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 8,249 enforcement actions in Fiscal Year 2017, as reported in the Annual Enforcement and Compliance Report. Below are enforcement actions brought to a resolution between October 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, with financial penalties of $10,000 or more
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:
10 S. Market St. LLC; 24 S. Market St. LLC; 17 & 19 N. Market St. LLC; S.L.-2 Properties LLP, 13 E. Patrick St. LLC; 26 E. Patrick St. LLC; 100 & 102 E. Patrick St. LLC; 116-118 E. Patrick St. LLC and 213-215 N. Market St. LLC – Frederick, Frederick County
Nine affected properties – On October 20, 2017, the Department entered into a Settlement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations of Maryland’s lead law. The defendants agreed to a $15,000 penalty.
Donnell Guy – Baltimore City
Eight affected properties – On October 17, 2017, the Department entered into a Settlement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations of Maryland’s lead law. The defendant agreed to a $10,000 penalty.
Hazardous waste generators must arrange for shipment of their hazardous waste to a facility permitted to accept it or, with the appropriate permits, treat it themselves. A person who ships hazardous waste off-site must use a hauler certified by the Department and the waste must be accompanied by a document that tracks it from generation to disposal (the hazardous waste manifest). A person must comply with regulations on the storage of the waste and must follow specified procedures to prevent the occurrence of circumstances that would threaten human health or the environment.
Peninsula Regional Medical Center – Salisbury, Wicomico County
On October 31, 2017, the Department issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with Maryland’s controlled hazardous substance regulations and seeking $10,000 for alleged violations. The Notice of Violation was resolved and paid in full on December 5, 2017.
The Mining Program regulates all surface coal and non-coal mining in the State, and the surface effects from deep mining of coal. The purpose of mining permits is to minimize the effects of sediment and other pollution from surface mining. In addition to environmental controls, the permit provides for proper land reclamation and ensures public safety.
Imerys Carbonates USA, Inc. – Cockeysville, Baltimore County
On November 27, 2017, the Department issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with Maryland’s mining laws and seeking $10,000 for alleged violations. The Notice of Violation was resolved and paid in full on December 20, 2017.
The Department of the Environment’s Air and Radiation 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.
Brandon Shores coal-fired power plant – Anne Arundel County
On October 11, 2017, the Department and Raven Power finalized a Settlement Agreement to resolve alleged violations of the company’s air quality operating permit at the Brandon Shores coal-fired power plant Unit 2. The unit exceeded sulfur emissions limits in the permit over a four-hour period, as detected by the continuous emission monitor on the plant’s exhaust stack. The agreement includes a $20,000 penalty. The plant subsequently returned to compliance, and Raven Power has implemented new procedures to prevent repeat violations.
Kinder Morgan bulk gasoline terminal – Anne Arundel County
On November 17, 2017, the Department and Kinder Morgan finalized a Settlement Agreement to resolve alleged violations of the company’s air quality permit at the company’s bulk gasoline terminal near the Curtis Bay area of Baltimore City. The company failed to conduct a compliance test in a timely fashion. The agreement includes a $49,500 penalty. The plant subsequently returned to compliance, and Kinder Morgan has implemented new procedures to prevent repeat violations.
State law prohibits the discharge of any pollutant into waters of the State, unless such discharge is in compliance with the terms, conditions, and requirements of a discharge permit. A person must hold a discharge permit issued by MDE before the person may construct, install, modify, extend, alter or operate any facility or disposal system or any other outlet or establishment if its operation could cause or increase the discharge of pollutants into waters of the State.
State law requires that any activity involving earth disturbance over one acre requires a General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activity. This permit requires the implementation of an approved erosion and sediment control plan prior to performing earth grading operations as well as self-monitoring inspections of the erosion and sediment controls.
NRG MD Ash Management LLC – Charles, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties
On Oct. 23, 2017, the department assessed $110,000 in stipulated penalties in accordance with a consent decree that requires the company to pay stipulated penalties of $10,000 per month until cleanup activities required by the consent decree are completed. The penalty is for the period of October 2016 through September 2017. The consent decree, entered in 2013, resolved three esolve three enforcement actions brought by MDE against GenOn for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Maryland water pollution laws at the Faulkner Ash Management Facility in Charles County, the Brandywine Ash Management Facility in Prince George’s County and the Westland Ash Management Facility in Montgomery County.
Baltimore Scrap Corporation – Baltimore City
On Dec. 20, 2017, the department issued a settlement agreement to Baltimore Scrap Corporation to resolve alleged violations of the General Permit for Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity during the period of March 14, 2016, to December 2017. The agreement requires the company to implement corrective measures and pay a $50,000 penalty.
Office of Communications410-537-3003
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230