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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > September 2011 Summary

 
September 2011 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 2011. 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. Please note that formal case names appearing in blue text may be clicked with a computer mouse to open a PDF version of the unsigned document.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

September 6, 2011 - Multi Media/OWTS and Water Pollution/File Nos. OWTS CI 11-075 and WP 94-236 re: David A. Whitney and Annette L. Whitney for a property located at 2 Andrews Terrace, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 216 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a six bedroom two family dwelling. The Respondents own the property. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations), Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Act, and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertain to the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling through a pipe to the bank of the Branch River and into the Branch River. Inspection of the property by the OC&I on May 26, 2011 documented the violations. The OC&I issued a written notice to the Respondents on June 7, 2011 for the violations. The Respondents failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to reduce the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling, such as through the installation and use of water conservation devices and fixtures and install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to treat the wastewater from the dwelling in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,700.00.

September 6, 2011 - Multi Media/OWTS and Water Pollution/File Nos. OWTS CI 11-076 and WP 94-236 re: Daniel H. Keene and Cindy M. Keene for a property located at 6 Andrews Terrace, Assessor's Plat 5, Lot 220 in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a six bedroom two family dwelling. The Respondents own the property. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations), Rhode Island's Water Pollution Control Act, and RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations. The violations pertain to the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling through a pipe to the bank of the Branch River and into the Branch River. Inspection of the property by the OC&I on May 26, 2011 documented the violations. The OC&I issued a written notice to the Respondents on June 16, 2011 for the violations. The Respondents failed to respond to or comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to reduce the discharge of wastewater from the dwelling, such as through the installation and use of water conservation devices and fixtures and install an onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to treat the wastewater from the dwelling in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,700.00.

September 13, 2011 - Freshwater Wetland File No. FW C10-0078 re: Albert Faella, Debra Parente, and A.C.D. Development, LLC for property located at 114 Danielson Pike, Assessor's Plat 14, Lot 105F, Parcels 1 and 2, in the town of Foster. Albert Faella and Debra Parente own Parcel 1 and A.C.D. Development, LLC owns Parcel 2. Debra Parente is listed as a manager of A.C.D. Development, LLC. On July 10, 2002 RIDEM issued Debra Parente a permit to alter freshwater wetlands on a portion of the property, which included a plan that identifies the location of the wetlands. The application fee associated with the permit was paid by Albert Faella. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertains to clearing, excavation, filling and construction of a building (indoor horse riding rink), deck and shed within Riverbank Wetland, portions of which are also Perimeter Wetland; clearing within Swamp; and clearing and filling (in the form of at least slash and soil material) within Riverbank Wetland, portions of which are also Perimeter Wetland. This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately acres of freshwater wetland. The OC&I inspected the property on May 7, 2010 and January 6, 2011 and documented the violations. On May 7, 2010 the RIDEM inspector spoke with Mr. Faella regarding the violations and informed Mr. Faella that the work that was ongoing was not in compliance with the permit and verbally ordered him to cease all activity in wetlands. On January 6, 2011 the RIDEM inspector met with Mr. Faella to discuss resolution of the violations. The RIDEM inspector observed that the Respondents had ignored his verbal order and completed the construction of the rink. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to restore the altered wetlands. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $10,000.00.

September 14, 2011 - Septic System File CI 06-157 re: Kathleen A. St. Pierre for property located at 88 Read Avenue, Assessor's Plat 64, Lot 122 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems and RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On September 20, 2006 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On September 26, 2006 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violation. The Respondent failed to comply with the notice. On September 2, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and observed that sewage from the OWTS was discharging to the surface of the ground. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,400.00.

September 14, 2011 - Septic System File CI 10-071 re: Donna Horton for property located at 74 Palace Avenue, Assessor's Plat 344, Lot 348 in the city of Warwick. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On June 14, 2010 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On May 6, 2011 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violation. The Respondent failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $800.00.

September 14, 2011 - Septic System File CI 11-32 re: Michael A. Tucciarone and Annette R. Sousa for property located at 1708 Flat River Road, Assessor's Plat 58, Lot 4 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondents. The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) that treats the wastewater from the toilets, showers and sinks for the dwelling (Main OWTS) and the discharge of laundry wastewater from the OWTS that treats laundry wastewater from the dwelling (Laundry OWTS). On April 20, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On April 26, 2011 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondents for the violation. The Respondents failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the systems and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to repair the systems in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,000.00.

September 14, 2011 - Septic System File CI 11-35 re: Mark Ciambrone for property located at 26 Benoit Street, Assessor's Plat 62, Lot 79 in the town of Coventry. The property includes a 2-unit residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS Regulations). The violation pertains to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) for the dwelling to the surface of the ground. On April 20, 2011 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. On April 22, 2011 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent for the violation. The Respondent failed to comply with the notice. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to retain a licensed OWTS designer to evaluate the system and if it's determined that a repair is needed, to repair the system in accordance with the OWTS Regulations. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,000.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

September 14, 2011 - Freshwater Wetland File No. FW C10-238 re: Deborah Johnson and Baird Properties, LLC for property located at 33 Money Hill Road, Assessor's Plat 10A, Lot 30 in the town of Glocester. Deborah Johnson owns the property. On May 5, 2011 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertained to filling (in the form of at least soil material) within an Emergent Plant Community (EPC). This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 4,700 square feet of freshwater wetland. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to restore the EPC. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,250.00. Baird Properties, LLC filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to restore the EPC by December 14, 2011 and pay an administrative penalty of $1,500.00, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement.

