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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > September 2009 Summary

 
September 2009 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 September 2009. 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:

September 11, 2009 - Medical Waste File No. 2008 1720 SW re: St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island and Our Lady of Fatima Hospital for a property located at 200 High Service Avenue in the town of North Providence. The property includes a hospital that operates under the name of Our Lady of Fatima Hospital. Our Lady of Fatima Hospital is the owner of the property, and St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island is the operator of the facility. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the RIDEM Rules and Regulations Governing the Generation, Transportation, Storage, Treatment, Management and Disposal of Regulated Medical Waste in Rhode Island. The violations pertain to the failure to place regulated medical waste in suitable containers at the point of origin, failure to properly transport and dispose of the medical waste, failure to post universal biohazard signs in rooms used to store medical waste, and failure to disinfect carts used for the transport of medical waste within the hospital. On December 5, 2007 OC&I was informed by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) that medical waste from the facility was received at the RIRRC landfill in Johnston. On December 19, 2007 OC&I issued a letter to St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island informing the company of the improper disposal of medical waste at the landfill. On January 10, 2008 OC&I inspected the facility and documented the additional violations. On January 15, 2008, February 27, 2008 and April 24, 2009 OC&I was informed by the RIRRC that medical waste from the facility was received at the landfill. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to take specific actions to correct the violations and assessed an administrative penalty of $27,500.00.

September 11, 2009 - UST File No. 2009-02087 re: 4552 Post Road LLC and Michael Ashkar for property located at 4552 Post Road in the city of Warwick. The property includes a gasoline station with four 4,000 gallon underground storage tanks (UST) used for storage of gasoline. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of the RIDEM Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). The violations pertain to the failure to retain a qualified person to test the line leak detectors in 2006 and 2007; failure to test the impact valves in 2006 and 2007; failure to retain a qualified person to certify/test the continuous monitoring system (CMS) in 2006 and 2007; failure to keep the spill containment basins free of liquid, and the failure to retain a qualified person to certify/test the sacrificial anode cathodic protection for the USTs. The violations were first observed during an inspection by OC&I in October 2007. OC&I issued noncompliance letters in November 2007, January 2008, March 2008, and July 2008 requiring action to correct the violations. The Respondents submitted one report to OC&I to address the noncompliance; however, the report did not satisfy all the noncompliance issues. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the UST Regulations and assessed an administrative penalty of $5,733.00.

September 15, 2009 - Freshwater Wetland File No. C08-0180 re: Russell J. Metivier, Larry Metivier, and Fernande L. Metivier for property located approximately 200 feet northeast of the intersection of Gary Street and Louise Ann Drive, immediately north of Gary Street, Assessor's Plat 32, Lot 13C in the town of Smithfield. The Respondents are the owners of the property. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertains to clearing, grading, filling (in the form of woodchips) and installing property accessories within a 100-foot Riverbank Wetland, portions of which are also within 50-foot Perimeter Wetland. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of 4,900 square feet of freshwater wetland. The violation was first observed during an inspection of the property on September 30, 2008. DEM had previously cited Russell J. Metivier for altering this same wetland in April 1992. The notice required Mr. Metivier to stop any and all work within the wetland and allow the area to recover naturally. Mr. Metivier submitted a letter to DEM in May 1992 stating that he would comply with the notice. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondents to restore the freshwater wetlands on the property and assessed an administrative penalty of $5,000.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

