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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > October 2006 Summary

 
October 2006 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 October 2006. 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:

October 3, 2006 - OC&I/AIR File No. 06 - 02 re: Genesis Marketing Group, Ltd. for property located at 230 Oak Street in the City of Providence. The Respondent operates a facility at this location that is a stationary source of air pollutants subject to Rhode Island Air Pollution Control ("APC") regulations. OC&I alleges that the Respondent violated RIDEM's APC Regulations No. 22 related to "Air Toxics" and No. 36 related to "Control of Emissions from Organic Solvent Cleaning". The violations pertain to Respondent's failure to register with the RIDEM following its use and emission of trichloroethylene ("TCE") in an amount above the minimum quantity set for that chemical by RIDEM pursuant to APC Regulation No. 22; failure to properly equip or operate its organic solvent cleaning machine using TCE in compliance with APC Regulation No. 36; and failure to comply with the reporting requirements of APC Regulation No. 36. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondent to show that its organic solvent cleaning machine is in compliance with APC Regulation No. 36 or shut down its operation and provide all missing required reports within 60 days of receipt of the NOV. A penalty in the amount of $8,000.00 was assessed for Respondent's noncompliance with RIDEM's APC Regulations.

October 12, 2006 - OC&I/AIR File No. 06 - 10 re: United Painting Company, Inc. for property located at 76 Wilcox Avenue in the Town of West Warwick. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent violated RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 24 entitled "Removal of Lead Based Paint from Exterior Surfaces". The violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to properly install an impenetrable material on the ground at the lead paint removal worksite to keep any and all spent abrasive, paint, particulate, dust and other debris from being deposited on the ground and failing to equip Respondent's power sanding tools with a required high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum attachment prior to and during lead paint removal. OC&I alleges that the Respondent had been cited previously for noncompliance with APC Regulation No. 24 in July 2003, May 2004, and September 2005. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $7,500.00 for Respondent's noncompliance.

October 25, 2006 - OC&I/UST No. 06 - 01327 re: Arlene R. Barbosa and Gilbert Elchami for property located at 517 Warren Avenue, Assessor's Map 307, Block 9, Parcel One in the City of East Providence. Respondent Barbosa is the owner of the property. The property contains a UST facility known as Discount Fuels. Respondent Elchami is the operator of the facility. The UST facility has four USTs consisting of 3 8,000-gallon gasoline USTs and 1 500-gallon heating oil UST. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials ("the UST Regulations"). On June 30, 2005 the RIDEM received an Environmental Results Program ("ERP") Compliance Certification Checklist from Respondent Elchami. Respondent Elchami certified that the UST facility was being operated in full compliance with the UST Regulations. Respondent Barbosa failed to sign the ERP Checklist. An inspection by the OC&I in July 2005 revealed that Respondents failed to upgrade bare steel sections of the product piping lines for the 3 gasoline USTs, failed to compile inventory control records for the 3 gasoline USTs from March 2004 through July 2005, failed to perform monthly testing of the continuous monitoring system from March 2004 through July 2005, failed to keep the spill containment basins for 2 of the gasoline USTs and the heating oil UST free of liquids and debris, failed to mark the fill port for the heating oil UST, failed to label and secure the observation wells on site and failed to perform an annual groundwater evaluation during the year 2004. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the UST Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $6,700.00.

October 25, 2006 - OC&I/LUST File No. 06 - 3960 re: 168 Florence Drive, LLC, Thomas Tracy, Jr. & Edward Guerin, Jr. for property located at 168 Florence Drive, Assessor's Plat 27, Lot 63 in the City of Woonsocket. The Property is the site of the former Florence Dye and Textile, Inc. There were 2 23,500-gallon heating oil USTs on the property that had been abandoned for several years and were removed on or about June 9, 2005. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, Oil Pollution Control Act, RIDEM's Oil Pollution Control Regulations, Groundwater Quality Regulations and UST Regulations. The violations pertain to the subsurface petroleum contamination of both soil and groundwater discovered within the tank graves on the property, Respondents' failure to comply with temporary storage and removal requirements for oil spill cleanup debris, failure to properly and permanently close USTs that have been abandoned for longer than 180 days, failing to submit a Site Investigation Report ("SIR") as required, and failure to submit a transfer of certificate of registration to DEM prior to transferring ownership of the facility. In the NOV the Respondents were ordered to remove and properly dispose of contaminated soil excavated from the property during the tank closure and to complete a SIR for the property including a Corrective Action Plan if required by findings in the SIR. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $40,502.00.

