July 2014 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 July 2014. 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 emailed to dem.filereview@dem.ri.gov. More information is available at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/customertech/file-review.php. Please note that formal case names appearing in blue text are linked to a PDF version of the unsigned document.

Formal Enforcement Actions Issued:

July 2, 2014 - Underground Storage Tank File No. 2014-14-02650 re: Earle's Service Station, Inc. for property located at 35 Meeting House Lane in the town of Little Compton. The property includes a convenience store and motor fuel filling station and 2 underground storage tanks (USTs or tanks) used for the storage of petroleum products (facility). The Respondent owns the property and operates the facility. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). The violations pertain to the failure to: perform monthly 0.2 gallon per hour leak tests using the automatic tank gauging (ATG) system from October 2013 through February 2014; perform monthly inventory reconciliation from August 2011 through March 2014; perform monthly testing of the ATG to ensure effective operation from August 2011 through February 2014; keep the spill containment basin for one of the USTs free of liquid; verify that the operator on duty at the time of the inspection was trained as at least a Class C operator; maintain a list of all the Class C operators assigned to the facility; and verify that the registered Class A or Class B operator conducted monthly inspections from August 2012 through February 2014. On March 6, 2014 the OC&I inspected the facility and documented the violations. On March 7, 2014 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent by certified mail for the violations. The notice was delivered on March 17, 2014. The Respondent failed to respond to or comply with the notice. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondent to achieve compliance with the RIDEM's UST Regulations within 60 days. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $9,250.

July 3, 2014 - Air File No. 14-02 re: Aspen Aerogels Rhode Island, LLC for a facility located at 3 Dexter Road in the city of East Providence (facility). On August 3, 2011 the RIDEM issued an approval to the Respondent to emit air pollutants from the facility for the production of aerogel insulation materials (permit). The permit requires the Respondent to: limit the discharge of nitrogen oxide (NOx) to the atmosphere to 5.44 pounds per hour (NOx Limit); limit the discharge of ammonia to the atmosphere to 3 pounds per hour (Ammonia Limit); limit the discharge of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to 6.09 pounds per hour (VOCs Limit); maintain a minimum of 90% ammonia control efficiency of the wet scrubber (Scrubber); maintain a minimum operating temperature of 1500F for the thermal oxidizer (Oxidizer) whenever VOCs or ammonia or both are being discharged to the Oxidizer; and ensure all VOCs, ammonia and particulate matter emissions generated from the heat treatment ovens are captured and discharged to the Scrubber followed by the Oxidizer. 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 failure to comply with the permit. On July 8, 2013, September 18, 2013, October 24, 2013, April 29, 2014 and May 22, 2014 the RIDEM received documents from the Respondent. The documents revealed the following: 86 pounds of NOx over the NOx Limit and less than 1 pound of ammonia over the Ammonia Limit were released at the facility over a 4  hour period on June 13, 2013 and June 16, 2013; the Oxidizer operated between 1421F and 1497F when VOCs and ammonia were being discharged to the Oxidizer between June 16, 2013 and August 1, 2013; the Oxidizer operated at 1499.2F when VOCs and ammonia were being discharged to the Oxidizer resulting in the release at the facility of about less than 1 pound of VOCs over the VOCs Limit and less than 1 pound of ammonia over the Ammonia Limit on September 26, 2013; the Scrubber operated at 65% ammonia control efficiency resulting in the release at the facility of about less than 1 pound of NOx over the NOx Limit on October 6, 2013; a partial breach of the ductwork upstream of the Scrubber and the Oxidizer resulted in the uncontrolled release of VOCs and ammonia to the atmosphere between April 10, 2014 and April 11, 2014; and a mechanical failure of an airline upstream of the Oxidizer resulted in the uncontrolled release of VOCs and ammonia to the atmosphere on May 3, 2014. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5,000.

July 3, 2014 - Water Pollution File No. 14-79 X-ref RIPDES RIR101003 re: Adler Brothers Construction, Inc. for property located at 84 Smith Avenue in the town of Smithfield. On June 13, 2013 the RIDEM issued a General Permit for Stormwater Discharge Associated with Construction Activity to the Respondent. The permit requires the Respondent to: inspect all pollution prevention measures at least once every 7 days; prepare and sign reports that document the results of the inspections; and maintain a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) at the property at all times. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of 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 pertains to the Respondent's failure to comply with its permit. On June 13, 2014 the RIDEM inspected the property. The inspection revealed that the Respondent failed to maintain a SWPPP at the property and conduct inspections and prepare and sign reports that document the results of the inspections. In the NOV, the OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,000.

