November 2020 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 (OC&I) for November 2020. 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 the OC&I used to determine the penalty, and, by law, allows a respondent the ability to appeal or contest the NOV to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) Administrative Adjudication Division (AAD). Since most NOVs are contested cases, the OC&I 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 the RIDEM's Office of Customer and Technical Assistance. The OC&I often resolve 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 Angela Spadoni at 401-222-4700 ext. 7307, fax 401-222-3810. Please note that formal case names appearing in blue text are linked to a PDF version of the unsigned document.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

November 2, 2020 – Water Pollution File No. 19-178 re: RI Building Corp and Foster Excavation for property located off Plain Meeting House Road, Assessor’s Plat 33, Lot 1-1 in the Town of West Greenwich, Rhode Island. On March 5, 2019, RI Building Corp, a domestic profit corporation organized pursuant to the laws of the State of Rhode Island, applied to RIDEM for a general permit to construct a residential subdivision and associated roadway and stormwater treatment structures at the property. On September 6, 2019, RIDEM issued a permit to RI Building Corp for the project. Foster Excavation, Inc., a domestic profit corporation organized pursuant to the laws of the State of Rhode Island, was contracted to construct the project. OC&I alleges that Respondents violated the permit and Rhode Island’s Water Pollution Act, Water Quality Regulations and Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. View the NOV.

November 2, 2020 – Air Pollution File No. 19-108 re: PCL FIXTURES, INC. for a facility located at 275 Ferris Avenue, in the City of East Providence, Rhode Island. Respondent operates the facility. The facility is a stationary source of air pollutants. OC&I alleges that Respondent violated Rhode Island’s regulations titled Air Pollution Control Permits and Control of Volatile Organic Compounds from Adhesives and Sealants. View the NOV.

November 23, 2020 – Water Pollution File No. 20-110 re: Town of Bristol and Bristol County Water Authority. The Town of Bristol (Bristol) owns and operates a wastewater collection and treatment system in the Town of Bristol, Rhode Island (facility). The facility includes a pipe beneath Hopeworth Avenue in the Town of Bristol, Rhode Island. Bristol County Water Authority owns and operates a drinking water supply system that includes a pipe beneath Hopeworth Avenue in the Town of Bristol, Rhode Island. On September 9, 2016, RIDEM issued a permit to Bristol to discharge treated wastewater from the facility to Bristol Harbor. The permit does not authorize the discharge of untreated wastewater from the facility to any waters of the State. The permit became effective on October 1, 2016. OC&I alleges that Respondents violated the permit and Rhode Island’s Water Pollution Act, Water Quality Regulations and Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. View the NOV.

Formal Enforcement Actions Settled or Resolved:

October 20, 2020 – Onsite Wastewater Treatment System File No. OCI-OWTS-14-213 re: James E. Ricci and Sharon G. Ricci for property located at 120 Highbank Avenue, Assessor's Plat 166, Lot 484 in the Town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The property includes a single-family residence that was served by a cesspool. Respondents own the property. On January 2, 2020, OC&I issued a NOV to Respondents alleging that Respondents violated the Rhode Island Cesspool Act of 2007 and Rhode Island’s Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. View the NOV. Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, Respondents complied with the Order section of the NOV and paid a reduced penalty of $3,000 to resolve the NOV.

November 12, 2020 – Onsite Wastewater Treatment System File No. OCI-OWTS-14-101 re: David J. DeCubellis, Jr., Dale Fitzgerald et als for property located at 5 Pine Tree Point Road, Assessor's Plat Y/1, Lot 230 in the Town of Narragansett, Rhode Island. The property includes a single-family residence that was served by a cesspool. Respondents own the property. On October 2, 2019, OC&I issued a NOV to Respondents alleging that Respondents violated the Rhode Island Cesspool Act of 2007 and Rhode Island’s Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. View the NOV. Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, Respondents complied with the Order section of the NOV and submitted documents to OC&I that supported a full waiver of the administrative penalty assessed in the NOV.