October 25, 2006 - OC&I/UST File No. 06 - 03250 re: Citizens Financial group, Inc, CFG Associates, L.P., First States Investors 240, LLC, Capital Properties, Inc. and MPM Property management, LLC for property located at One Citizens Plaza, Assessor's Plat 19, Lot 103 in the City of Providence. A 550-gallon diesel fuel UST is located on the property. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertain to Respondents' failure to submit an Environmental Results Program Compliance Certification Checklist within the deadline prescribed by the UST Regulations, failure to complete the checklist as required, failure to submit a Return to Compliance Plan even though issues of noncompliance were identified in Respondents' checklist, failure to certify the submission by the UST owners and failure to complete the property owner information section of the checklist. On 27 September 2005 an inspection by the RIDEM determined that Respondents failed to inspect and test the sacrificial anode cathodic protection system for the product piping to the UST, failed to equip the UST with an approved automatic tank gauging system, failed to perform tightness testing of the UST and the underground product piping line in 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003 and 2004, failed to keep the spill containment basin free of liquids, failed to confirm the presence of overfill protection, failed to equip the UST with a submerged fill tube and failed to label the fill port to identify the product stored inside the UST. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the UST Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $23,561.00.

October 31, 2006 - OC&I/ISDS File No. CI00-0123 re: The Tern Inn, Inc. for property located at 92 Winnapaug Road, Assessor's Plat 152, Lot 69, in the Town of Westerly. The property includes a six unit condominium complex identified as Ocean Breeze Condominiums and is owned by the Tern Inn, Inc. RIDEM approved an individual sewage disposal system ("ISDS") repair application that limited the building use to 9 motel units and a 2 bedroom house with a combined design flow of 1,020 gallons of sewage per day. On August 2, 2006 RIDEM inspected the property. The inspection revealed that the motel units and house had been converted into a six unit condominium complex with two 2-bed units and four 1-bed units. The conversion of the motel units and the house to condominium units constitutes a "change of use" as defined by SD 1.00 of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standard Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (the "ISDS Regulations"). The Respondent failed to submit an Application for System Suitability Determination to RIDEM to determine whether the ISDS was adequate for the current use. In the NOV the Respondent was ordered to submit an Application for System Suitability Determination to RIDEM, correct any deficiencies identified as part of the RIDEM review, and upgrade the ISDS, if necessary. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $400.00.

October 31, 2006 - OC&I/ISDS File No. C00-0124 re: River Front Associates, LLC for property located at 8 Crandall Road, Assessor's Plat 164, Lot 185 in the Town of Westerly. The property includes a 27 unit time share condominium complex identified as Ocean Club at Atlantic Beach and is owned by River Front Associates LLC. RIDEM approved an Application for System Suitability Determination for the individual sewage disposal system ("ISDS") that limited the building use to 27 one-bedroom motel units and a design flow of 2,640 gallons of sewage per day. On August 2, 2006 a RIDEM inspector performed an inspection of the property. The inspection revealed that the building had been converted into 27 time share units with twenty-three 1-bed units and four 2-bed units. The conversion of the motel units to time share units constitutes a "change of use" as defined by SD 1.00 of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standard Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (the "ISDS Regulations"). The Respondent failed to submit an Application for System Suitability Determination to RIDEM to determine whether the ISDS was adequate for the current use. In the NOV the Respondent was ordered to submit an Application for System Suitability Determination to RIDEM, correct any deficiencies identified as part of the RIDEM review, and upgrade the ISDS, if necessary. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $400.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

