BALTIMORE, MD (January 24, 2011) – The Maryland Department of the Environment today announced 22 recent major enforcement actions seeking penalties totaling more than $650,000 for alleged violations of MDE requirements for water, air and radiation management, and land.
"The Maryland Department of the Environment's top priority is to protect public health and our environment. A consistent baseline of enforcement actions prevents further pollution and risks to public health," said MDE Acting Secretary Robert M. Summers. "The majority of Maryland businesses comply with environmental laws. A strong and fair enforcement program protects their investment in the environment and the health and quality of life for all Maryland citizens."
Water Pollution Enforcement Actions
State laws governing wetlands were developed to protect the State’s natural resources that depend on those wetlands and minimize impacts while allowing property owners reasonable use of their property. Property owners must notify MDE before conducting any work in tidal and nontidal wetlands, their buffers, and waterways of the State. MDE assesses the impact of any proposed work on tidal and nontidal wetlands and, if appropriate, will issue a permit authorizing the work as long as the necessary environmental protections are in place.
Ross and Robin Cohen – Anne Arundel County: On December 6, 2010, MDE executed a Settlement Agreement to resolve alleged violations including building a platform without a required permit. The Settlement Agreement requires payment of a $2,800 penalty to the Tidal Wetlands Compensation Fund for the unauthorized construction of a platform.
Brian and Valerie Forsyth – Calvert County: On December 6, 2010,the Forsyths paid a penalty of $1,400 to the Tidal Wetlands Compensation Fund to resolve an alleged violation involving the construction of an unauthorized floating platform in Back Creek.
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. State law requires that, prior to performing construction activity, a person obtain and implement a Soil Conservation District-approved erosion and sediment control plan that must be maintained for the life of the project for any proposed land clearing or earth disturbance greater than 5,000 square feet. State law also requires that any activity involving earth disturbance over one acre obtain a general permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activity. This permit requires the implementation of an approved erosion and sediment control plan prior to performing earth grading operations as well as self-monitoring inspections of the erosion and sediment controls.
P. Flanigan and Sons, Inc. – Baltimore County: On November 9, 2010, P. Flanigan and Sons, Inc. paid $6,000 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged violations including failure to install the approved erosion and sediment controls at the Maryland Transportation Authority project at Caton Avenue and I-95, which resulted in sediment pollution to a tributary of Gwynns Falls.
Cherry Hill Construction – Baltimore County: On November 9, 2010, Cherry Hill Construction paid $16,000 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged violations including failure to install the approved erosion and sediment controls at the Maryland Transportation Authority project located on Interstate-95 from the I-95/I-895 Split to south of Kenwood Avenue, which resulted in sediment pollution to Red House Creek.
Barton-Malow Company – Baltimore County: On November 4, 2010, Barton-Malow Company paid $5,500 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve the alleged sediment control and sediment pollution violation for failure to implement and maintain the approved erosion and sediment controls at the Towson University, West Village Commons, construction project, which resulted in sediment pollution to Towson Branch.
Hidden Treasures, LLC – Calvert County: On November 30, 2010, Hidden Treasures, LLC paid $5,000 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged violations including performing earth disturbance greater than one acre at the Hidden Treasures Subdivision construction project located in Lusby without a General Stormwater Discharge Permit Associated with Construction Activity.
Kaine Homes, Inc. – Calvert County: On November 1, 2010, Kaine Homes, Inc. paid $5,000 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged violations including performing earth disturbance greater than one acre at the Covenant Creek subdivision construction project in Owings without a General Stormwater Discharge Permit Associated with Construction Activity.
R D Management /F B Hagerstown, LLC, Long Meadow Shopping Center – Washington County: On November 24, 2010, R D Management on behalf of F B Hagerstown, LLC paid $3,500 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged sediment control and discharge permit violations that occurred at the Long Meadow Shopping Center construction project in Hagerstown.
Pleasants Construction, Inc., BRAC National Capital Region Relocation Administrative Facility – Prince George’s County: On November 23, 2010, Pleasants Construction, Inc. paid $3,800 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged sediment control and discharge permit violations that occurred during the construction of the BRAC National Capital Region Relocation Administrative Facility at Andrews Air Force Base.
Title 9 of the Environment Article 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 designed to protect public health and the environment.