September 10, 2009 - Water Pollution File No. 2007 1295 WP and 07-0130 and ISDS File No. CI 02-0225 re: CAPCO, Thomas L. Ford Trust, and Pasqua Realty Trust, Dave's Marketplace of Cumberland, Inc. and Rainha Construction Corp. for property located at 2077 Diamond Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 21, Lot 491 in the town of Cumberland. The property is owned by CAPCO, Thomas L. Ford Trust, and Pasqua Realty Trust (collectively CFP). The property includes Dave's Marketplace, a Dunkin' Donuts Restaurant, and a commercial one- story building with multiple units. The wastewater for each building was treated by several individual sewage disposal systems located on the property. On June 12, 2008 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that Respondents CFP and Dave's Marketplace of Cumberland, Inc. (DMC) violated the Rhode Island Water Pollution Act and the RIDEM Water Quality Regulations, the RIDEM Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (January 2002), and Respondent Rainha Construction Corp. (Rainha) violated the ISDS Installers' Act, R.I.G.L. 5-56-1(a). The violations pertained to the discharge of sewage from one of the individual sewage disposal systems on the property into a storm water catch basin, the discharge of food waste and grease from Dave's Marketplace into a second storm water catch basin, and the unauthorized construction by an unlicensed person of a grease tank to accommodate waste from Dave's Marketplace that was connected to one of the individual sewage disposal systems on the property. On September 12, 2007, OC&I performed an inspection of the property that revealed that a 2,500 gallon grease tank had been installed by Rainha (on behalf of DMC) and connected to one of the septic systems on the property. The OC&I inspector spoke with John Rainha and Robert Fabiano, a representative of DMC. Mr. Rainha stated that he was not a licensed ISDS installer; however, he had worked with licensed ISDS installers in the past. Mr. Fabiano informed the inspector that, in response to complaints of odors, Rainha was hired to investigate the cause. Rainha's investigation revealed that a grease trap located in the front parking lot had an overflow pipe to one of the storm water catch basins on the property. The OC&I inspector was also informed that construction was underway to connect the plumbing for all the buildings to the town's sewerage system. In the NOV, OC&I ordered Respondent CFP to retain a registered professional engineer to submit a report that includes an as-built drawing of the sanitary sewage system, certification that all septic tanks, grease tanks, pump tanks, holding tanks, concrete chambers and/or cesspools were properly abandoned and certification that all the storm drainage pipes on the property were inspected and that no illicit connections are present. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty totaling $26,800.00 distributed as follows: CFP - $12,500.00; CFP and DMC - $12,500.00; Rainha, CFP and DMC - $800.00; and Rainha - $1,000.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of NOV to AAD. To comply with the NOV, CFP connected all the buildings on the property to the municipal sewerage system, properly abandoned the septic systems on the property, and submitted a report certifying that no illicit connections are present in the storm drainage system. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, CFP and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. CFP agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $5,000.00, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement. OC&I previously executed Consent Agreements with DMC and Rainha. Execution of the Consent Agreement with CFP resolved all outstanding issues with the NOV.

September 18, 2009 - Air File No. 2007 2025 and AIR 08-08 re: Charles Butterworth d/b/a Butterworth Painting. The subject property is located at 113 Governor Bradford Drive in the town of Barrington. On October 23, 2008 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 24 entitled "Removal of Lead Based Paint from Exterior Surfaces". The violation pertained to the removal of exterior lead paint from a residence at the property by operating power sanding equipment without a required attached shroud and HEPA vacuum to capture dust from the removal operation and installation of inadequate ground sheeting that was not anchored or weighed down to prevent lead paint from being deposited on the ground. The RIDEM inspector observed play equipment within fifty (50) feet of the lead paint removal operation, specifically a basketball hoop, swing and playhouse. Lead paint debris was identified on the surface of the ground at the time of the inspection; however, a follow up inspection the next day revealed that the Respondent cleaned all lead paint debris. The Respondent was issued an NOV on June 1, 2005 for a similar violation. In this NOV, the OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $5,000.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of NOV to AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $500.00, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement.

September 22, 2009 - UST File No. 04-00831 re: the Town of Lincoln, Highway Division Garage for property located at 94 Old River Road, Assessor's Plat 29, Lot 21 in the town of Lincoln (Lincoln). Lincoln has two 10,000-gallon underground storage tanks (USTs) on the property storing gasoline and diesel fuel, respectively. On November 18, 2004 OC&I issued an NOV to Lincoln alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). The violations pertained to the failure to inspect and test UST cathodic protection systems, conduct continuous monitoring of the interstitial space of double-walled USTs, maintain inventory control records, monitor annular or interstitial space for double-walled piping systems, maintain and operate leak monitoring equipment, and to conduct monthly and annual testing for UST continuous monitoring systems. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondent to achieve full compliance with the UST Regulations. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $17,581.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of NOV to AAD. The Respondent submitted documentation showing that it complied with the Order portion of the NOV. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent and OC&I executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. Lincoln agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $3,262.00 (the amount identified as economic benefit from noncompliance) and perform a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) in lieu of payment of the remainder of the penalty. The SEP involves the removal and disposal of the existing 275 gallon above ground waste oil tank located at the garage and the installation of a new 275 gallon double walled steel above ground storage tank on a concrete pad with spill containment. The $3,262.00 was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

