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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

Press Release

Media Contacts:

Samantha Kappalman
Samantha.Kappalman@maryland.gov

Jay Apperson
Jay.Apperson@maryland.gov

410-537-3003

Department of Environment Issues Enforcement Actions  Agency Seeks Penalties, Corrective Actions for Alleged Violations of Land, Air and Water Regulations 

BALTIMORE, MD (February 20, 2013) – The Maryland Department of the Environment today announced major enforcement actions in recent months for alleged violations of State and federal environmental laws to protect public health and our land, air, water and wetlands resources.

“The Maryland Department of the Environment's top priority is to protect public health and our environment. A consistent baseline of enforcement actions prevents further pollution and risks to public health,” said MDE Secretary Robert M. Summers. “The majority of Maryland businesses comply with environmental laws. A strong and fair enforcement program protects our investment in the environment as well as the health and quality of life of all Maryland residents.”

 

Land Pollution Enforcement Actions

 

Lead Cases

 

MDE’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program serves as the coordinating agency of statewide efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. Under the 1994 "Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act,” MDE assures compliance with mandatory requirements for lead risk reduction in rental units built before 1950, 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:

 

Rosemarie Monroe – Brooklyn Park, Anne Arundel County:  1 affected property – On December 17, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $22,000 for alleged violations.

Joseph Nwoga and Susan Nwoga – Baltimore City:  3 affected properties – On December 18, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $33,000 for alleged violations.

Bernard Austin and Constance Young – Baltimore City:  2 affected properties – On January 7, 2013, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $16,500 for alleged violations.

Loschiavo Properties, Limited, and James Loschiavo – Westminster, Carroll County:  2 affected properties – On January 14, 2013, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $22,000 for alleged violations.

George W. Johnson III and Anita Johnson – Baltimore City:  2 affected properties – On January 15, 2013, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $16,500 for alleged violations.

Edward F. Sible, Sr., Linda A. Sible and Robert K. Bowers – Westminster, Carroll County:  5 affected properties – On December 21, 2012, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations. The defendants agreed to a penalty of $10,000.

 

 

Solid Waste

Solid waste acceptance facilities must ensure the proper disposal of solid waste in an environmentally acceptable manner while protecting the public health and the environment, including surface water and groundwater. A Refuse Disposal Permit is required for the installation, alteration, or extension of a solid waste acceptance facility. The Permit regulates the design, construction, operation and monitoring of such facilities to minimize the impact on public health and the environment. Municipal, rubble, and some industrial waste landfills are required to have liners and systems that facilitate the collection of leachate and prevent migration of pollutants out of the landfill to adjacent subsurface soil, groundwater and surface water. With some exceptions, processing and transfer activities are required to be conducted in an enclosed building to control odor, dust and noise.

 

Bennett Construction, Inc. – Fruitland, Wicomico County:  On December 21, 2012, MDE issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with Maryland’s Refuse Disposal permit law and seeking $5,000 for alleged violations.

 

 

Mining

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.

Zachair, LTD. – Clinton, Prince George’s County:  On December 21, 2012, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged Surface Mining violations. The defendant agreed to a penalty of $15,000, which has been paid in full.

 

 

Air Pollution Enforcement Actions

MDE’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 from unnecessary exposure to radiation from medical equipment and other devices, in conformance with federal and state law.

Lifoam Industries – Harford County: On December 17, 2012, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement with Lifoam Industries to address alleged violations of operational requirements on its air pollution control equipment. Lifoam produces polystyrene products and has since returned to compliance. The Settlement Agreement requires Lifoam to pay a $40,000 penalty.

The Sherwin-Williams Company – Baltimore City: On December 21, 2012, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement with the Sherwin-Williams Company to address alleged violations of air pollution requirements involving Sherwin-Williams’ failure to properly use air pollution control equipment at its paint manufacturing plant. Sherwin-Williams has since returned to compliance. The Settlement Agreement requires Sherwin-Williams to pay a $30,000 penalty.

 

Radiation Machines Division

 

The following action is in response to alleged violations of Maryland regulations for the control of ionizing radiation from use of radiation (x-ray) machines.

J B Dental Implant Center – Montgomery County: On January 10, 2013, MDE issued a Complaint, Order and Administrative Penalty to J B Dental Implant Center seeking $9,500 for alleged radiation machine violations.

 

The following action is in response to alleged violations of Maryland regulations for the control of ionizing radiation from possession and use of radioactive material.

