September 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 September 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:

September 5, 2019 – Freshwater Wetland File No. C-1360 re: 3760 QUAKER LANE, LLC for property located north of Stony Lane, east of Rhode Island Route 2 (Quaker Lane), Assessor’s Plat 130, Lot 65 in the Town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. On March 14, 2018, Respondent acquired the property. Respondent continuously leased the property from the former owner from at least 2012 to the date Respondent acquired the property. OC&I alleges that Respondent 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.

September 10, 2019 – Water Pollution File No. OCI-WP-15-79 and RIPDES No. RI0100072 re: The Narragansett Bay Commission. Respondent owns and operates a wastewater treatment and collection system in the City of East Providence, Rhode Island (facility). On December 31, 2001, RIDEM issued to Respondent Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) Permit Number RI0100072 titled Authorization To Discharge Under The Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (permit). The permit authorizes the discharge of wastewater from the facility and associated combined sewer overflows to the waters of the State. OC&I alleges that Respondent violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Water Quality Regulations (250-RICR-150-05-1), and the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (250-RICR-150-10-1) for failing to comply with the permit due to an unintended dry weather overflow despite mitigation efforts by Respondent. View the NOV.

September 10, 2019 – Water Pollution File No. OCI-WP-15-80 and RIPDES No. RI0100072 re: The Narragansett Bay Commission. Respondent owns and operates a wastewater treatment and collection system in the City of East Providence, Rhode Island (facility). On December 31, 2001, RIDEM issued to Respondent Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) Permit Number RI0100072 titled Authorization To Discharge Under The Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (permit). The permit authorizes the discharge of wastewater from the facility and associated combined sewer overflows to the waters of the State. OC&I alleges that Respondent violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Water Quality Regulations (250-RICR-150-05-1), and the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (250-RICR-150-10-1) for failing to comply with the permit due to an unintended dry weather overflow despite mitigation efforts by Respondent. View the NOV.

September 24, 2019 – Onsite Wastewater Treatment System File No. OCI-OWTS-14-238 re: Christopher Williams and Mary Beth Williams for property located at 15 Foster Road, Assessor's I/J, Lot 171 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.

September 25, 2019 – Onsite Wastewater Treatment System File No. OCI-OWTS-14-267 re: Stephen Goulding and Regina Goulding for property located at 11 Brecka Drive, Assessor's I/J, Lot 129 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.

Formal Enforcement Actions Settled or Resolved:

September 3, 2019 – Dam File No. State I.D. 127 (Belknap Pond Dam) and 14-63 re: Fred A. Gott, Jr., Jane H. Gott and Carl Gott for a dam located approximately 250 feet north of the intersection of Greenville Avenue and Pine Hill Avenue, approximately 285 feet northwest of Pine Hill Avenue, Assessor's Plat 50, Lot 8 in the Town of Johnston, Rhode Island. The dam is classified by RIDEM as Significant Hazard. Respondents owned the dam. On February 27, 2017, 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 filed an appeal of the NOV with AAD. On or about May 25, 2018, Carl Gott became the sole owner of the dam. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, OC&I and Mr. Gott executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. View the Agreement.

September 13, 2019 – Freshwater Wetland File No. C-1360 re: Mathew Realty Corp. and 3760 QUAKER LANE, LLC for property located north of Stony Lane, east of Rhode Island Route 2 (Quaker Lane), Assessor’s Plat 130, Lot 65 in the Town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Mathew Realty Corp. (MRC) is the former owner of the property. On May 15, 1984, RIDEM issued a NOV to MRC (1984 NOV) alleging that MRC 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). The violations pertained to clearing, filling and soil disturbance of freshwater wetlands on the property. In the 1984 NOV, MRC was ordered to restore the freshwater wetlands. A penalty of $1,000 was assessed. The 1984 NOV was recorded in the land evidence records of the Town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. On March 14, 2018, 3760 QUAKER LANE, LLC (QL) acquired the property. QL continuously leased the property from MRC from at least 2012 to the date QL acquired the property. On September 5, 2019, OC&I issued a NOV to QL (2019 NOV) alleging that QL 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 2019 NOV. In lieu of QL filing an appeal of the 2019 NOV, OC&I and QL executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the 1984 NOV and the 2019 NOV. View the Agreement.