July 14, 2014 - Water Pollution File No. 14-10 X-ref RIPDES RI0023442 re: Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation for property located at 65 Shun Pike in the town of Johnston. The property includes a facility that is engaged in the recycling and disposal of solid waste (facility). On September 28, 2007 the RIDEM issued a Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) permit to the Respondent (Permit). The Permit became effective on January 1, 2008. The Permit authorizes the Respondent to discharge stormwater from treatment pond 11 (Pond 11) at the facility to Cedar Swamp Brook. The permit requires the Respondent to: meet a monthly average limit for Total Ammonia of 4.9 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and a daily maximum limit for Total Ammonia of 10.0 mg/L; collect samples of the water discharging from Pond 11 at a minimum frequency of once per month from April through June and once per quarter from July through March and analyze the samples for, among other pollutants, Total Ammonia (Analyses); and report the results of the Analyses to the RIDEM on discharge monitoring reports (DMRs). The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of 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 pertains to the Respondent's failure to comply with its permit. The Respondent submitted DMRs for January 2013 through March 2014 to the RIDEM. The DMRs revealed the following for Total Ammonia: average monthly limit of 9.03 mg/L for January-March 2013; average monthly limit and daily maximum limit of 32.7 mg/L for April 2013; average monthly limit and daily maximum limit of 21.3 mg/L for May 2013; average monthly limit and daily maximum limit of 24.6 mg/L; average monthly limit and daily maximum limit of 75.6 mg/L; and an average monthly limit of 29.47 mg/L and a daily maximum limit of 33.8 mg/L for March 2014. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to investigate the cause of the violations and submit a report to the RIDEM that summarizes the findings of the investigation and the actions necessary to comply with the Permit. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $15,000.

July 14, 2014 - Underground Storage Tank File No. 2014-23-01501 re: Crosson Oil Company, Inc. and Cory Malz for property located at 448 Great Road in the town of North Smithfield. The property includes a service station and a motor fuel filling station and 2 underground storage tanks (USTs or tanks) used for the storage of petroleum products (facility). Crosson Oil Company, Inc. owns the property. Cory Malz operates the facility. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). The violations pertain to the failure to: verify that the line leak detectors for the USTs had been tested by a qualified person during calendar year 2012; verify that the dispenser shear valves had been tested for functionality during calendar year 2012; verify that the continuous monitoring system (CMS) had been certified/tested by a qualified person during calendar years 2011 and 2012; perform groundwater evaluations for calendar years 2012 and 2013; have a trained and/or certified operator on duty; maintain a list of all the Class C operators assigned to the facility; and verify that the registered Class A or Class B operator conducted monthly inspections from August 2012 through February 2014. On March 27, 2014 the OC&I inspected the facility and documented the violations. On March 28, 2014 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondents by certified mail for the violations. The notice was delivered to Crosson Oil Company on April 1, 2014 and Deborah Malz on April 14, 2014. The Respondents failed to respond to or comply with the notice. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondents to achieve compliance with the RIDEM's UST Regulations within 60 days. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5,500.

July 14, 2014 - Freshwater Wetlands File No. OCI-FW-13-40 and FW C14-0055 re: Allen P. Durand for property located within the Pawtuxet River and on land directly southwest of 12 Jackson Flat Road, Assessor's Plat 1, Lot 21 in the town of Scituate. The Respondent, David J. Durand and James J. Durand own the property. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertains to clearing (tree saplings, shrubs and herbaceous vegetation), excavating, and creating soil disturbance within the Pawtuxet River (including Flood Plain) using a backhoe to remove an island in the river and clearing (trees, shrubs and herbaceous vegetation), excavation, and creating soil disturbance within Riverbank Wetland (including Floodplain). This activity resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 1,300 square feet of freshwater wetland. On May 1, 2013 and April 3, 2014 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. The Respondent spoke with the RIDEM inspector shortly after the May 1, 2013 inspection. The Respondent stated that his purpose for working in the wetland was to try to rebuild the stone wall along the slope. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to cease and desist from any further alteration of the freshwater wetlands and restore the altered Riverbank Wetland. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $3,500.

