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List of State Officials - Martin O'Malley, Governor; Anthony Brown, Lt. Governor; Shari T. Wilson, MDE Secretary 

Volume IV, Number 3

 February 2010

eMDE is a quarterly publication of the Maryland Department of the Environment. It covers articles on current environmental issues and events in the state. 

MDE Increases Enforcement Actions

By Andrew Gosden, Office of the Secretary

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Enforcement and Compliance Report chart 

Enforcement and Compliance Report chart 

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For the second year in a row, the Maryland Department of the Environment issued more enforcement actions than in any previous year.

MDE’s 13th annual Enforcement and Compliance Report states that between July 2008 and June 2009 MDE had a total of 2,901 enforcement actions, a 7.48 percent increase compared to the prior fiscal year -- on top of a 34 percent increase in enforcement actions that were reported in fiscal year 2008. The agency also collected the highest number of enforcement actions since reporting began in 1998. During Fiscal Year 2009 MDE collected $6,516,601 in penalties.

The report includes data from MDE’s Air and Radiation, Land, and Water Management Administrations, as well as the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General.

“Restoring a baseline of enforcement activity has been a top priority for the Department of the Environment, so I am pleased to report that our actions in this area continue to become stronger. This benefits all Marylanders -- and the regulated entities that comply with regulations,” MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson said. “Steady and consistent enforcement is critical to ensuring compliance with the state laws, regulations, and permits and ensures a level playing field for Maryland’s regulated community.”

The Enforcement and Compliance Report details each of MDE’s 26 enforcement programs. The report includes a general description of each program’s responsibilities, successes, and challenges, along with a table detailing the number of inspections, violations, enforcement actions, and penalties collected. Environment Article §1-301(d), enacted in 1997, requires MDE to report annual performance results for 15 regulatory programs and the penalty dollars collected and deposited into several specific funds.

In February 2007, MDE began an initiative to enhance enforcement. This included a review of ongoing enforcement actions to determine timeliness, development of a department-wide internal operating procedure, and the use of the “MDEStat” management process. To maximize the deterrence value of every enforcement action, each month the Agency releases a list of the most significant environmental enforcement actions to the media and posts the list on MDE’s website.

Click here to view the full report and for the latest information on enforcement actions and other compliance activities.


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Editorial Board
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230