WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A developer in Warwick is facing backlash from neighbors for allegedly stockpiling hazardous waste near the Pawtuxet River.

State Rep. Joseph McNamara, who represents Warwick and Cranston, wrote a letter calling on the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to order the immediate removal of PVC and high-density polyurethane pipes and tanks that are allegedly being stockpiled at 175 Post Road.

The DEM issued a violation in May to the owners Alba Properties and A-Star Oil for noncompliance with the state’s Freshwater Wetlands Act.

Warwick City Planning Director Thomas Kravitz told 12 News the 15-acre property has environmental restrictions that haven’t been followed.

“The issue with the site really is the proximity to the Pawtuxet River and flood zone,” Kravitz explained. “A potential threat if there was a flood on the property and [waste is] carried away downstream, they could clog.”

The developers are looking to build contractor storage space in the Pawtuxet Industrial Park. Their plan for a 68,000 square-foot facility was struck down at a board meeting in June. Kravitz said the developers need a smaller-scale project and updated plans to move forward.

Neighbors said the owners are now commandeering the Pawtuxet River Trail as a bargaining tool. Signs marking the trail, which intersects the property, have been replaced with warnings of “Private Property” and “Do Not Enter.”

“A lot of the community is up in arms about it because they love this trail,” neighbor Rees Robinson said.

The developers have not responded to requests for comment.

McNamara cited concerns of a fire hazard and contamination in his letter to the DEM.

“If these materials were ever ignited, a fire would result in the release of dioxins in the ash and contaminated soot that would endanger the health of the surrounding neighborhoods,” McNamara wrote. “These items have become an attractive nuisance to both the environment and to the health and safety of the citizens living in the surrounding communities.”

Community group Pawtuxet Green Revival, which looks to protect the area near 175 Post Road, cites concerns of flooding in regards to the hazardous waste.

“Just from a little bit of rain, we have now this area gets flooded very quickly,” neighbor Jeff Sutton told 12 News.

Kravitz said he hopes the city, state and developers will come to an agreement, but added that the construction likely will not start this year.