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Home > Programs > Bureau of Environmental Protection > Office of Compliance and Inspection > Enforcement Summaries > September 2013 Summary

 
September 2013 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 2013. 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 Angela Spadoni at 401-222-4700 ext. 7307, 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 3, 2013 - Air File No. 13-08 re: Block Island Power Company for a facility located at 100 Ocean Avenue in the town of New Shoreham. The Respondent operates an electric generating plant at the facility. The RIDEM issued the following permits to the Respondent for the facility: Approval No. 1547 (Engine #22) on June 13, 2000 and Approval Nos. 1586 and 1587 (Engine #23) on February 5, 2001. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits. The violation pertains to the Respondent's failure to meet the emission limits for ammonia and nitrogen oxides in the permits. On May 14, 2001 and May 15, 2001 the Respondent conducted performance testing of Engine #22. On November 8, 2001 and November 9, 2001 the Respondent conducted performance testing of Engines #22 and #23. On or about July 2, 2001 the RIDEM received a test report indicating that Engine #22 failed to meet the emission limit for ammonia. On January 3, 2002 the RIDEM received a test report indicating that Engine #23 failed to meet the emission limit for nitrogen oxides and Engine #22 failed to meet the emission limit for ammonia. From 2002 through 2012 the Respondent continued to make changes and upgrades to its equipment to meet the emission limits. On August 28, 2012 through August 30, 2012 the Respondent conducted performance testing of its engines. On or about December 12, 2012 the RIDEM received a memorandum from the Environmental Protection Agency on its review of the test results. The memorandum stated that the Respondent demonstrated compliance with the emission limits in the permits. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $2,500.00 for its failure to comply with the permits from 2001 through 2012. The Respondent paid the penalty to resolve the NOV.

September 24, 2013 - Dam File No. 498 (Hopkins Farm Pond Dam) re: Jeremy Votolato, d/b/a Island Green Golf, LLC for property located approximately 400 feet northeast of the intersection of Flat River Road and Abbotts Crossing Road and approximately 360 feet southeast of Abbotts Crossing Road in the town of Coventry. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by RIDEM as Significant Hazard. Island Green Golf, LLC owns the dam. The Rhode Island Secretary of State's corporations database lists a fictitious name of Washington Village Golf Course for Island Green Golf, LLC. Island Green Golf, LLC filed the fictitious name with the Rhode Island Secretary of State on July 13, 2005. The Rhode Island Secretary of State's corporations database lists Island Green Golf, LLC as an inactive corporation. The date of the revocation certificate was August 1, 2012. The record lists Jeremy Votolato as the manager of the corporation. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violations pertain to the Respondent's failure to obtain approvals from RIDEM prior to making changes to the dam and the Respondent's failure to submit a registration form for the dam to the OC&I. On January 20, 2009, the OC&I issued a certified letter to Washington Village Golf Course that included a registration form for the dam. Washington Village Golf Course was required to complete and return the form to the OC&I by February 9, 2009. The Respondent has not provided the registration form to the OC&I. The dam was inspected on July 13, 2012. The inspection revealed the following conditions: the elevation of the primary spillway was raised through the installation of concrete masonry unit blocks and the emergency spillway channel below the dam was about forty feet wide. The installation of the masonry blocks represents a substantial alteration to the dam. Plans on file with the RIDEM for the dam that were received on May 25, 1962 show that the emergency spillway channel was about 57 feet wide. The reduction of the width of the emergency spillway channel represents a repair to the dam. No approvals were issued by the RIDEM for the substantial alteration or repair of the dam. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to submit the registration form, remove the masonry blocks, retain a professional engineer, and have the engineer submit an application to the OC&I to remove the fill from the emergency spillway channel to restore the channel to its former spillway width and a schedule to complete the work. Upon approval of the application by the OC&I, the Respondent was ordered to complete all work in accordance with the approval. The OC&I did not assess an administrative penalty.