July 14, 2014 - Freshwater Wetlands File No. OCI-FW-13-91 and FW C14-0066 re: Richard Caparco and Delores Caparco for property located approximately 35 feet north of Jade Road, generally opposite utility pole 2, approximately 150 feet south of the southern edge of Ropewalk Pond, adjacent to and approximately 80 feet west of the dwelling at 10 Jade Road, approximately 225 feet east/northeast of the intersection of Jade Road and Myra Road, Assessor's Plat 14, Lot 30 in the town of Coventry. The Respondents own the property. The property includes a wooded freshwater wetland (Wooded Wetland) that abuts Ropewalk Pond (Pond). The Wooded Wetland and the Pond are contiguous and are defined as a wetland complex (Wetland Complex). A 50 foot perimeter wetland is associated with the Wetland Complex (Perimeter Wetland). The OC&I alleges that the Respondents are in violation of Rhode Island's Freshwater Wetlands Act and the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Freshwater Wetlands Act. The violation pertains to clearing, stumping and grubbing, filling (with soil material, sediments, crushed asphalt, boulders, and construction materials, including a concrete slab and a concrete block retaining wall), grading, and creating soil disturbance within the Wooded Wetland and the Perimeter Wetland, portions of which are also riverbank wetland associated with a stream, to construct a garage and driveway and 3 accessory structures (2 sheds and a canvass-covered hut). These activities resulted in the unauthorized alteration of approximately 11,400 square feet of freshwater wetland. On September 3, 2013 and December 12, 2013 the OC&I inspected the property and documented the violation. The Respondents were aware of the freshwater wetlands on the property and the need to obtain a permit from the RIDEM prior to altering the wetlands. The Respondents signed an agreement on May 31, 2005 authorizing access through the wetlands to remove sediment from the Pond. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondents to cease and desist from any further alteration of the freshwater wetlands, remove the garage and other structures from the wetlands and restore the wetlands. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $5,000.

July 15, 2014 - Underground Storage Tank File No. 2014-20-01488 re: Kearney Realty, LLC for property located at 5682 Post Road in the town of Charlestown. The property includes a convenience store and a motor fuel filling station and 5 underground storage tanks (USTs or tanks) used for the storage of petroleum products (facility). The Respondent owns the property and operates the facility. The OC&I alleges that the Respondent is in violation of the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Underground Storage Facilities Used for Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials (UST Regulations). The violations pertain to the failure to: verify that the impressed current cathodic protection system was inspected at least once every 60 days from May 2011 through February 2014; verify that a valid 0.2 gallon per hour leak test was performed by the continuous monitoring system (CMS) on one of the USTs within the last 30 days (the test performed on March 19, 2014 was invalid due to a low level test error); verify that the line leak detectors for four of the USTs had been tested by a qualified person during calendar year 2012; verify that the dispenser shear valves for four of the USTs had been tested for functionality during calendar year 2012; repair a malfunctioning indicator lamp on the CMS console; verify that the CMS had been certified/tested by a qualified person during calendar year 2012; perform groundwater evaluations for calendar years 2011, 2012 and 2013; have a trained and/or certified operator on duty; verify that the registered Class A or Class B operator conducted monthly inspections from August 2012 through February 2014; and submit written notification that one of the USTs was properly put into temporary closure (the Respondent removed one of the USTs from service after taking possession of the facility in July 2011). On March 19, 2014 the OC&I inspected the facility and documented the violations. On March 21, 2014 the OC&I issued an informal written notice to the Respondent by certified mail for the violations. The notice was delivered to the Respondent on March 25, 2014. The Respondent failed to respond to or comply with the notice. In the NOV the OC&I ordered the Respondent to achieve compliance with the RIDEM's UST Regulations within 60 days. The OC&I assessed an administrative penalty of $7,250.
 

Formal Enforcement Cases Settled or Resolved:

July 2, 2014 - Freshwater Wetlands 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 September 13, 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 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 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 inspector met with Mr. Faella to discuss resolution of the violations. The 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. The Respondents filed an appeal of the NOV with the 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 altered wetlands by October 31, 2014 in accordance with a wetland restoration plan that was submitted to the OC&I on April 25, 2013. The Respondents also agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $6,000 in monthly installments of $500. The first payment was paid upon execution of the Consent Agreement.

July 9, 2014 - Dam File No. 093 (Canada Upper Pond Dam) re: City of Providence for property located immediately east of Route 146, north of the intersection of Route 146 and Branch Avenue and west of Lakeside Street in the city of Providence. The property includes a dam and associated spillway. The dam is classified by the RIDEM as Significant Hazard. The Respondent owns the dam. On November 21, 2012 the OC&I issued an NOV to the Respondent alleging that the Respondent violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violation pertained to the Respondent's failure to maintain the dam in a safe condition. The dam was inspected on December 19, 2011. The inspection revealed that the low level outlet gate is inoperable. The OC&I considered the dam unsafe because of the inoperable low level outlet gate. In the NOV, the OC&I ordered the Respondent to retain a professional engineer to submit an application to the OC&I to repair the low level outlet gate and complete the repair in accordance with an approved schedule. The OC&I did not assess an administrative penalty. The Respondent filed an appeal of the NOV with the 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 an application to the OC&I to repair the dam by January 31, 2015 and, upon approval of the application, complete all work in accordance with the approval by October 1, 2015.
 

Superior Court Actions Issued:

None issued this month.