October 18, 2006 - OC&I/Water Pollution File No. 06-02 re: PJS Properties, LLC for property located at 1201 Douglas Pike, Assessor's Map 49, Lot 67 in the Town of Smithfield. On February 3, 2006, OC&I issued a NOV to PJS Properties, LLC (PJS) and N.E. Environmental Services (NES). PJS owns the property that includes a manufacturing building. NES leased the property from PJS for the purpose of recycling used anti-freeze and motor oil and vacated the building in May 2005. The building has been unoccupied from May 2005 to present. OC&I alleged in the NOV that PJS and NES violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, Oil Pollution Control Act and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations, Groundwater Quality Regulations, Underground Injection Control (UIC) Regulations, Individual Sewage Disposal System (ISDS) Regulations, Oil Pollution Control Regulations, and Site Remediation Regulations. The violations pertained to the unauthorized discharge of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol and oil to the surface water and groundwaters of the State and the land, the unauthorized use of a closed underground injection control ("UIC") system in the manufacturing building, the improper disposal of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol and oil into the individual sewage disposal system ("ISDS"), the failure of the ISDS, and the failure to immediately notify RIDEM of a release of oil and failure to submit a written report to RIDEM within 10 days. In the NOV PJS was ordered to undertake the following actions: immediately remove all fluid from the UIC system and properly dispose of the fluid; immediately remove all wastewater from the septic tank, distribution box, and leach field for the ISDS and properly dispose of the wastewater; continue to keep the manufacturing building vacant until all work to clean up the property is completed; conduct a Site Investigation ("SI") of the property within 60 days in accordance with RIDEM's Site Remediation Regulations; submit a Site Investigation Report ("SIR") within 90 days to RIDEM in accordance with the RIDEM's Site Remediation Regulations; complete all requirements to clean up the property within 120 days of approval by RIDEM of the SIR; connect the sewerage system for the property to the Town's sewerage system (if available) or repair the failed ISDS; and properly close the UIC system. OC&I assessed a penalty of $82,047.65 against PJS and NES. PJS and NES appealed the NOV to AAD. PJS retained Alliance Environmental Group (AEG) to address the ordered actions in the NOV. AEG submitted a SIR and addendum to the SIR to RIDEM on February 20, 2006 and August 17, 2006, respectively, and PJS has initiated remediation of the property. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, PJS and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. PJS agreed to keep the manufacturing building unoccupied until PJS receives written correspondence from RIDEM certifying that all site remediation work is complete and the ISDS at the property is repaired. PJS agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $4,797.00, which was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement. The enforcement matter involving NES is still pending before the AAD.

October 23, 2006 - OC&I/UST File No. 06 - 03081 re: Amerada Hess Corporation for property located at 2400 West Shore Road, Assessor's Plat 361, Lot 216 in the City of Warwick. The Respondent is the owner/operator of three 8,000-gallon gasoline USTs at the property. On June 29, 2006 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violation pertained to Respondent's replacement of product piping as part of a UST facility upgrade without the specific written approval of the RIDEM. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to provide all post installation documentation necessary for RIDEM to review and approve the installation. A penalty in the amount of $5,000.00 was assessed in the NOV. The Respondent failed to file an appeal of the NOV with the AAD but supplied the OC&I with evidence that it achieved compliance with the order portion of the NOV following its issuance. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOV, the Respondent and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondent agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $3,000.00. The penalty was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

October 30, 2006 - OC&I/UST File No. 06 - 01622 re: K Brothers, LLC, CCO, LLC, Yasim Mohammad and Service Station Equipment, Inc. for property located at 885 Post Road, Assessor's Plat 295, Lot 405 in the City of Warwick. The Respondents own or operate three gasoline USTs on the property that are 10,000-gallons, 8,000-gallons and 6,000-gallons in size. On April 7, 2006 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that on or about 29 April 2005, the RIDEM received a request from Respondents to make certain modifications to the USTs. By letter dated 5 May 2005, RIDEM granted approval to conduct the modifications; however, RIDEM specifically noted that any modification of the product piping associated with the USTs would require separate prior written notification and approval from the Director. Despite this notification, RIDEM received information that the product piping for the USTs had been replaced in or about July 2005 without the required approval. The Respondents cooperated with the RIDEM UST permitting section since the discovery of the alleged violation and submitted all documentation and test results required for the piping replacement project. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $3,000.00 for Respondents' noncompliance. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondents and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondents agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $2,600.00. The penalty was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