September 25, 2013 - Air File No. 13-09 re: Bruin Plastics Co., Inc. for a facility located at 61 Joslin Road in the town of Burrillville. The Respondent manufactures vinyl reinforced laminated and coated fabric and mesh products at the facility. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Clean Air Act, RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits and RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 29 - Operating Permits. The violation pertains to the Respondent's failure to obtain a permit for equipment that was installed at the facility. On July 19, 2012 the RIDEM inspected the facility. The inspection and review of correspondence submitted by the Respondent to the RIDEM on November 21, 2012 and April 5, 2013 revealed the following: Three laminators were installed and placed into operation between 1972 and 1980 - each laminator applies a coating with a volatile organic compound (VOC) maximum application rate of 284 pounds of VOC per hour; and two laminators were installed and placed into operation in 1984 and 1993 - each laminator applies a coating with a VOC maximum application rate of greater than 100 pounds of VOC per day. On May 22, 2013 the RIDEM issued an informal written notice to the Respondent. The notice stated that the Respondent may apply to the RIDEM for an emissions cap in lieu of a permit for the laminators. On July 24, 2013 the Respondent submitted an application to the RIDEM for an emissions cap for the laminators. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $22,307.00.

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

September 4, 2013 - Air File No. 13-03 re: Cherenzia Excavation, Inc. for facilities located at 64 Old Hopkinton Road (Old Hopkinton Road facility) and 109 White Rock Road (White Rock Road facility) in the town of Westerly. On July 18, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits. The violation pertained to the installation and operation of engine/generator sets at the facilities without a permit from the RIDEM. On March 19, 2013, the RIDEM received minor source permit applications from the Respondent for the facilities. The applications included the following information: a diesel fired engine/generator set with a maximum heat input capacity of 6,750,000 British thermal units per hour (BTU/hr) was installed in 1998 at the Old Hopkinton Road facility; a diesel fired engine/generator set with a maximum heat input capacity of 7,960,000 BTU/hr was installed in 2006 at the Old Hopkinton Road facility; and a diesel fired engine/generator set with a maximum heat input capacity of 5,480,000 BTU/hr was installed in 2002 at the White Rock Road facility. The RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 9 requires a minor source permit from the RIDEM for any fuel burning device designed to burn liquid fuels having a heat input capacity of 5 million BTU/hr or more. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $13,144.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $8,644.00 in installments. The first installment of $1,644.00 was paid upon execution of the Agreement. The remaining installments shall be paid in consecutive monthly payments of $500.00.

September 3, 2013 - Hazardous Waste File No. 12-93 re: Kevin Villeneuve for a property located at 1452 Park Avenue in the city of Cranston. The Respondent owns the property. The property includes a business for automobile body repair (facility). Auto Restorations Unlimited, Inc. d/b/a Maaco Auto Painting & Body Works (Maaco) operates the facility. Rhode Island's Secretary of State's database lists Auto Restorations Unlimited, Inc. as an inactive corporation. The record lists the Respondent as the president of the corporation. Maaco is registered with RIDEM as a small quantity hazardous waste generator at the facility. On April 4, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for the Management of Hazardous Waste (Hazardous Waste Regulations) and Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR). The violations pertained to Respondent's failure to: label and keep closed one 55 gallon container holding paint thinner; label, mark with accumulation start dates and store in a containment system three 55 gallon and three 5 gallon containers holding paint thinner; conduct weekly inspections of the containers; provide annual training to employees; develop a contingency plan that had all the key elements; and submit to the RIDEM a list of agents authorized to sign hazardous waste manifests. The OC&I inspected the facility on August 23, 2012 and documented the violations. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to come into compliance with the RIDEM's Hazardous Waste Regulations and 40 CFR. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $35,551.00. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the OC&I and the Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Respondent agreed to submit a revised contingency plan to the OC&I and perform training of its employees as required in the NOV. The Respondent also agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $9,113.50 in installments. The first installment of $1,113.50 was paid upon execution of the Agreement. The remaining installments shall be paid in consecutive monthly payments of $500.00.

