96, Lot 88 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On June 21, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On June 23, 2011 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violation. The notice required that specific actions be taken to correct the violation. The Respondent failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to connect the plumbing for the dwelling to the town's sewerage system (if sewers will be available within one year) or repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,000.00.

November 22, 2011 - Septic System File CI 92-108 re: Brian G. Evans and Jeanne M. Sullivan\ for property located at 132 Wood Cove Drive, Assessor's Plat 34, Lot 67 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondents. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On April 27, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On May 11, 2011 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondents for the violation. The notice required that specific actions be taken to correct the violation. The Respondents failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to connect the plumbing for the dwelling to the town's sewerage system (if sewers will be available within one year) or repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,000.00.

November 22, 2011 - Septic System File CI 93-516 re: Glen J. MacDonald and Helen A. MacDonald for property located at 226 Chandler Avenue, Assessor's Plat 49, Lot 739 in the city of Pawtucket. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondents. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On April 19, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On April 21, 2011 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondents for the violation. The notice required that specific actions be taken to correct the violation. The Respondents failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,000.00.

November 23, 2011 - Septic System File CI 11-90 re: Joseph D. Tamelleo, Jr. and Evelyn Wasilewski for property located at 10 Loxley Drive, Assessor's Plat 64, Lot 24 in the town of Johnston. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondents. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On June 20, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On June 23, 2011 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondents for the violation. The notice required that specific actions be taken to correct the violation. The Respondents failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to connect the plumbing for the dwelling to the town's sewerage system (if sewers will be available within one year) or repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,400.00.

November 23, 2011 - Septic System File CI 11-97 re: Jon H. Schuman and Diane A. Schuman for property located at 84 Reservoir Road, Assessor's Parcel ID No. 0043-015.112 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondents. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On June 21, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On June 23, 2011 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondents for the violation. The notice required that specific actions be taken to correct the violation. The Respondents failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to connect the plumbing for the dwelling to the town's sewerage system (if sewers will be available within one year) or repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,200.00.

November 28, 2011 - Septic System File CI 11-96 re: Jill Trelease for property located at 32 Seaspray Way, Assessor's Plat 1, Lot 218 in the town of Little Compton. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On June 15, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On June 17, 2011 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violation. The notice required that specific actions be taken to correct the violation. The Respondent failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to connect the plumbing for the dwelling to the town's sewerage system (if sewers will be available within one year) or repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,400.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

November 4, 2011 - Septic System File No. CI 04-132 re: John Lanni for property located at 49 Baltimore Avenue, Assessor's Plat T, Lot 396 in the town of Narragansett. The property includes a single-family house. On January 25, 2005 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (ISDS Regulations). The violations pertained to the discharge of shower waste to the ground and a failed septic system that accepts sewage from the house. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondent to pump the septic system as needed to prevent sewage overflows and have the system evaluated and repaired. The Respondent was also ordered to propose a plan to permanently correct the shower discharge violation. The OC&I assessed a penalty of $1,000.00. The Respondent failed to file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondent repaired the septic system to comply with the Order section of the NOV and offered to pay a penalty of $300.00. The OC&I accepted the offer to resolve the NOV.

November 30, 2011 - Freshwater Wetland File No. FW C08-0009 re: Joseph Accaoui and Antoinette Accaoui for property located at 10 Grandstand Drive, Assessor's Plat 42, Lot 219 in the town of Lincoln. The Respondents own the property. On August 9, 2011 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertained to clearing, filling (in the form of at least soil material), installing a chain link fence, portions of a paved basketball court, and maintaining a manicured lawn within Perimeter Wetland and clearing, filling (in the form of at least soil material), installing a chain link fence, a portion of a paved basketball court and an in ground swimming pool with Riverbank Wetland. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 15,400 square feet of freshwater wetland. On May 19, 2011 the Respondents submitted a plan to resolve the violations, which was approved by the OC&I. On July 19, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and determined that the Respondents completed all the work in accordance with the approved plan. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to maintain the plantings that were installed as shown on the approved plan. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $8,000.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to maintain the plantings and pay a penalty of $2,500.00 in five monthly installments of $500.00. The first installment was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

November 29, 2011 - Septic System File CI 07-80 and Superior Court File No. PC 11-3747 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Jonathan B. Harlan and Sabrina Harlan for property located at 42 Beausoleil Street, Assessor's Plat 51, Lot 63 in the city of Woonsocket. The property includes a 3-bedroom single family dwelling. On March 26, 2009 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (ISDS Regulations) and the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violations pertained to the overflow of sewage from the individual sewage disposal system (ISDS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. In the NOV the Defendants were ordered to pump the ISDS as necessary to prevent overflows of sewage to the ground surface, retain a licensed designer to evaluate the cause of the ISDS failure, and repair the ISDS if necessary. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,200.00. The Defendants failed to file an appeal of the NOV at AAD and failed to comply with the NOV. On July 1, 2011 the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM asked the court to order the Defendants to come into compliance with the OWTS Regulations and pay the administrative penalty of $1,200.00. On September 15, 2011 the Defendants submitted documents to the RIDEM that showed the Defendants had come into compliance with the OWTS Regulations. Prior to a court hearing, the RIDEM and the Defendants entered an Order with the court to resolve the complaint. The Defendants agreed to pay the $1,200.00 administrative penalty in monthly installments of $100.00. The first installment was paid upon execution of the Order.

November 29, 2011 - Septic System File CI 00-27 and Superior Court File No. PC 11-3250 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant Pauline M. Braden for property located at 87 Read Avenue, Assessor's Plat 64, Lot 50 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a 4-bedroom single family dwelling. On June 29, 2007 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendant alleging that the Defendant violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (ISDS Regulations). The violations pertained to the overflow of sewage from the individual sewage disposal system (ISDS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground and the discharge of laundry waste from the dwelling to the surface of the ground. In the NOV the Defendant was ordered to cease the discharge of laundry waste, pump the ISDS as necessary to prevent overflows of sewage to the ground surface, retain a licensed designer to evaluate the cause of the ISDS failure, and repair the ISDS if necessary. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $800.00. The Defendant failed to file an appeal of the NOV at AAD and failed to comply with the NOV. On June 7, 2011 the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court against the Defendant. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM asked the court to order the Defendant to come into compliance with the ISDS Regulations and pay the administrative penalty of $800.00. The Defendant submitted documents to the RIDEM that show she does not have the financial means to repair the ISDS or pay the administrative penalty. Prior to a court hearing on the complaint, the RIDEM and the Defendant entered an Order with the court to resolve the complaint. The Defendant agreed to retain a licensed septage hauler to pump the ISDS as often as necessary to keep the system from overflowing. The Defendant also agreed to discontinue all use of the washing machine and limit the occupancy of the dwelling to no more than 2 persons until the ISDS is repaired or the plumbing for the dwelling is connected to the town sewers. The Defendant further agreed to have the have the system repaired within sixty (60) days of any property sale or transfer of ownership.

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rev. 12/21/11