Department of the Environment Significant Enforcement Actions (April 2017 – June 2017)

Department of the Environment Significant Enforcement Actions (April 2017 – June 2017)

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The Maryland Department of the Environment enforces State and federal environmental laws to protect public health and our land, air, water and wetlands resources.

"Enforcement is an important part of what we do to protect public health and keep our communities clean, and we do this with a balanced and common-sense approach,” said Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles. “The Department of the Environment works in collaboration with facilities to ensure they are in compliance with all requirements, but we will go after polluters and impose financial penalties when needed. We are committed to changing Maryland for the better – protecting and restoring our environment while providing businesses with clear expectations and a level playing field among the regulated entities."

The majority of the Department’s enforcement and compliance activities involve working with permit holders to correct any minor deficiencies with no formal enforcement action taken or financial penalties assessed. This assistance may be the most efficient method to achieve compliance. If an inspection reveals a significant violation, or if minor violations continue to recur and become a significant problem, then enhanced actions are warranted. Such action may take the form of penalties, corrective orders, the filing of injunctions and, in some cases, criminal sanctions.

The Department took 14,829 enforcement actions in Fiscal Year 2016, as reported in the Annual Enforcement and Compliance Report Below are enforcement actions brought to a resolution between April. 1, 2017, and June 30, 2017, with financial penalties of $10,000 or more.

 

Land Pollution Enforcement Actions

Lead poisoning prevention

The Department of the Environment’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program serves as the coordinating agency for statewide efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. Under the 1994 "Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act,” the Department assures compliance with mandatory requirements for lead risk reduction in rental units built before 1978, 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. Alleged violations typically involve a failure to register properties or meet lead risk-reduction standards. The following actions were for properties alleged to be out of compliance with lead risk-reduction standards:

  • Kay Management Co. Inc.; Kirkwood Associates L.L.L.P.; and Good Acre Ventures LLC – Montgomery and Prince George’s counties: 7,276 affected properties – On May 23, 2017, the Department entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations of Maryland’s lead law. The defendants agreed to a $50,000 penalty.
  • WAZ Investments LLC et al. – Baltimore City: 264 affected properties – On May 17, 2017, the Department entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations of Maryland’s lead law. The defendants agreed to a $25,000 penalty.
  • Hillsdale Apartments LLC – Baltimore City: 16 affected properties – On May 25, 2017, the Department entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations of Maryland’s lead law. The defendants agreed to a $10,000 penalty.

 

Air Pollution and Radiation Enforcement Actions

The Department of the Environment’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. The Administration oversees air pollution monitoring, planning and control programs to improve and maintain air quality and a radiation control program to protect the public and occupational workers from unnecessary exposure to radiation from medical equipment and other devices, in conformance with federal and state law.

  • Chesapeake Potomac Regional Cancer Center – Charles County: On May 10, 2017, the department and Chesapeake Potomac Regional Cancer Center finalized an agreement to settle alleged violations of Maryland’s radiation control regulations. The alleged violations involved three incorrect administrations of radiation in September 2016. Under the agreement, the Chesapeake Potomac Regional Cancer Center agreed to pay a $90,000 penalty.
  • Lehigh Cement – Carroll County: On April 11, 2017, the department and Lehigh Cement finalized an agreement to settle alleged air pollution violations at the company’s cement production plant, which exceeded mercury emissions limits in its air quality operating permit. The plant has since returned to compliance, and Lehigh has implemented new procedures to prevent the repeat of the alleged violations. The agreement includes a $30,000 penalty.

 

Contact Information

Office of Communications
410-537-3003

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