October 2019 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 October 2019. 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:

October 2, 2019 – 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 is served by an onsite wastewater treatment system. Respondents owns the property. OC&I alleges that Respondents violated the Rhode Island Cesspool Act of 2007 and the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (250-RICR-150-10-6). View the NOV.

October 15, 2019 – Freshwater Wetland File No. OCI-FW-18-23 re: Roderick T. Nunes, Diane M. Nunes and 4 N PROPERTIES, LLC for property located approximately 1,000 feet south/southeast of the southwestern intersection of Industrial Lane and Clyde Street, Plat 18, Lot 268 in the Town of West Warwick, Rhode Island. Lot 268 was previously part of a larger parcel identified as Plat 18, Lot 246. 4 N PROPERTIES, LLC owned Lot 246. 4 N PROPERTIES, LLC acquired Lot 246 on November 17, 2004. On April 27, 2016, 4 N PROPERTIES, LLC subdivided Lot 246 into 5 separate parcels, one of which was Lot 268. On June 29, 2016, 4 N PROPERTIES, LLC sold Lot 268 to Roderick T. Nunes and Diane M. Nunes. OC&Ialleges that Respondents violated Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Rules and Regulations for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act (250-RICR-150-15-1). View the NOV.

Formal Enforcement Actions Settled or Resolved:

October 1, 2019 – Dam File No. State I.D. 99 (Moffett Dam) and OCI-DAMS-16-8 re: Eddy Del Grande and Carmela A. Del Grande for a dam located adjacent to Great Road on Assessor’s Plat 22, Lot 41 and Assessor’s Plat 22, Lot 115 in the Town of Lincoln, Rhode Island (collectively, the property). Respondents own the property. A portion of Dam 99 lies on the property. The dam is classified by RIDEM as High Hazard. On August 30, 2018, OC&I issued a NOV to Respondents alleging that Respondents violated the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety (250-RICR-130-05-1). View the NOV. Respondents did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD and fully complied with the NOV.

October 7, 2019 – Underground Storage Tank File No. OCI-17-60-01263 re: Imad E. Melhem and GNI West Warwick, Inc. for property located at 929 Providence Street, Assessor’s Plat 39, Lot 213 in the Town of West Warwick, Rhode Island. The property includes a motor fuel storage and dispensing system and a motor vehicle service station (facility). Imad E. Melhem owns the property. GNI West Warwick, Inc. operates the facility. On January 2, 2019, OC&I issued a NOV to Respondents alleging that Respondents violated the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (250-RICR-140-25-1). View the NOV. Imad E. Melhem filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. GNI West Warwick, Inc. did not. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, Respondents complied with the Order section of the NOV, and OC&I and Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. View the Agreement.

October 17, 2019 – Underground Storage Tank File No. OCI-UST-18-62-00536 re: SKEES REALTY, LTD for property located at 753 East Main Road, Assessor’s Plat 113, Lot 800 in the Town of Middletown, Rhode Island. The property includes a motor fuel storage and dispensing system and underground storage tanks that are used for storage of petroleum product. SKEES REALTY, LTD owns the property. On April 18, 2019, OC&I issued a NOV to Respondent alleging that Respondent violated the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Regulated Substances and Hazardous Materials (250-RICR-140-25-1). 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 administrative penalty of $2,229 to RIDEM to fully resolve the NOV.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

RIDEM vs. Defendants Paul A. Silver, as executor of the Estate of Gisele Elkin, Dorothy Elkin, as executor of the Estate of Gisele Elkin and Estate of Gisele Elkin for property located at 21 Sabin Street, Assessor's Map 8, Lot 329 in the City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Elkin Investments, Inc. was the owner of the property. The Rhode Island Secretary of State's corporation’s database lists Elkin Investments, Inc. as an inactive corporation. The date of the revocation certificate was November 26, 2007. The record lists Gisele Elkin as the president of the corporation. On August 28, 2013, OC&I issued a NOV to Gisele Elkin and Thurston Hartford dba E-Lifecycle Management, LLC alleging that Ms. Elkin and Mr. Hartford violated the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Rules and Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste (250-RICR-140-10-1). Mr. Hartford was a former tenant at the property. View the NOV. Ms. Elkin and Mr. Hartford did not file an appeal of the NOV and did not comply with the NOV. Ms. Elkin died, but her estate remained open. Mr. Hartford's whereabouts was unknown. On October 12, 2016, RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court asking the Court to order Defendants to fully comply with the NOV. View the Complaint. Prior to a hearing on the complaint, RIDEM and Defendants agreed to a Consent Order that was entered by the Court on October 30, 2019 to resolve the complaint. Defendants agreed to remove all hazardous waste (in the form of universal waste) from the property and properly dispose of the waste within 180 days. Defendants agreed to remediate the building of all lead dust within 120 days. Lastly, Defendants agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $4,174, which was paid to RIDEM.