September 22, 2009 - Hazardous Waste File No. 2007 1226 HW re: Lowe's Home Centers, Inc. for property located at 247 Garfield Avenue, Assessor's Plat 7/3, Lot 1109 in the city of Cranston. On January 7, 2009 OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM Rules and Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management. The violation pertained to the failure to provide hazardous waste training for employees handling hazardous waste. In the NOV OC&I ordered the Respondent to provide training to all employees involved with managing hazardous waste that complies with the hazardous waste regulations. OC&I assessed a penalty of $6,250.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of NOV to AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent submitted documentation showing that it complied with the Order portion of the NOV and paid the full penalty assessed in the NOV.

September 29, 2009 - Septic System File Nos. CI 92 - 525 and CI07-41 re: Bayside Associates and Picerne Investment Pool LLC for properties located at 212 Sandy Lane, Assessor's Plat 353, Lot 85 (property A) and 400, 402, 404, and 406 Warner Brook Drive, Assessor's Plat 353, Lot 84 (property B) in the City of Warwick. Property A is owned by Picerne Investment Pool, LLC and includes six (6) separate buildings identified as Buildings 1 through 6. Building 1 is a 24 unit apartment. Building 2 is a 12 unit apartment. Building 3 is a 12 unit apartment. Building 4 is a 24 unit apartment. Building 5 is a 24 unit apartment. Building 6 is a 24 unit apartment. Property B is owned by Bayside Associates and includes four (4) separate buildings identified as buildings 7 through 10. Building 7 (400 Warner Brook Drive) is a 12 unit apartment, Building 8 (402 Warner Brook Drive) is a 12 unit apartment, Building 9 (404 Warner Brook Drive) is a 24 unit apartment, and Building 10 (406 Warner Brook Drive) is a 24 unit apartment. On March 6, 2007 OC&I issued an NOV to each Respondent alleging that the Respondents violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. The violations pertained to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the septic systems on the properties or the failure and improper maintenance of the septic systems on the properties or both. In the NOV the Respondents were ordered to pump each septic system to prevent sewage overflows, have the systems evaluated by a licensed designer to determine the cause of the failures and connect the plumbing from the building to the City of Warwick's sewerage system if a repair to the septic system was necessary. OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $4,000.00 to each Respondent. The Respondents failed to file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondents retained a licensed designer to evaluate each septic system and submitted a report prepared by the designer to OC&I on April 30, 2009. The report stated that Building 3 and Building 4 were connected to the City of Warwick's sewerage system. In lieu of proceeding to Superior Court to enforce the NOVs, OC&Iand the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement actions. The Respondents agreed to complete the connection of the following buildings to the City of Warwick's sewerage system by June 30, 2010: Building 1 laundry facilities only; Building 6; Building 9 excluding laundry facilities; and Building 10. The Respondents also agreed to complete a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) at an estimated cost of $12,000.00 as full satisfaction of the administrative penalties assessed in the NOVs. The SEP involves the connection of Building 5 to the City of Warwick's sewerage system by June 30, 2010.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