Superior Court Actions Settled or Resolved:

July 21, 2014 - Dam File No. 084 (Wenscott Reservoir) and Superior Court File No. PM 14-1420 re: Plaintiff Janet L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendant Town of North Providence for a dam located northeast of Douglas Avenue, northwest of Asylum Road and west of Less Farm Commons Drive in the town of North Providence. The Defendant owns the dam. The dam is classified by the RIDEM as High Hazard. On November 15, 2010, the OC& issued an NOV to the Defendant alleging that the Defendant violated the RIDEM's Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety. The violation pertained to the Defendant's failure to maintain the dam in a safe condition and the Defendant's failure to properly register the dam. The OC& issued a letter to the Defendant on January 13, 2009 that included a registration form for the dam that the Defendant was required to complete and return to the OC&. The Defendant failed to provide the registration form to the OCI. On November 24, 2009, Dam 084 was inspected. The inspection revealed that the low-level gate was inoperable. In the NOV the Defendant was ordered to submit the registration form for the dam, retain a licensed engineer to submit an application to repair the low-level gate and repair the low-level gate upon approval of the application by the OC&. The OC& did not assess an administrative penalty. The Defendant filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, on October 12, 2012 the OC& and the Defendant executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the NOV. The Defendant agreed to register Dam 084, retain a professional engineer and have the engineer submit an application to repair the low-level gate by July 15, 2013. Upon approval of the application the Defendant was required to complete the work by December 31, 2013. The Defendant failed to submit an application to repair the low-level gate despite receiving several letters and/or telephone calls from the RIDEM to the Defendant advising the Defendant of its noncompliance. On March 11, 2014 the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court and asked the court to order the Defendant to comply with the Consent Agreement and pay a stipulated penalty of $500 per month for each month during which the noncompliance continues, starting from the first day of noncompliance on July 15, 2013. The RIDEM and the Defendant signed a Consent Order that was executed by the Court to resolve the complaint. The Consent Order requires the Defendant to: retain a professional engineer fully registered in Rhode Island and have the engineer submit an application to the RIDEM by September 1, 2014 to repair the low level outlet; upon approval of the application by the RIDEM, select a qualified bidder to complete the work; and complete the work by December 1, 2015, unless the successful bid exceeds $103,000, in which case the date for completion of the work is December 1, 2016. The RIDEM agreed to not require payment of the noncompliance penalties provided in the Consent Agreement provided the Defendant adheres to Consent Order.

July 31, 2014 - OWTS File No. CI04-0152 and Superior Court File No. PC 14-3007 re: Plaintiff, Janet Plaintiff L. Coit, Director, RIDEM vs. Defendants Phillip J. Martin and Rhonda M. Martin for property located at 85 Burgess Drive, Assessor's Plat 343, Lot 425 in the city of Warwick. The property includes a single family dwelling. On December 4, 2006 the RIDEM issued a NOV to the Defendants alleging certain violations of the 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 from the onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) on the property to the surface of the ground and the discharge of laundry waste to the surface of the ground. In the NOV the Defendants were ordered to pump the OWTS as necessary to prevent overflows of sewage to the ground surface, immediately and permanently cease the laundry discharge, retain a licensed designer to evaluate the cause of the OWTS failure, and repair the OWTS if necessary. The RIDEM assessed an administrative penalty of $1,600. The Defendants filed an appeal of the NOV with the AAD. The Defendants installed low flow water fixtures to reduce the flow of water to the OWTS and discontinued the use of the washing machine at the dwelling. Prior to an administrative hearing on the NOV, the Defendants and the RIDEM executed a Consent Agreement to resolve the enforcement action. The Defendants agreed to connect the plumbing for the dwelling to the municipal sewer within 30 days of notification of the availability of sewers, keep the OWTS pumped as often as necessary to prevent overflows of sewage to the surface of the ground and pay an administrative penalty of $800, which was paid. On March 20, 2014 the RIDEM inspected the property. The inspection revealed that the Defendants were using the washing machine and that sewage was evident on the surface of the ground from the OWTS. On June 13, 2014 the RIDEM filed a complaint in Superior Court and asked the Court to order the Defendants to immediately pump the OWTS, immediately cease use of the washing machine and within 30 days vacate the dwelling and keep the dwelling vacant until such time that the plumbing for the dwelling can be connected to public sewers or the OWTS is repaired in accordance with the RIDEM's regulations. The RIDEM and the Defendants signed a Consent Order that was executed by the Court to resolve the complaint. The Consent Order requires the Defendants to: pump the OWTS as often as needed to prevent any and all sewage overflows to the ground surface until the OWTS is repaired; pump the OWTS once annually on or about March 15 and submit copies of all pump out receipts for the prior year to the RIDEM on or about April 1; immediately remove any and all washing machines from the dwelling and cease all laundry use until the OWTS is repaired; limit occupancy of the dwelling to no more than 2 people until the OWTS is repaired; continue to apply for financial assistance to repair the OWTS; and repair the OWTS upon sale or transfer of the property.