West Greenwich quarry faces $67k fine for polluting area near Big River

West Bay

DEM inspectors observed turbid water containing silt and sand at the culvert discharge area in May 2018. (Photo provided by Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Two West Greenwich businesses are being cited and fined for polluting the water near the Big River Management Area during its quarry operations, according to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

Hopkins Hill Sand and Stone LLC (HHSS) and Hopkins Hill Road Realty (HHRR) are facing a $67,986 penalty for violating the state Water Pollution Control Act, state water quality regulations and Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) regulations.

Hopkins Hill Sand and Stone operates the mining quarry on New London Turnpike, which is owned by Hopkins Hill Road Realty.

In May 2018, the DEM found silt and sand at a discharge area near the property. The DEM says the quarry operator and property owner were found to be discharging process water and stormwater into state wetlands, altering them “without a permit from DEM.”

While HHRR had applied to alter wetlands back in 2004, and the DEM approved the application, it came with the requirement that the property owner apply separately for stormwater discharge.

The discovery of the silt and sand during compliance inspections in 2018 led to a warning letter.

The property owner later applied for a permit for discharging process water and stormwater, but DEM said they were falling short of standards, and never fixed issues.

Now, besides paying the five-figure fine, each day the companies continue to violate the rules will constitute new offenses. The companies may ask for an appeal hearing within 20 days.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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