September 25, 2013 - OWTS File 12-148 and CI 12-113 re: Carla J. Caparrelli for property located at 111 Scituate Avenue in the town of Johnston. The property includes a residential dwelling and is owned by the Respondent. On February 27, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM's Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems. The violation pertained to the discharge of sewage from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) to the surface of the ground. On October 1, 2012, the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to keep the OWTS pumped as often as necessary to prevent sewage overflows, have the OWTS evaluated by a licensed OWTS designer to determine the cause of the failure, and repair the OWTS in accordance with an approval issued by the RIDEM, if it's determined that a repair is necessary. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $1,400.00. The Respondent failed to file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Respondent provided documentation to the OC&I from a licensed designer to show that the cause of the failure was a clogged line that was cleared. The Respondent also provided documentation to the OC&I to show that she does not have the financial means to pay any portion of the administrative penalty. The OC&I waived the penalty to resolve the case.

September 30, 2013 - Air File No. 13-05 re: Landmark Medical Center for facilities located at 115 Cass Avenue in the city of Woonsocket (Woonsocket facility) and at 116 Eddie Dowling Highway in the town of North Smithfield (North Smithfield facility). On April 18, 2013 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated Rhode Island's Clean Air Act and the RIDEM's Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 9 - Air Pollution Control Permits. The violation pertained to the installation and operation of an emergency generator at each facility without a permit from the RIDEM. On April 1, 2013, the RIDEM received three (3) minor source general permit applications submitted by the Respondent. The applications included the following information: a 170 horsepower (HP) diesel fired emergency generator with a maximum heat input capacity of 1,247,000 British thermal units per hour (BTU/hr) was installed on June 15, 2011 at the Woonsocket facility; a 95 HP natural gas fired emergency generator with a maximum heat input capacity of 1,190,000 BTU/hr was installed on February 25, 2010 at the Woonsocket facility; and a 205 HP diesel fired emergency generator with a maximum heat input capacity of 1,370,000 BTU/hr was installed in January 2010 at the North Smithfield facility. The RIDEM's APC Regulation No. 9 requires a minor source permit from the RIDEM for any emergency generator with an internal combustion engine of 50 HP or larger with a date of initial startup on or after November 15, 2007. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $6,000.00. The Respondent failed to file an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The OC&I was provided documentation that showed the company is in bankruptcy and under the control of a Receiver and that given its financial condition it is unable to pay any portion of the administrative penalty. The OC&I waived the penalty to resolve the case.

Superior Court Actions Issued:

September 18, 2013 - UST File No. 02-00544 and Superior Court File No. PC13-4671 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Sembel Enterprises, Inc., 75 Goff Avenue Realty Trust, Yohannes Bein, and Simret Zemrht for property located at 75 Goff Avenue in the city of Pawtucket. The property was formerly operated as a retail gasoline station (the facility). 75 Goff Avenue Realty Trust (GART) owns the property. Yohannes Bein d/b/a Sembel Enterprises, Inc. and Simret W. Zemhret are co-trustees of GART. Bein and Sembel Enterprises, Inc. are the operators of the facility. The facility has three underground storage tanks (USTs) used for the storage of petroleum products. The facility is registered with the RIDEM pursuant to the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). On October 17, 2002 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated the RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertained to precision testing requirements for USTs, annual testing of continuous monitoring equipment and line leak detectors, maintenance of testing records, monthly testing of continuous monitoring equipment by the owner, maintenance of daily written inventory and monthly reconciliation records and investigations of suspected releases of petroleum product. In the NOV, OC&I ordered compliance with the RIDEM's UST Regulations and assessed a penalty in the amount of $16,030.00. The Defendants failed to file an appeal of the NOV with AAD and failed to comply with the NOV. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM is asking the court to order the Defendants to comply with the Order section of the NOV and pay the administrative penalty assessed in the NOV.

