Maryland Department Of The Environment’s Principal Counsel Steps Down

Maryland Department Of The Environment’s Principal Counsel Steps Down

Press Release

Maryland Department of the Environment

Media Contacts

Robert Ballinger
(410) 537-3012

Maryland Department Of The Environment’s Principal Counsel Steps Down

BALTIMORE, MD (October 15, 2007) – Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson announced the resignation of Mary Rosewin Sweeney as Principal Counsel of the agency. Her resignation is effective November 2, 2007.

“The Department of the Environment has been extremely fortunate to have the talent and expertise of a lawyer of the caliber of Ms. Sweeney to lead MDE’s Office of the Attorney General,” said Secretary Wilson. “Ms. Sweeney is a persuasive, aggressive and thoughtful lawyer and has been an integral part of MDE’s efforts to protect the environment and public health in Maryland.”

Sweeney was directly involved in a number of significant enforcement actions on behalf of MDE, including: a $450,000 settlement against the Upper Potomac River Commission and Westvaco for water quality violations in Western Maryland; a major Clean Water Act settlement with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), that is anticipated to lead to more than $200 million in sewer system improvements and includes a $1.1 million cash penalty and $4.4 million in supplemental environmental projects; and a $ 1 million settlement with Constellation Power Source Generation, Inc. and BBSS, Inc. to clean up contamination from fly ash disposal.

Under Sweeney, Maryland, for the first time in the State’s history, invoked a section of Maryland law that authorizes MDE, in addition to other civil penalties, to recover a civil penalty of up to $100 per gallon of oil discharged in spills exceeding 25,000 gallons. As a result, PEPCO and ST Services paid a nearly $2 million fine after the Chalk Point Oil Spill in April 2000. The penalties received by MDE from these settlements were placed in the state’s oil and clean water funds and a portion of the monies were used for wetlands restoration. The UPRC/Westvaco, Constellation/BBSS and PEPCO/ST Services cases represent the three largest State environmental penalties in Maryland’s history.

Sweeney was honored by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division for her efforts in the WSSC case.

Sweeney will join the Environmental Practice Group within the Government Division at Venable LLP.

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