September 26, 2011 - Underground Storage Tank File No. 2010-01948 re: New England Motor Freight, Inc. and Myron P. Shevell for property located at 400 Division Street, Assessor's Plat 25, Lot 337 in the city of Pawtucket. The property includes a trucking terminal and warehouse and underground storage tanks (USTs) used for storage of petroleum products (the Facility). Myron P. Shevell owns the property. New England Motor Freight, Inc. operates the Facility. On February 9, 2011 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents 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 the facility and complete and submit self-certification forms to RIDEM; maintain inventory control records; equip pressurized product pipelines with approved line leak detectors; perform annual testing of shear valves; keep monitoring devices active except for repair and repair any malfunction within fifteen working days of its first occurrence; respond immediately to alarms from leak monitoring devices; perform monthly testing of the continuous monitoring system; retain a qualified person annually to inspect, calibrate, and test the continuous monitoring system; permanently label or mark all fill pipes and/or fill box covers so that the product in the tank is identified; keep spill containment basins free of liquids; and promptly investigate all suspected leaks or releases, including instances where release detection suggest a release may have occurred. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the UST Regulations. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $15,569.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondents complied with the Order section of the NOV and OC&I and the Respondents executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondents agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $4,506.50, which was paid upon execution of the Agreement.

September 26, 2011 - Dam File No. 43 (Slatersville Reservoir Upper Dam) re: Dudley Development Corporation for property located east of the intersection of Victory Highway and Main Street, south of Main Street and northwest of Tifft Road, in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by RIDEM as High Hazard. The Respondent owns the dam. On April 1, 2011 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violation pertained to the failure of the owner to maintain the dam in a safe condition. The dam was inspected on November 12, 2009. The inspection revealed that the low level gates are inoperable. In the NOV, OC&I ordered the Respondent to repair the low level gates. The OC&I did not assess an administrative penalty. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondent argued that jurisdiction of the dam rests with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and not RIDEM. RIDEM's legal counsel researched the case law, spoke with FERC attorneys, and concluded that, since the Respondent has an active FERC exemption for the hydroelectric facility at the dam, Federal law preempts State jurisdiction of the dam and RIDEM has no regulatory authority over the dam. As such, the OC&I rescinded the NOV.

September 26, 2011 - Solid Waste File No. 06-009 re: Lincoln A. and Lorraine Lawrence for property located at 98 Burchard Avenue, Assessor's Plat 27, Lot 10-1 in the town of Little Compton. The Respondents own the property. On June 14, 2007 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondents alleging that the Respondents violated Rhode Island's Refuse Disposal Act. The violation pertained to the disposal of solid waste at other than a licensed solid waste management facility (consisting of 246 cubic yards of discarded and abandoned lawn tractors, tractor parts and attachments, used tires, sinks, a snowmobile and snowmobile parts, rototillers, axles, scrap metal, small engines, discarded electronic equipment, scrap generators, deteriorated motorcycles, trailer frames, a dump truck frame and bed and other mixed solid waste). In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to cease the disposal of solid waste on the property and to remove all solid waste to a licensed solid waste management facility. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $6,250.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. On June 13, 2011 an administrative hearing was held at AAD. On September 26, 2011 the AAD hearing officer issued a Decision and Order that upheld the NOV and ordered the Respondents to comply with the Order section of the NOV and pay the administrative penalty of $6,250.00.

September 27, 2011 - Water Pollution File No. 10-030 re: Town of Westerly for the wastewater treatment facility located in the town of Westerly. The Respondent is the holder of Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) Permit No. RI0100064. The permit authorizes the Respondent to discharge treated domestic and industrial wastewater from the facility to the Pawcatuck River. The permit requires the Respondent to: comply with daily maximum and monthly average limits of twenty-three micrograms per liter (µg/l) for total copper; take all reasonable steps to minimize or prevent any discharge which has a reasonable likelihood of adversely affecting human health or the environment; and summarize monitoring results obtained during the previous month and report these results to the RIDEM in a Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR). On June 9, 2010 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, the RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations, and the RIDEM's RIPDES Regulations. The violations pertained to the failure to comply with the permit. The RIDEM reviewed the DMRs from October 2009 through January 2010 and determined that the Respondent had violated the maximum daily and monthly average discharge limit for total copper in each month. The daily maximum results ranged from 31 µg/l to 43.4 µg/l and the monthly average results ranged from 23.7 µg/l to 30.0 µg/l. The Respondent failed to install the equipment necessary to comply with the discharge limits for total copper. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondent to submit a plan and project schedule to the RIDEM to achieve compliance with the discharge limits for total copper in the permit. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $10,000.00. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Respondent achieved compliance with the discharge limits for total copper in the permit and agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $8,500.00. The OC&I agreed to accept the $8,500.00 as full settlement of the penalty assessed in the NOV. The Respondent has paid the penalty to the OC&I.

September 30, 2011 - Water Pollution File No. 11-043 re: Rhode Island Army National Guard for property located at 104 Airport Street in the town of North Kingstown. On November 25, 2008 the RIDEM issued a General Permit for Stormwater Discharge Associated with Construction Activity. The permit requires the Respondent to: inspect all pollution prevention measures at least once every seven days; revise any pollution prevention measures found to be non-compliant no later than seven days following the inspection; and prepare and sign reports that document the results of the inspections. On August 24, 2011 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, RIDEM's Water Quality Regulations and RIDEM's Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The violation pertained to the failure to prepare and sign inspection reports related to the demolition/construction of a hangar at the property as required by the permit. On May 6, 2011 the RIDEM inspected the property and documented the violation. Respondent submitted to RIDEM an application for a general permit. In the NOV, OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $500.00. The Respondent did not file an appeal of the NOV with AAD and paid the full penalty to resolve the NOV.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

None settled or resolved this month.

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rev. 11/8/11