September 14, 2009 - Septic System File No. CI 02-108 and Superior Court File No. PC 09-5287 re: Plaintiff W. Michael Sullivan, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Robert D. Houghton and James R. Cantara for property located at 28 Yates Avenue, Assessor's Plat 64, Lot 103 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a multi-family (4 unit) rental dwelling and is currently owned by Defendant James R. Cantara. Defendant Robert D. Houghton was the former owner of the property. On August 16, 2004 OC&I issued an NOV to Defendant Houghton alleging that the Defendant violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. The violations pertained to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the sewage disposal system (ISDS) for the dwelling, the discharge of laundry waste to the surface of the ground, an improper/poorly maintained cover for the ISDS and renovation of the dwelling from one family to four family without prior approval by RIDEM to determine whether the ISDS was adequate. In the NOV OC&I ordered Defendant Houghton to cease the laundry discharge, reduce the discharge of sewage and have the ISDS pumped until permanently repaired, and either remove the additional dwelling units, submit an System Suitability Determination Application to demonstrate that the ISDS is adequate (including an inspection of the ISDS by a licensed designer to determine the cause of the ISDS failure), or submit an application to replace the ISDS with one designed for a four family dwelling. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $3,800.00. Defendant Houghton filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Defendant Houghton entered a Consent Judgment with the town of Coventry whereby the property was recognized by the town as a legal existing non-conforming three (3)-unit apartment dwelling. Defendant Houghton removed the fourth unit and removed the washing machine from the dwelling. Prior to a hearing on the NOV, OC&I and Defendant Houghton executed a Consent Agreement on August 15, 2005 to resolve the NOV. Defendant Houghton agreed to monitor and pump the ISDS as needed to prevent the discharge of sewage to the ground surface and connect the dwelling to the municipal sewerage system within 90 days or repair the ISDS. Defendant Houghton agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $2,400.00. The penalty was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement. Defendant Cantara purchased the property on or about December 11, 2007. On March 25, 2009 an inspection of the property by OC&I revealed that no efforts were made to repair the ISDS or connect to the municipal sewerage system. In the Superior Court complaint, RIDEM is asking the court to order the Defendants to immediately pump the ISDS and reduce the discharge of sewage to the ISDS to prevent sewage from overflowing to the ground and continue such efforts until the ISDS is repaired, repair the ISDS and pay the balance of the $3,800.00 penalty assessed in the NOV.

September 14, 2009 - Septic System File No. 2007 743 IS and CI07-0102 and Superior Court File No. PC 09-5285 re: Plaintiff W. Michael Sullivan, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Walter and Maria Harpin for property located at 40 Mapledale Street, Assessor's Plat 54, Lot 134 in the town of Coventry. The property is assessed as a three-bedroom single family dwelling and is owned by the Defendants. On March 1, 2008 OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated the RIDEM Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. The violations pertained to the overflow of sewage from the sewage disposal system (ISDS) that is located on the property to the surface of the ground. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Defendants to cease the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground, pump the ISDS as needed to prevent overflows, and/or repair the ISDS. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $600.00. The Defendants did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD, so the NOV automatically became a Final Compliance Order enforceable in Superior Court. On March 25, 2009 an inspection of the property by OC&I revealed that no efforts were made to repair the failed ISDS and that a pipe from the basement was discharging laundry waste water to the surface of the ground. In the Superior Court complaint, RIDEM is asking the court to order the Defendants to immediately pump the ISDS to prevent sewage from overflowing to the ground and continue such pumping until the ISDS is repaired, reduce the discharge of sewage to the ISDS, repair the ISDS, and pay the full penalty of $600.00 assessed in the NOV.

September 19, 2009 - Septic System File No. 2007 1516 IS and CI07-0193 and Superior Court File No. PC 09-5507 re: Plaintiff W. Michael Sullivan, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant James A. Mathews for property located at 11 Hilltop Drive, Assessor's Plat 219, Lot 74 in the city of Warwick. The property is assessed as a single family dwelling owned by the Defendant. On March 21, 2008 OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendant alleging that the Defendant violated the RIDEM Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems. The violations pertained to the overflow of sewage from the sewage disposal system (ISDS) to the surface of the ground. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Defendant to cease the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground, pump the ISDS as needed to prevent overflows, and/or repair the ISDS. OC&I assessed a penalty in the amount of $400.00. The Defendant did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD, so the NOV automatically became a Final Compliance Order enforceable in Superior Court. On April 9, 2009 an inspection of the property by OC&I revealed that no efforts were made to repair the failed ISDS. In the Superior Court complaint, RIDEM is asking the court to order the Defendant to immediately pump the ISDS to prevent sewage from overflowing to the ground and continue such pumping until the ISDS is repaired, reduce the discharge of sewage to the ISDS, repair the ISDS, and pay the full penalty of $400.00 assessed in the NOV.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

None settled or resolved this month.

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rev. 12/21/09