Press Release

BALTIMORE (January 2, 1998) -- The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) today issued an administrative order to revoke two sewage sludge utilization permits and assessed a $50,000 administrative penalty against Browning Ferris Inc., for violating State sewage sludge utilization regulations in two separate areas of a sand and gravel mining site in Charles County.

The company was cited for failing to incorporate sewage sludge into the soil by the end of the working day at the Hickory Thicket site located at Gallant Green and Aquasco Roads in Charles County. Failure to incorporate the sludge by the end of the working day can cause odors and attract insects or other pests. The company was also cited for failing to maintain a buffer-zone distance of 200 feet between the area where sludge was applied and an off-site residence. The violations occurred over several days from late October to early November 1997.

The sludge was spread by CDR Mid-Atlantic of Oxford, Pennsylvania, a Browning Ferris Inc. subcontractor. Due to business agreements, CDR has taken over Brownin Ferris' operation, hwever, Browning Ferris Inc. retains the permits and is fully responsible for compliance with all permit conditions, and applicable statutes and regulations.

MDE and Charles County inspectors conducted joint inspections at the Hickory Thicket site which in part led to today's enforcement action. At the request of the Charles County Commissioners, MDE is consulting with Charles County officials to discuss sludge compliance and management issues, and to improve sewage sludge management in the county. Browning Ferris Inc. has 30 days to appeal the penalty and 10 days to appeal the revocation of two of its permits.