Department of the Environment Enforcement and Compliance

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 8,590 enforcement actions in Fiscal Year 2018, as reported in the Enforcement and Compliance Report.

Enforcement of criminal violation of environmental laws is handled by the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General.

Enforcement Actions

MDE Annual Enforcement and Compliance Reports

Water and Science Administration Enforcement Information

In response to interest expressed by multiple environmental advocacy groups, MDE will be providing reports on enforcement from our Water and Science Administration. These reports will be updated.​ ​

​​Up to date compliance information can be fo​und here​​.

Contact Information

Office of Communications