American Sugar Refining, Inc. – Baltimore City: On November 23, 2010, American Sugar Refining paid $10,000 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve two alleged unauthorized discharges of sugar to the Patapsco River.
Chestertown Utilities – Kent County: On November 14, 2010, Chestertown Utilities paid $4,000 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve an alleged 420,000 gallon sanitary sewer overflow that occurred on October 26, 2009, from the Town of Chestertown collection system.
Mayor and City Council of Baltimore: On November 10, 2010, Baltimore City paid a $60,750 penalty to the Maryland Clean Water Fund for sanitary sewer overflows reported by the City.
Town of Chesapeake Beach – Calvert County: On November 15, 2010, the Town of Chesapeake Beach paid $16,000 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve two reported sanitary sewer overflows from the Chesapeake Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Air Pollution Enforcement Actions
MDE’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, including air pollution monitoring, planning, and control programs to improve and maintain air quality. The Department also administers a radiation control program in conformance with federal and state law.
Mount St. Mary’s University – Frederick County: On December 2, 2010, MDE finalized a Settlement Agreement that requires a $40,000 penalty to resolve alleged violations of air pollution requirements including failure to comply with visible emissions requirements from a coal-fired boiler and failure to maintain records with regards to boiler emissions of nitrogen oxides. The Settlement Agreement also requires Mount St. Mary’s to cease operating the coal-fired boiler.
Land Pollution Enforcement Actions
MDE’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program serves as the coordinating agency of statewide efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. Under the 1994 "Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Law," MDE assures compliance with mandatory requirements for lead risk reduction in rental units built before 1950, 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. The following actions were for properties alleged to be out of compliance with lead risk reduction standards:
Daruish Kochesfahani – Baltimore City: 6 affected properties – On December 13, 2010, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $20,000 for alleged violations.
Dak & Associates, LLC – Baltimore City: 4 affected properties – On December 14, 2010, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $35,000 for alleged violations.
Dumbarton Investments, LLC & Edgemere Investment, LLC – Baltimore City: 9 affected properties – On November 18, 2010, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged combined violations. The Defendants agreed to a penalty of $5,000.
The Mining Program regulates all surface coal and non-coal mining in the State and the surface effects from deep mining of coal. The purpose of mining permits is to minimize the effects of sediment and other pollution from surface mining. In addition to environmental controls, the permit provides for proper land reclamation and ensures public safety.
Lafarge Mid-Atlantic, Churchville Quarry – Harford County: On December 6, 2010, MDE issued a Notice of Violations with Penalty seeking $7,500 for alleged violations.
Any person who transfers any volume of nonedible oils into Maryland requires an oil transfer license. The licensee must submit quarterly reports indicating the volume and method of oil transferred into the State. A fee per barrel of oil transferred into the State is assessed at the first point of transfer and paid quarterly. Funds received as oil transfer fees are used to fund the State's oil control and spill response activities.
Western Maryland Petroleum, LLC – Allegany County: On December 13, 2010, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $30,000 for alleged violations.
The Oil Control Program has highly trained staff to help companies and individuals ensure that their Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) are in compliance with State and federal regulations. All regulated USTs within Maryland are required to be registered through the Underground Storage Tank Notification Program. All USTs storing motor fuels (e.g., gasoline, diesel) must meet specific technical standards (corrosion protection, spill/overfill prevention, leak detection, and financial responsibility) or be removed from the ground.
Eastern Petroleum Corporation & J. Kent McNew – Anne Arundel County: On December 1, 2010, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty directing the Defendants to finish the cleanup of the historical oil pollution at 33 Hudson Street. On December 8, 2010, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve the alleged violations. The Defendants agreed to pay $300,000 into an MDE escrow account to be used to complete the cleanup.
Meller Enterprises, Inc. – Harford County: On December 13, 2010, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $40,000 for alleged violations.
Hazardous waste generators must arrange for shipment of their hazardous waste to a facility permitted to accept it or, with the appropriate permits, treat it themselves. A person who ships hazardous waste off-site must use a hauler certified by MDE and the waste must be accompanied by a document that tracks it from generation to disposal (the hazardous waste manifest). A person must comply with regulations on the storage of the waste and must follow specified procedures to prevent the occurrence of circumstances that would threaten human health or the environment.
Associated Technical Processors, Inc. – Baltimore County: MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement in which the Defendants agreed to a penalty of $35,000 to resolve alleged violations.