Department of Environment Issues 34 Enforcement Actions

Department of Environment Issues 34 Enforcement Actions

Press Release

Media Contacts:
Dawn Stoltzfus
(410) 537-3003,
editor.mde@maryland.gov

Department of Environment Issues 34 Enforcement Actions Agency Seeks Penalties, Corrective Actions for Alleged Violations of Land, Air, and Water Regulations

BALTIMORE, MD (April 19, 2011)– The Maryland Department of the Environment today announced 34 recent major enforcement actions for alleged violations of MDE requirements for land,  air and radiation management, 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 Acting Secretary Robert M. Summers. “The majority of Maryland businesses comply with environmental laws. A strong and fair enforcement program protects their investment in the environment and the health and quality of life for all Maryland citizens.”

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 Law,” 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. The following actions were for properties alleged to be out of compliance with lead risk reduction standards:

Walter & Robin Price – Baltimore City:  18 affected properties – On February 24, 2011, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations. The defendant agreed to a penalty of $8,000.

Charles Schelts, et al – Baltimore City:  9 affected properties – On February 28, 2011, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations. The defendant agreed to a penalty of $7,000. The penalty has been paid in full.

William Hazlehurst, Jr. – Baltimore City:  2 affected properties – On March 2, 2011, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations. The defendant agreed to a penalty of $8,000.

Amapola, LLC – Baltimore City:  1 affected property – On March 2, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $23,500 for alleged violations.

Islamic Society of Maryland – Hagerstown, Washington County:  1 affected property – On March 2, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $20,000 for alleged violations.

Steven R. Cromer – Hagerstown, Washington County:  1 affected property – On March 2, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $24,000 for alleged violations.

Double Eagle Properties, LLC and Benjamin Stauffer – Baltimore City:   41 affected properties – On March 2, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $30,000 for alleged violations.

Elaine C. G. Parker – Baltimore City:  8 affected properties – On March 2, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $60,000 for alleged violations.

Levon Evans – Baltimore City:  2 affected properties – On March 4, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $27,500 for alleged violations.

Kenyatta Kerr – Baltimore City:  2 affected properties – On March 4, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $23,000 for alleged violations.

Nicholas G. Lodowski – Baltimore City:  13 affected properties – On March 7, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $40,000 for alleged violations.

Franklin L. Hann Jr. and Deborah A. Armstrong – Frederick, Frederick County:  3 affected properties – On March 7, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $12,000 for alleged violations.

Nicole Amos – Baltimore City:  2 affected properties – On March 7, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $35,000 for alleged violations.

Lashon D. Jones-Warren – Baltimore City:  1 affected property – On March 7, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $31,500 for alleged violations.

Gail Blaze – Baltimore City:  2 affected properties – On March 10, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $45,000 for alleged violations.

Joyce Stevens – Baltimore City:  4 affected properties – On March 10, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking a combined $35,000 for alleged violations.

Salvatore P. Sabatino and Thomas L. Sabatino– Baltimore City:  2 affected properties – On March 11, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $24,000 for alleged violations.

Michael Brown – Baltimore City:  6 affected properties – On March 14, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $22,000 for alleged violations.

Oxon Terrace Apts., Inc. – Temple Hills, Prince George’s County:  17 affected properties – On March 14, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $75,000 for alleged violations.

Jerome Kobernick – Baltimore City:  24 affected properties – On March 14, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $20,000 for alleged violations.

In addition, the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program accredits and enforces performance standards for inspectors and contractors working in lead hazard reduction. The following actions are for contractors and inspectors alleged to be out of compliance with state regulations:

Leatrice Cooper – Baltimore City:  March 14, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty seeking $15,000 for alleged violations.

Solid Waste: CAFO Cases

The Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and Maryland Animal Feeding Operation (MAFO) Program regulates discharges from larger farms raising poultry, cattle, swine, and other livestock. These discharges contain nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus that contribute to low levels of dissolved oxygen and other water quality issues in waters of the State including the Chesapeake Bay.  These farms register for coverage under the General Discharge Permit for Animal Feeding Operations.

John P. Kelley – Pocomoke City, Worcester County:  On March 14, 2011, MDE issued a Notice of Violation seeking $5,000 for the alleged violation of spreading manure next to drainage during winter months.

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.

GenOn (previously Mirant Mid-Atlantic) – Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties: On February 28, 2011, MDE issued a Demand Letter to GenOn for allegedly violating conditions of a  Consent Decree between Mirant Mid-Atlantic and MDE. The Demand Letter requires payment of $80,500 in stipulated penalties as prescribed in the Consent Decree for the alleged violations. GenOn allegedly violated the Consent Decree by failing to submit required reports for two of its power plants in a timely fashion.