October 30, 2006 - OC&I/UST File No. 05 - 02123 re: Richmond Airport, Inc. and Gordon Realty, Inc. for property located at 23 Heaton Orchard Road, Assessor's Plat 7E, Lot 26 in the Town of Richmond. On December 28, 2005 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violation pertained to noncompliance with the UST Environmental Results Program ("ERP") requirements set forth in Rule 8.03 of the 2005 UST Regulations. 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 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 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 NOV, the Respondents had not complied with the ERP requirements. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered compliance with the UST Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $3,000.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondents and the OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Respondents complied with the order portion of the NOV following its issuance. The Respondents and the OC&I agreed to a penalty in the amount of $2,000.00. The Respondent paid $200.00 upon execution of the Consent Agreement and agreed to pay the remaining $1,800.00 in 12 monthly installments of $150.00 each starting in November 2006.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

October 11, 2006 - Superior Court Case File No. PC05 - 6442 and OC&I/LUST File No. 98-28105 re: W. Michael Sullivan, PhD, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Plaintiff, v. Jordan Services, Inc., Defendant for property located at 344 Manton Avenue, Assessor's Plat 63, Lot 507 in the City of Providence. On March 31, 1999 the OC&I issued a NOV to the Defendant alleging that the Defendant was in violation of the Water Pollution Act, the Oil Pollution Control Act, RIDEM's Oil Pollution Control Regulations, RIDEM's Groundwater Quality Regulations and RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertain to a release of petroleum products into the ground and ground waters of the State. The release resulted from USTs owned and operated by the Defendant at the property. The OC&I alleged that the Defendant failed to submit a Site Investigation Report ("SIR") as required by RIDEM's UST Regulations to ascertain the extent of contamination in the ground and the ground water and failed to submit a Corrective Action Plan ("CAP") to resolve the contamination on the property. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendant to complete a SIR, to complete a CAP, to monitor remediation of the property until such time as all soils and ground water are adequately treated and reimburse RIDEM for all funds expended in the investigation and remediation of the property. A penalty in the amount of $34,500.00 was assessed in the NOV. The Defendant failed to file an appeal of the NOV. Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law, Defendant's failure to file an appeal of the NOV within the timeframe allowed by law results in the NOV becoming a final agency order enforceable in Superior Court. Prior to filing a complaint in Superior Court, the Plaintiff attempted to resolve this enforcement action through mediation. Plaintiff negotiated with this Defendant in an attempt to resolve this enforcement action from November 2004 through October 2005. In October 2005, Plaintiff withdrew from mediation in order to seek a court order to achieve compliance. On December 19, 2005 Plaintiff W. Michael Sullivan filed a complaint in the Superior Court seeking an order of the court to require the Defendant to comply with the NOV and to pay the penalty of $34,500.00. Following a hearing on the matter on January 30, 2006, the Superior Court ordered the Defendant to immediately take all action necessary to comply with the orders set forth in the NOV and to pay the administrative penalty as set forth in the compliance order. The Defendant filed a Motion for Relief. In response to the Motion, Plaintiff and Defendant entered a stipulation with the Court whereby Defendant agreed to comply with all orders of the Court within thirty (30) days except payment of the administrative penalty at the time. On October 11, 2006 RIDEM and the Defendant executed a Consent Judgment with the Superior Court to resolve the enforcement matter. The Defendant resolved all issues of noncompliance to the satisfaction of the Plaintiff, and Plaintiff agreed to evaluate Defendant's ability to pay the penalty set forth in the NOV. Following evaluation, the Defendant and the Plaintiff agreed to a penalty in the amount of $10,125.00 to resolve the enforcement action. The agreed upon penalty has been paid in full.

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