November 15, 2020 – Freshwater Wetlands File No. COMPLAINT NO. 178 re: Mr. and Mrs. Sam Catalano for property located at 278 Douglas Pike, Assessor’s Plat 42, Lot 60 in the Town of Smithfield, Rhode Island. Respondents formerly owned the property. On August 7, 1978, RIDEM issued a NOV to Respondents alleging certain violations of Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act. In the NOV, RIDEM alleged that Respondents altered wetlands by filling. The NOV ordered Respondents to restore the freshwater wetlands. No administrative penalty was assessed in the NOV. On August 8, 1978, the NOV was recorded in the land evidence records of the Town of Smithfield, Rhode Island. Respondents failed to request an administrative hearing to contest the NOV and failed to comply with the NOV. On April 3, 2020, MacDonald Douglas Realty LLC acquired the property. On October 28, 2020, OC&I inspected the property and determined that freshwater wetlands were restored in accordance with a plan that was approved by OC&I. On November 15, 2020, OC&I and MacDonald Douglas Realty LLC executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. View the Agreement.

November 22, 2020 – Multimedia – Solid Waste File No. SW-89-28 and Freshwater Wetlands File No. C08-37 re: Clarence Huling and Winifred Ann Constanza for property located at 35 Forest Lane, Assessor’s Plat 19, Lot 2 (Lot 2) and 55 Forest Lane, Assessor’s Plat 19, Lot 1 (Lot 1) in the Town of East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Clarence Huling (Huling) owned Lot 1 and Lot 2 as of September 18, 1989. Huling and Winifred Ann Constanza (Constanza) jointly owned Lot 1 as of May 18, 2010. GDUBON PROPERTIES, LLC (GDUBON) acquired Lot 1 and Lot 2 on June 20, 2018. On September 18, 1989, RIDEM issued a NOV (1989 NOV) to Huling alleging that Huling violated Rhode Island’s Refuse Disposal Act. The violation pertained to the depositing of solid waste on the surface of the ground. In the 1989 NOV, Huling was ordered to remove and properly dispose of the solid waste. RIDEM assessed an administrative penalty of $5,000. Huling did not file an appeal of the 1989 NOV and did not comply with the NOV. On May 18, 2010, OC&I issued a NOV (2010 NOV) to Huling and Constanza alleging that Respondents violated Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertained to clearing and filling (in the form of at least soil material and construction debris) within Swamp and Perimeter Wetland for the purpose of constructing roadways. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of about 11,460 square feet of freshwater wetlands. In the 2010 NOV, OC&I ordered Huling and Constanza to cease further alterations of freshwater wetlands and restore the freshwater wetlands. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $8,000. Huling and Constanza did not file an appeal of the 2010 NOV and did not comply with the NOV. The 2010 NOV was recorded in the land evidence records of the Town East Greenwich, Rhode Island. On July 17, 2020, OC&I received a plan prepared by Mason & Associates, Inc. on behalf of GDUBON to restore the freshwater wetlands to comply with the Order section of the 2010 NOV. On October 15, 2020, OC&I inspected Lot 1 and Lot 2 and confirmed that GDUBON complied with the Order section in the 1989 NOV. On October 28, 2020, GDUBON submitted documents to OC&I that demonstrated to OC&I’s satisfaction that GDUBON restored the freshwater wetlands in accordance with the plan. On November 22, 2020, OC&I and GDUBON executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the 1989 NOV and the 2010 NOV. View the Agreement.

November 22, 2020 – Water Pollution File No. OCI-WP-18-139 re: SERITAGE SRC FINANCE LLC for a property located at 650 Bald Hill Road, Assessor’s Plat 264, Lot 1 in the City of Warwick, Rhode Island. Respondent owns the property. On July 30, 2019, OC&I issued a NOV to Respondent alleging that Respondent violated Rhode Island’s Water Pollution Act, the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Water Quality Regulations (250-RICR-150-05-1) and the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (250-RICR-150-10-1). View the NOV. Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, Respondent complied with the Order section of the NOV and paid a reduced penalty of $10,524 to fully resolve the NOV.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

November 23, 2020 – Onsite Wastewater Treatment System File No. OCI-OWTS-17-53 and Superior Court File No. PC19-6618 re: Plaintiff, Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant James P. Tiernan for property located at 20 West Allenton Road, Assessor's Plat 73, Lot 32 in the Town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The property includes a single-family residence and is owned by Defendant. On February 26, 2018, OC&I issued a NOV to Defendant alleging that Defendant violated the Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (250-RICR-150-10-6). View the NOV. Defendant did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD and did not comply with the NOV. On June 17, 2019, RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court asking the Court to order Defendant to comply with the NOV. View the Complaint. Defendant complied with the Order section of the NOV and paid a reduced penalty of $2,000 to resolve the NOV.