Allegheny Energy – Washington County: On February 28, 2011, MDE finalized a Settlement Agreement with Allegheny Energy to address alleged violations of air pollution requirements. The alleged violations were the failure to develop and implement a particulate matter control plan and the failure to conduct and record monthly inspections to ensure proper implementation of the control plan.  The alleged violations occurred at Allegheny’s R. P. Smith power plant in Washington County. The Settlement Agreement requires Allegheny to pay a $30,000 penalty. Allegheny has since developed and implemented the required control plan and is conducting the required monthly inspections.

GenOn (previously Mirant Mid-Atlantic) Chalk Point – Prince George’s County: On March 10, 2011, a Prince George's County Circuit Court judge entered a Consent Decree between MDE and GenOn resolving the Department's claims for alleged violations of the applicable particulate matter emission limitation by the Chalk Point power plant in Prince George's County.  Under the terms of the Consent Decree, Mirant Chalk Point Units 3 and 4, which are capable of burning oil or natural gas, are required to operate on natural gas unless natural gas is not available.  Natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel and operation of Units 3 and 4 on natural gas will reduce emissions of particulate matter and other pollutants from the plant. 

Radioactive Materials Licensing and Compliance Division

ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC – Anne Arundel and Frederick Counties: On February 16, 2011, ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC, signed a Settlement Agreement including a $122,000 civil penalty for both alleged and admitted violations of Maryland's radioactive materials control regulations. These alleged and admitted violations took place during ECS Mid-Atlantic’s construction operations that include the possession, storage, and use of specific nuclear gauges at the facility’s address and at temporary job sites in Maryland.

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 also requires that any activity involving earth disturbance over one acre obtain 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.

Title 9 of the Environment Article 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 designed to protect public health and the environment.

Chick-Fil-A, Inc., and W.H. Bass, Inc. – La Plata, Charles County: On March 3, 2011, Chick-Fil-A, Inc. and W.H. Bass, Inc. agreed to pay $21,500 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund in settlement of alleged violations of Environment Article, Titles 4 and 9, that occurred at the Chick-Fil-A construction site at the La Plata Village Center Phase IV, 6030 Crain Highway, La Plata.

Beazer Homes USA, Inc. – On or about February 25, 2011, Beazer Homes USA, Inc. finalized a civil consent decree and paid$15,289 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund pursuant to the civil action United States et al. v. Beazer Homes USA, Inc., et al. for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at its various construction sites in Maryland.

Brechbill & Helman Construction Company, Inc. – Antietam Academy, WashingtonCounty- On February 23, 2011, Brechbill & Helman Construction Company, Inc. paid $18,920 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged sediment control and State Discharge Permit violations at the Washington County Board of Education’s Antietam Academy construction project in Hagerstown.

WaynesboroConstruction – Ghattas Viewpoint Dual Crossing, Washington County- On March 3, 2011, Waynesboro Construction paid $8,850 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged sediment control and State Discharge Permit violations at the Ghattas Viewpoint Dual Crossing construction project in Hagerstown.

Pinewood Hills Condominium and Recreation Association – Prince George’s County – On February 17, 2011, MDE issued an Administrative Penalty for $17,000 against Pinewood Hills Condominium and Recreation Association to resolve unlawful discharges of sewage to waters of the State for a period of 17 days. Pinewood Hills has fixed the broken pipe that caused the unauthorized discharge. The company has agreed to pay the $17,000 penalty.

New Bushy Park Elementary School – Howard County– On March 4, 2011, MDE issued a Penalty Settlement to Howard County Public Schools System for effluent violations from the New Bushy Park Elementary School groundwater wastewater treatment system. Howard County Public Schools System paid $10,500 to the Clean Water Fund on March 28, 2011 to resolve the effluent violations from October 2008 through October 2009.

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. 

Michael S. Stewart, Elizabeth S. Stewart & Rockhold Creek Pile Driving, LLC – Anne Arundel County:  On February 17, 2011, MDE executed a Settlement Agreement and Promissory and Confessed Judgment Note to settle the alleged violations that Rockhold Creek Pile Driving and the Stewarts constructed a pier expansion and the Stewarts constructed a stone revetment without an approved tidal wetlands license in violation of Tidal Wetlands laws. The parties have corrected the alleged violations and the Settlement Agreement requires that a penalty of $3,800 be paid to the Tidal Wetlands Compensation Fund.

Steven J. Nicholson – St. Mary’s County:  On February 28, 2011, MDE executed a Settlement Agreement and Promissory and Confessed Judgment Note to resolve alleged violations thatinvolved  earthen filling and grading activity within the buffer to nontidal wetlands without first obtaining an authorization from MDE or an approved Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, placing sediment in a position likely to pollute an unnamed tributary of the Patuxent River in Hollywood. Mr. Nicholson has corrected the alleged violations. The Settlement Agreement requires that a $1,714 penalty be paid to the Clean Water Fund and a $386 penalty be paid to the Nontidal Wetlands Compensation Fund.