Actions Settled or Resolved
This report includes formal enforcement actions issued or resolved by the Office of Compliance & Inspection for the month of September 2001. 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.
September 12, 2001 - OC&I/SEPTIC SYSTEM File No. CI-196-10 re: Robert DeMello d/b/a RDM Realty, Inc. for property located at 1070 Crandall Road, Assessor's Block 131, Card 12A, in the Town of Tiverton. On June 14, 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated sections of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems ("ISDS Regulations"). The violations consisted of allowing sewage to discharge to the surface of the ground from the septic system on the property; pumping sewage to another portion of the property; and failing to obtain a permit to alter a septic system. The OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $5,000.00. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondent and the OC&I negotiated a settlement of the NOV. The Septic system was repaired and conformed on June 22, 2001 and the OC&I and the Respondent executed a consent agreement wherein it was agreed to reduce the penalty to $3,500.00. The Respondent has paid the penalty in full.
September 12, 2001 - OC&I/SEPTIC SYSTEM File No. CI-196-10 re: Mark and Cheryl DeMello for property located at 1070 Crandall Road, Assessor's Block 131, Card 12A, in the Town of Tiverton. On June 14, 2000, the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated sections of RIDEM's ISDS Regulations. The violations consisted of allowing sewage to discharge to the surface of the ground from the septic system on the property; pumping sewage to another portion of the property; and failing to obtain a permit to alter a septic system. The OC&I ordered compliance with the regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $3,000.00. The Respondents appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the Respondents and the OC&I negotiated a settlement of the NOV. The septic system was repaired and conformed on June 22, 2001 and the OC&I and the Respondents executed a consent agreement wherein it was agreed to reduce the penalty to $1,775.00. The penalty has been paid in full.
September 17, 2001 - OC&I/RCRA/Solid Waste File No. 99-033 re: The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation for property located at 65 Shun Pike, Assessor's Plat 14, lot 402, in the Town of Johnston. On July 30, 1999 the OC&I issued a NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated portions of the Hazardous Waste Management Act, sections of the Hazardous Waste Management Rules, the Refuse Disposal Act and the Rules and Regulations for Composting Facilities and Solid Waste Management Facilities. The violations pertained to the illegal disposal of hazardous waste, failing to have an operating permit to accept hazardous waste for disposal, failing to meet the requirements for facility land-filling of hazardous waste, unauthorized use of alternative cover material, and failing to maintain a program to detect the disposal of PCB wastes. The OC&I ordered the Respondent to stop accepting hazardous waste and to submit a plan to locate and remove all hazardous waste from the facility. A closure plan consistent with federal regulations was also required. A penalty in the amount of $307,752.00 was assessed. The Respondent appealed the NOV to the AAD. Prior to hearing, the OC&I and the Respondent negotiated a settlement of the NOV. The Respondent provided an engineering assessment relating to closure standards present at the landfill and a comparison with RCRA standards showing that the standards were substantially similar. Based upon the amount of material disposed and the conditions of disposal, the RIDEM agreed that harm/risk from the disposal would not be severe. Subsequently, removal or closure was not required. A consent agreement was executed wherein the Respondent agreed to a penalty in the amount of $184,956.00. The RIDEM agreed to a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) by the Respondent whereby the Respondent would assume the operations of a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility (ECO-Depot) currently administered by the RIDEM. The household hazardous waste collection operations must meet at least current standards of 11 collection days per year and be operated under this agreement for a period of at least 4 years. The cost of the SEP is estimated to be $384,538.00. RIDEM agreed to accept the cost of the SEP as offset for the penalty of $184,956.00. The Respondent commenced operation of the ECO-Depot in July 2001.