Press Release

BALTIMORE (August 12, 1998) -- In a coordinated enforcement action, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) have assessed administrative penalties totalling $126,000 against Garden State Tanning, 312 West Conococheague Street, Williamsport, in Washington County, Maryland, for Clean Water Act violations at the company's cattle hide chrome tanning and finishing facility.

The combined administrative penalty of $126,000 was assessed against Garden State for intermittently failing since 1995 to comply with provisions of its discharge permit by discharging wastewater that exceeded fecal coliform, ammonia and chlorine limitations. The penalties included fines for unauthorized discharges of wastewater into the Conocheague River, and for violating analytical procedures in the required analysis of wastewater that is discharged from the facility. The excessive levels of ammonia and chlorine could have toxic impacts to aquatic life in the river. Excessive fecal coliform levels indicate a potential risk to human health due to harmful pathogens.

In addition to the administrative penalty, MDE has ordered Garden State to submit plans within 20 days of the complaint to correct the problems at the facility. The plans, when approved by MDE, will ensure that the company comes into compliance with its permit .

Garden State has 10 days to request an administrative hearing from MDE on the orders and 30 days to appeal the penalty assessed by the department. The company also has 20 days to request a hearing from the EPA.