University of Maryland – Prince George’s County: On November 20, 2012, the University of Maryland signed a Settlement Agreement that includes a $10,000 payment to MDE’s Radiation Control Fund to resolve alleged violations involving the University’s panoramic irradiator, a device used to study the effects of radiation on various materials. The Settlement Agreement also requires the University to commit to a Supplemental Environmental Project that includes the maintenance for two years of two newly created positions (Managing Director of Radiation Facilities and Senior Health Physicist) and the purchase of additional equipment.

 

 

Water Pollution Enforcement Actions

 

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. 

 

Mystic Harbour Wastewater and Water Treatment Plants Worcester County:  On January 7, 2013, MDE entered into a Consent Order with the County Commissioners of Worcester County to resolve alleged effluent violations at the Mystic Harbour Wastewater and Water Treatment Plants. The County is in the process of upgrading the wastewater treatment plant. The Consent Order requires that the date for completion of construction of the project will be no later than August 31, 2013. Under the terms of the Consent Order, the County agreed to pay $25,000 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged discharge permit effluent violations. 

 

It is unlawful for any person to introduce soil or sediment into waters of the State or to place soil or sediment in a condition or location where it is likely to be washed into waters of the State. State law requires that, prior to performing construction activity, a  person obtain and implement a Soil Conservation District-approved erosion and sediment control plan that must be maintained for the life of the project for any proposed land clearing or earth disturbance greater than 5,000 square feet. 

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. Earth disturbances that exceed one acre are required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activity from MDE.  The NPDES Permit requires that an approved erosion and sediment control plan be obtained and implemented, that self-monitoring inspections occur, and that a log of such inspections be maintained.

State laws require that property owners notify MDE before conducting any work in tidal and nontidal wetlands, their buffers, and waterways of the State.  MDE assesses the impact of any work on tidal and nontidal wetlands and, if appropriate, will issue a permit authorizing the work.  The regulations governing wetlands were developed to protect the State’s natural resources that depend on those wetlands and minimize impacts while allowing property owners reasonable use of their property. 

Ronald and Jeanine Sisler Garrett County: On December 28, 2012, MDE and the Sislers finalized an administrative settlement agreement to resolve alleged sediment control and sediment pollution violations at the Green Things LLC garage facility near Redhouse. The settlement requires that the Sislers pay $8,000 to the Clean Water Fund. 

Graham Construction Company, Inc. Prince George’s County: On January 14, 2013, Graham Construction Company, Inc., paid $6,000 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged violations regarding sediment control and the NPDES Permit for Discharges Associated with Construction Activity that occurred at the Andrews Air Force Base Food/Gas Shoppette construction site. 

V.O.B. Limited Partnership Prince George’s County:  On January 15, 2013, MDE executed a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations involving V.O.B. Limited Partnership at Beech Tree Development and Lake Presidential Golf Course in Upper Marlboro. The settlement requires payment of a $38,000 penalty to the Clean Water Fund and corrective actions to obtain a nontidal wetlands permit and to remove sediment from nontidal wetlands. 

The Haskell Company of Florida A/K/A The Haskell Company:  Baltimore City:  On December 17, 2012, The Haskell Company paid $8,600 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged violations associated with the NPDES General Discharge Permit for Stormwater Associated with Construction Activity at the Hanover Brewers Hill project.

RIV Construction Group Caroline County:  On December 28, 2012, RIV Construction Group paid $45,000 to the Clean Water Fund to settle alleged sediment control and water pollution violations between January 24, 2012, and August 14, 2012, at a Walmart construction site in Denton.

Harwood Landfill, Inc. Anne Arundel County: On January 15, 2013, MDE finalized a Consent Order with Harwood Landfill, Inc., to resolve alleged water pollution and solid waste violations at the Harwood/PST Landfill on Sands Road in Harwood. The Consent Order assesses a penalty of $75,000 for alleged violations between October 2008 and March 2012, and requires a study to determine the proper remedial measures for the site.

Coakley & Williams Construction, Inc. Montgomery County:  On January 16, 2013, Coakley & Williams Construction, Inc., paid $6,400 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged violations regarding sediment control and the NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activity at the Montgomery County Equipment and Maintenance Operation Center construction site in Rockville. 

FRU-CON Construction Corporation  Prince George’s County: On January 28, 2013, FRU-CON Construction Corporation paid $11,500 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged violations regarding sediment control and the NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activity at the Western Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant construction site near Upper Marlboro. 

  

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