Department of the Environment Significant Enforcement Actions (January 2017 – March 2017)


The Maryland Department of the Environment enforces State and federal environmental laws to protect public health and our land, air, water and wetlands resources.

"Enforcement is an important part of what we do to protect public health and keep our communities clean, and we do this with a balanced and common-sense approach,” said Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles. “The Department of the Environment works in collaboration with facilities to ensure they are in compliance with all requirements, but we will go after polluters and impose financial penalties when needed. We are committed to changing Maryland for the better – protecting and restoring our environment while providing businesses with clear expectations and a level playing field among the regulated entities."

The majority of the Department’s enforcement and compliance activities involve working with permit holders to correct any minor deficiencies with no formal enforcement action taken or financial penalties assessed. This assistance may be the most efficient method to achieve compliance. If an inspection reveals a significant violation, or if minor violations continue to recur and become a significant problem, then enhanced actions are warranted. Such action may take the form of penalties, corrective orders, the filing of injunctions and, in some cases, criminal sanctions.

The Department took 14,829 enforcement actions in Fiscal Year 2016, as reported in the Annual Enforcement and Compliance Report Below are enforcement actions brought to a resolution between Jan. 1, 2017, and April 30, 2017, with financial penalties of $10,000 or more.


Land Pollution Enforcement Actions

Lead poisoning prevention

The Department of the Environment’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program serves as the coordinating agency for statewide efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. Under the 1994 "Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act,” the Department assures compliance with mandatory requirements for lead risk reduction in rental units built before 1978, maintains a statewide listing of registered and inspected units and provides blood lead surveillance through a registry of test results of all children tested in Maryland. Alleged violations typically involve a failure to register properties or meet lead risk-reduction standards. The following actions were for properties alleged to be out of compliance with lead risk-reduction standards:

  • Arthur Tinker and Russell Sanders – Baltimore City: nine affected properties – On March 21, 2017, the Department entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations of Maryland’s lead law. The defendants agreed to a penalty of $12,000.


Air Pollution and Radiation Enforcement Actions

The Department of the Environment’s Air and Radiation Management Administration ensures that all citizens and businesses are meeting the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act as well as Maryland’s air pollution control laws. The Administration oversees air pollution monitoring, planning and control programs to improve and maintain air quality and a radiation control program to protect the public and occupational workers from unnecessary exposure to radiation from medical equipment and other devices, in conformance with federal and state law.

  • Arundel Medical Center – Anne Arundel County: On Feb. 27, the Department and Anne Arundel Medical Center finalized an agreement to settle alleged violations of Maryland’s radiation control regulations. The alleged violations involved three incorrect administrations of radiation. Under the agreement, Anne Arundel Medical Center paid a $41,000 penalty.


Water Pollution Enforcement Actions

State law prohibits the discharge of any pollutant into waters of the State, unless such discharge is in compliance with the terms, conditions, and requirements of a discharge permit. A person must hold a discharge permit issued by MDE before the person may construct, install, modify, extend, alter or operate any facility or disposal system or any other outlet or establishment if its operation could cause or increase the discharge of pollutants into waters of the State.

State law requires that, prior to performing construction activity, a person obtain and implement a Soil Conservation District-approved erosion and sediment control plan for any proposed land clearing or earth disturbance greater than 5,000 square feet that must be maintained for the life of the project. It is unlawful for any person to introduce soil or sediment into waters of the State or to place soil or sediment in a condition or location where it is likely to be washed into waters of the State.

  • Ourisman Honda of Laurel – Anne Arundel County: On Jan. 31, Ourisman Honda of Laurel paid a $10,920 penalty to resolve alleged violations between October 2011 and December 2015. The alleged violations involved unauthorized water discharges and failing to follow requirements for submitting discharge monitoring reports.
  • Cannery Village, LLC - Worcester County: On March 30, Cannery Village LLC, paid $12,100 to the department’s Clean Water Fund for alleged violations that included failure to provide adequate sediment and erosion control measures at the Cannery Village construction site, resulting in a discharge of sediment.

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