September 18, 2013 - UST File No. 01-02967 and Superior Court File No. PC13-4672 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants S. & R. Construction Co., Inc., Ozzi Realty Associates, LLC, and Rocco Izzo, Jr., d/b/a Ozzi Realty Company for property located at 60 Dyerville Avenue in the town of Johnston. The property was formerly operated as a retail gasoline station (the facility). Ozzi Realty Associates, LLC owns the property. Rocco Izzo, d/b/a Ozzi Realty Company, owned the property from December 1982 until March 2000. S & R Construction Co., Inc. operates the facility. The facility has two underground storage tanks (USTs) used for the storage of petroleum products. The facility is registered with the RIDEM pursuant to the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). On November 16, 2001 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendants alleging that the Defendants violated the RIDEM's UST Regulations. The violations pertained to precision testing, installation of overfill protection, abandonment of UST systems and submission of a closure assessment within 30 days of UST closure. The OC&I ordered the Defendants to submit records pertaining to precision testing and overfill protection, remove any remaining piping systems associated with the USTs removed from the property, submit a closure assessment report and, if necessary, submit a corrective action plan. A penalty in the amount of $23,140.00 was assessed in the NOV. The Defendants filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. The Defendants failed to appear at AAD, and the AAD hearing officer dismissed the appeal. The Defendants have failed to comply with the NOV. In the Superior Court complaint, the RIDEM is asking the court to order the Defendants to comply with the Order section of the NOV and pay the administrative penalty assessed in the NOV.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

September 18, 2013 - Oil Pollution Control File No. 2007 441 OPC and Superior Court File No. PC 13-3362 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant Cory's Petroleum, Inc. for two different properties located at 45 Oakwood Drive, Assessor's Plat 49, Lot 80 in the town of Scituate (Scituate Property) and 19 St. James Lane, Assessor's Plat 18, Lot 146 in the town of Glocester (Glocester Property). Keith R. and Stephanie A. Parker own the Scituate Property, and Robert B. Kelman owns the Glocester Property. The Defendant is in the business of distributing fuel oil. On June 19, 2008 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Defendant alleging that the Defendant violated Rhode Island's Oil Pollution Control Act and the RIDEM's Oil Pollution Control Regulations. The violations pertained to the Defendant's release of fuel oil at the Scituate Property and the Glocester Property and its failure to properly clean up the oil and report the releases to the RIDEM. On or about 12 March 2007 the Scituate Fire Department, following notification from the property owners, notified the RIDEM that an oil spill had taken place on the Scituate Property. RIDEM investigated the matter and determined that the Defendant delivered No. 2 heating oil to the Scituate Property on 6 March 2007 and that approximately 45 gallons of oil was released onto the surface of the ground. The Defendant did commence clean up of the Scituate Property on 14 March 2007 but then ceased all cleanup activities after Defendant's driver claimed that he did not cause the release/spill. Approximately 60 - 70 tons of oil spill cleanup debris was left on the Scituate Property. The Defendant's clean up contractor obtained groundwater samples from the drinking water wells installed on the Scituate Property and an abutting property at 41 Oakwood Drive in Scituate but failed to submit a copy of the laboratory's analytical report to the RIDEM. The owner of the Scituate Property hired a consultant/contractor to complete the removal of all oil- contaminated soil from the property. On or about 22 June 2007, the owner of the Glocester Property notified the RIDEM that an oil spill had taken place on the Glocester Property. The RIDEM investigated the matter and determined that the Respondent delivered oil to the Glocester Property on 13 June 2007 and overfilled the aboveground storage tank installed on the property. An unknown quantity of oil was released to the ground in and around the fill and vent pipes associated with the aboveground tank, onto a wooden deck, and approximately three gallons of oil was released to the basement of the home on the property. The owner of the Glocester Property completed the cleanup of oil from the basement of the home on the property. The removal of oil-contaminated soil has yet to take place from the Glocester Property. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Defendant to remediate the oil spill release at the Glocester Property. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $12,437.66. The Defendant filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. On October 12, 2010 and October 13, 2010 an administrative hearing was held at AAD. On August 3, 2011 the AAD hearing officer issued a Decision and Order (Decision) upholding the NOV and ordering the Defendant to comply with the Order section of the NOV and pay the administrative penalty of $12,437.66. Defendant failed to file an appeal of the Decision with the Superior Court and failed to comply with the Decision. On July 9, 2013 the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court, asking the court to order the Defendant to comply with the Decision. On September 4, 2013 the matter was heard before the Court. The Defendant was properly notified of the hearing date, but failed to appear. The Court issued an Order upholding the NOV as a Final Compliance Order. The Defendant was ordered to comply with the requirements of the NOV within 30 days of entry of the Court Order.

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rev. 11/21/13