BALTIMORE, MD (August 29, 2012) – The Maryland Department of the Environment today announced major enforcement actions in recent months for alleged violations of MDE requirements for land, air, water and wetlands.
“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
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:
Beverly Price-Evans – Baltimore City: 5 affected properties – On July 27, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $10,500 for alleged violations.
Reginald Johnson and Jacqueline Johnson – Baltimore City: 3 affected properties – On July 27, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $27,000 for alleged violations.
Angel R.G. Majano – Hyattsville, Prince George’s County: 1 affected property – On July 30, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $31,000 for alleged violations.
2513 Loyola Southway, LLC – Baltimore City: 1 property – On July 31, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $9,000 for alleged violations.
James Cannon – Baltimore City: 1 affected property – On July 17, 2012, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations of Maryland’s lead law. The defendant agreed to a penalty of $5,000. The penalty has been paid.
825 West 38th Street, LLC – Baltimore City: 4 affected properties – On August 7, 2012, MDE entered into a Consent Decree to resolve alleged violations of Maryland lead law. The defendant agreed to a penalty of $15,000.
Oil Control (UST)
The Oil Control Program has highly trained staff to help companies and individuals ensure that their Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) are in compliance with State and federal regulations. All regulated USTs within Maryland are required to be registered through the Underground Storage Tank Notification Program. All USTs storing motor fuels (e.g., gasoline, diesel) must meet specific technical standards (corrosion protection, spill/overfill prevention, leak detection and financial responsibility) or be removed from the ground.
Byron Byrd and Janice Byrd – Hagerstown, Washington County: On July 25, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s UST law and seeking $45,000 for alleged violations.
According to Code of MD regulation (COMAR) 26.10.06, the installation, repair, removal or inspection of underground storage tank systems requires an individual to be certified and present during all phases of work at regulated tank systems. The Land Management Administration Oil Control Program administers and enforces the certification of technicians, removers and inspectors that perform this work.
Robert Yoakum, Jr.: On August 7, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s UST law and seeking $9,500 for alleged violations.
Solid Waste Cases
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 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 leachate collection 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.
Jody Cahall – Denton, Caroline County: On July 16, 2012, MDE issued a Notice of Violation, seeking $5,000 for alleged open dumping and open burning violations.
R.B. Baker and Sons, Inc. – Queenstown, Queen Anne’s County: On August 2, 2012, MDE issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with Maryland’s refuse disposal law and seeking $12,000 for alleged violations.
Waste Management, Closed Site Management Group – Joppa, Harford County: On August 14, 2012, MDE issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with Maryland’s refuse disposal law and seeking $5,000 for alleged violations.
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.
Lehigh Cement Company – Carroll County: On July 19, 2012, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement with the Lehigh Cement Company to address alleged violations of air pollution requirements. Lehigh exceeded particulate matter standards, as demonstrated by a stack test. Lehigh has since returned to compliance. The Settlement Agreement requires that Lehigh comply with an improved Operations, Maintenance, and Monitoring Plan to prevent future violations. The Agreement also requires Lehigh to pay a $50,000 penalty.
Water Pollution Enforcement Actions
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.
McLean Construction Company – Baltimore City: On August 2, 2012, MDE and McLean Construction Company finalized a settlement agreement resolving alleged sediment control and sediment pollution violations at the Masonville Dredge Material Containment Facility in December 2008. McLean Construction has agreed to pay $16,000 to the Clean Water Fund in settlement of the alleged violations.
Wooters Excavation, LLC – Cecil County: On August 6, 2012, the Office of Administrative Hearings issued a Final Default Order against Wooters Excavation, LLC, to resolve alleged sediment pollution and sediment control violations at the Red Hill Run subdivision construction site in Elkton. The Default Order granted $120,000 to MDE. Wooters Excavation has thirty days to file a written motion to modify or vacate the Default Judgment.
ICC Constructors, A Joint Venture – Montgomery County: On July 18, 2012, ICC Constructors, A Joint Venture, paid $12,000 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged sediment control and water pollution violations during construction of the InterCounty Connector between November 2008 and December 2009.
Baltimore County DPW and Miller Pipeline, LLC – Baltimore County: On August 2, 2012, MDE finalized a settlement agreement with Baltimore County Department of Public Works and Miller Pipeline, LLC, to resolve alleged sediment control, sediment pollution and waterway construction violations during a sewer pipe relining project. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Miller Pipeline paid $5,800 to the Clean Water Fund.
Town of Greensboro – Caroline County: On July 23, 2012, the Town of Greensboro paid $20,000 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged water pollution violations at the Greensboro Wastewater Treatment Plant.
State laws 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. Property owners must notify MDE before conducting any work in tidal and nontidal wetlands, their buffers, and waterways of the State. MDE assesses the impact of any proposed work on tidal and nontidal wetlands and, if appropriate, will issue a permit authorizing the work as long as the necessary environmental protections are in place.
Babak and Lisa Yazdoni – Montgomery County: On August 8, 2012, MDE executed a settlement agreement to resolve alleged non-tidal wetland violations on their residential property in Poolesville. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, a $7,000 penalty has been paid and wetlands remediation activities are required to be implemented at the site.