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 6,581 enforcement actions in Fiscal Year 2020, as reported in the Annual Enforcement and Compliance Report
. Below are recent enforcement actions brought to a resolution with financial penalties of $10,000 or more.
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.
City of Taneytown Wastewater Treatment Plant, Carroll County
On July 21, 2021, the department issued $27,400 in stipulated penalties, in accordance with a consent decree, to the City of Taneytown for the failure to complete the Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) wastewater treatment plant upgrade by the established deadline and for alleged effluent violations that occurred during the construction period. The penalties have been paid in full.
GenOn MD Ash Management, LLC, Charles, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties
On July 19, 2021, the department issued $25,750 in stipulated penalties to GenOn MD Ash Management, LLC, to resolve alleged effluent violations, in accordance with a consent decree. The alleged violations occurred from March 2018 through December 2020 at the Brandywine, Faulkner, and Westland ash management facilities. The penalties have been paid in full.
City of Frederick, Frederick County
On July 23, 2021, the department issued an $18,022 penalty settlement to the City of Frederick to resolve sanitary sewer overflows and wastewater treatment plant unauthorized discharges that occurred from January 2015 through December 2020. The penalty has been paid in full.
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