Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (May 14, 2001) -- The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has issued an administrative consent order to Arcadis G&M, Inc. (Arcadis) to address sediment pollution violations in a tributary of Basin Run, a designated natural trout stream in Cecil County. Under the terms of the consent order, Arcadis has agreed to implement corrective measures to restore the tributary of Basin Run to approximate pre-sediment discharge condition.

The sediment pollution was the result of a Dec. 19, 2000 sediment basin embankment failure at the Woodlawn Landfill, located on Waibel Road. Woodlawn Landfill is a National Priority List (NPL) Superfund site undergoing environmental rehabilitation under the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Arcadis is the general contractor retained by EPA to perform remediation of the landfill site.

"MDE administers stringent erosion and sediment control programs to prevent this type of pollution from entering the state’s waterways," said MDE Secretary Jane T. Nishida. "This case clearly demonstrates the need for proper construction of pond embankments, earthen dams and other appropriate barriers so that failures like this do not occur."

Arcadis, based in Seattle, Wash., supervised the construction of a sediment basin designed to capture storm water runoff from the site. As a result of the embankment’s failure, a large quantity of sediment consisting of clean fill from the landfill cap was discharged into the tributary. MDE and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are very concerned about the adverse impact the significant sediment discharge has had on fish and macroinvertebrate communities in the stream as well as their habitat.

A consent order is a binding legal agreement between parties that lists specific activities that are to be performed and sets a timeframe for their completion. The consent order requires that Arcadis perform macroinvertebrate studies and a geomorphic characterization of the stream to monitor the effectiveness of stream restoration efforts. Arcadis has already begun work in the stream to remove sediments with suction dredges. This sediment removal phase of the restoration project is expected to be completed by September 1. The stream restoration project is being done in cooperation with DNR.

"We all share a concern over the health of this naturally reproducing trout stream," said Eric Schwaab, director of DNR's Fisheries Service. "I am hopeful that this agreement will lead to the restoration of the trout habitat that has been damaged."

Efforts are being made to expedite sediment removal, but also to ensure that work is performed in a manner that will not cause further harm to the stream and aquatic organisms. Arcadis has agreed to provide financial compensation to DNR for their oversight of the restoration project. MDE is also considering administrative or civil penalties for the violations of state sediment pollution laws.

MDE's primary mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water, and land resources.