September 25, 2019 – Water Pollution File Nos. OCI-WP-15-79 and OCI-WP-15-80 and RIPDES No. RI0100072 re: The Narragansett Bay Commission. Respondent owns and operates a wastewater treatment and collection system in the City of East Providence, Rhode Island (facility). On December 31, 2001, RIDEM issued Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) Permit Number RI0100072 titled Authorization To Discharge Under The Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (permit). The permit authorizes the discharge of wastewater from the facility and associated combined sewer overflows to the waters of the State. On September 10, 2019, OC&I issued NOVs to Respondent alleging that Respondent violated Rhode Island's Water Pollution Act, the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Water Quality Regulations (250-RICR-150-05-1), and the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Regulations for the Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (250-RICR-150-10-1) for failing to comply with the permit due to unintended dry weather overflows. View the NOV and View the NOV. In lieu of Respondent filing an appeal of the NOVs, OC&I and Respondent executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOVs. View the Agreement..

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

September 24, 2019 – Onsite Wastewater Treatment System File No. CI99-267 and Superior Court File No. PC04-5455 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant Gino Costantino for property located at 1A Snagwood Drive, Assessor's Plat 13, Lot 27 in the Town of Foster, Rhode Island. On June 13, 2001, RIDEM issued a NOV to Defendant alleging that Defendant violated the Rhode Island Code of Regulations titled Rules Establishing Minimum Standards Relating to Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of Individual Sewage Disposal Systems (250-RICR-150-10-6). The violation pertained to the discharge of sewage to the surface of the ground from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) at the property. In the NOV, RIDEM ordered Defendant to immediately have the system pumped by a licensed septage hauler; continue such pumping until the system was repaired; immediately take steps to reduce the discharge of sewage to the system and commence work on repair to the system. RIDEM assessed a penalty of $3,000. Defendant appealed the NOV. On March 31, 2003 and April 2, 2003, an administrative hearing on the NOV was held before AAD. On April 15, 2003, RIDEM issued a final Decision and Order upholding the NOV. View the Decision and Order. Defendant failed to comply with the Decision and Order. On October 7, 2004, RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court asking the court to order Defendant to comply with the NOV. On February 28, 2005, the Court entered an Order requiring Defendant to pump the septic system and disconnect the building sewer from the septic tank by excavating the building sewer pipe to the tank, cutting the building sewer pipe, and filling the building sewer pipe with concrete; repair the septic system prior to the transfer of the property to a new owner in accordance with RIDEM's requirements; and pay the full penalty. Defendant complied with the Order to disconnect and cap the building sewer pipe, but did not pay the penalty. On May 12, 2016, RIDEM inspected the property and found that the dwelling was occupied and that sewage was observed on the ground surface. RIDEM filed a motion in Court to adjudge Defendant in contempt of the Order. On October 6, 2016, a hearing was held in Superior Court. Defendant testified that he reconnected the pipe after RIDEM’s inspection confirmed that the pipe had been cut and capped, that he did not have the system repaired in accordance with RIDEM's requirements and that he did not pay the penalty. On October 19, 2016, the Court issued an Order finding Defendant in willful contempt. The Order required Defendant to have the system inspected by a licensed engineer within 30 days and to comply with whatever the engineer determines is required to repair the system. Defendant was also ordered to pay the $3,000 penalty within 60 days. Defendant failed to comply with the Order and RIDEM received complaints that the system continued to overflow to the ground surface. On April 18, 2017, the Court issued an Order finding Defendant in willful contempt. The Order required Defendant to have the dwelling vacated within 30 days and not to occupy the dwelling until the system was repaired to the satisfaction of RIDEM. Defendant was also ordered to pay the $3,000 penalty along with interest (at the rate of 12%) beginning on February 28, 2005. RIDEM was also allowed to record the Order in the land evidence records for the property. Defendant had the property vacated and repaired the OWTS, as evidenced by the issuance of a Certificate of Conformance by RIDEM to Defendant on June 25, 2019 for the OWTS repair. Defendant, however, failed to pay the penalty. On September 24, 2019, the Court issued an Order requiring Defendant to pay $8,160 (the $3,000 original penalty plus interest of $5,160). Defendant paid the penalty, which fully resolved the case.