Department of Environment Issues Enforcement Actions

Press Release

Media Contacts:

Samantha Kappalman

Samantha.Kappalman@maryland.gov

Jay Apperson

Jay.Apperson@maryland.gov

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

BALTIMORE, MD (July 31, 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

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:

Allen Schultheis and Mary Schultheis – Baltimore County:  1 affected property – On May 18, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $18,000 for alleged violations.

SouthStar Limited Partnership – Walforf, Charles County:  8 affected properties – On May 18, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead laws and seeking $38,500 for alleged violations.

Hyacinth Ezeka and Roseline Ezeka – Baltimore City:  10 affected properties – On May 18, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead laws and seeking a combined $50,000 for alleged violations.

Ronald Roy Acors, Sr. and Lavinia Acors – Baltimore County:  1 affected property – On May 18, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $33,000 for alleged violations.

Bruce A. Leventhal and Jeffrey J. Kilpatrick – Baltimore City:  1 affected property – On May 18, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $25,000 for alleged violations.

MPM Properties, LLC – Baltimore City:  6 affected properties – On May 18, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $27,500 for alleged violations.

Mark Moler d/b/a Moler Shoemaker General Partnership – Hagerstown, Washington County:  3 affected properties – On May 18, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $33,000 for alleged violations.

424 53rd LLC – Baltimore City:  2 affected properties – On May 29, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $16,000 for alleged violations.

G&L Properties, LLC – Annapolis, Anne Arundel County:  1 affected property – On May 29, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $27,500 for alleged violations.

EHM at Maryland Avenue, LLC – Baltimore City:  4 affected properties – On June 8, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $15,000 for alleged violations.

Katia King – Baltimore City:  5 affected properties – On June 8, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $30,000 for alleged violations.

Wayne E. Putman – Funkstown and Smithsburg, Washington County:  4 affected properties – On June 12, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $33,000 for alleged violations.

Gary R. Scott and Barbara V. Scott – Baltimore City:  1 affected property – On June 12, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking a combined $30,000 for alleged violations.

Courtney Beard and Carol Beard – Hagerstown, Washington County:  2 affected properties – On June 12, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $50,000 for alleged violations.

Charles P. Austin, Jr. – Baltimore City:  2 affected properties – On June 14, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $27,500 for alleged violations.

Fidelity Real Estate Corp. – Baltimore City:  6 affected properties – On May 30, 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 $6,000.

James S. McCarthy & Stacey Ishman – Baltimore City:  1 affected property – On June 1, 2012, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve alleged violations of Maryland’s lead law.  The defendants agreed to a penalty of $10,000.

The Lead Poisoning Prevention Program accredits and enforces performance standards for inspectors and contractors working in lead hazard reduction. The following action is for a contractor and inspector alleged to be out of compliance with state regulations:

Michael Sollberger d/b/a A&A Eastern Shore Lead Paint Inspection:  On May 24, 2012, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland lead hazard reduction regulations and seeking $10,000 for alleged violations.

Oil Control (Remediation)

The Remediation Division of the Oil Control Program oversees all underground storage tank (UST) system removals and remediation activities at sites where petroleum products have been released. The oversight ensures that responsible parties remediate the site in a timely manner, protecting the public's health and the environment. The majority of sites are gasoline service stations, both operating and closed. Sites also include businesses that have their own petroleum distribution systems for use in vehicle fleets and commercial and residential heating oil systems.

Howard’s Market, Inc. and Zaidi Petro, Inc. – North East, Cecil County:  On June 15, 2012, MDE issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with oil control laws and regulations and seeking $5,000 for alleged violations.

Solid waste (scrap tires)

The risks associated with scrap tires include fire, which can release toxic fumes and oils into the air, soil, surface waters, and groundwater; mosquito, rodent, snake, and other vector infestations, which can spread diseases such as West Nile Virus and malaria; and release of other pollutants to the environment. Disposing of scrap tires in an open dump or in a landfill in Maryland is prohibited. Any company or individual who generates hauls, or processes (including recycles, uses as fuel, or processes at a solid waste acceptance facility) scrap tires must obtain a license from the Maryland Department of the Environment. These licenses require the licensees to properly handle, transfer, or process scrap tires to protect the public health and the environment. All licensees are required to submit semi-annual reports each Feb. 1 and August 1 documenting the quantity and location of all scrap tires that were generated, hauled, transferred, and processed during the preceding six-month reporting period.

Dorothea Harrison-Ewing & Ewing’s Used Cars and Parts, Inc. – Baltimore:  On June 18, 2012, MDE entered into a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order to resolve violations of Maryland’s scrap tires laws.  The defendants agreed to a penalty of $5,000.

 

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.

IMERYS – Baltimore County: On May 23, 2012, MDE issued a Corrective Order and a Notice of Proposed Civil Penalty of $12,000 to IMERYS for alleged violations of Maryland’s air quality regulations at its mineral processing plant in Cockeysville. The alleged violations consist of failure to adequately control particulate dust emissions from the plant on multiple occasions.

Progress Environmental LLC – Prince George’s County: On June 7, 2012, MDE issued a Notice of Assessed Civil Penalty of $7,000 to Progress Environmental for alleged violations of Maryland’s asbestos regulations at a job site in Landover Hills. The alleged violations include failure of asbestos workers in an asbestos removal area to wear proper protective clothing and taking food and drinks into an asbestos removal area.

Water Pollution Enforcement Actions

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.

Saint Charles Associates Limited Partnership – Charles County: On June 19, 2012, MDE executed a Consent Order with Saint Charles Associates Limited Partnership for an administrative penalty of $7,000 for clearing activities in the 100-foot buffer zone surrounding Piney Branch Bog, Nontidal Wetlands of Special State Concern. The Consent Order requires the implementation of a plan to restore the buffer zone around Piney Branch Bog.

James and Diane Strippy – Calvert County: On June 12, 2012, MDE filed a Complaint in the Circuit Court for Calvert County against James and Diane Strippy for alleged unauthorized construction in State Tidal Wetlands at Plum Point Creek in Huntingtown.  The Complaint seeks a civil penalty of $50,000.

Crandell Excavating & Marine Construction LLC – Calvert County: On June 12, 2012, MDE filed a Complaint in the Circuit Court for Calvert County against Crandell Excavating & Marine Construction LLC for unauthorized construction in State Tidal Wetlands at Plum Point Creek in Huntingtown. The Complaint seeks civil penalty of $50,000.

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.

Cherry Hill Construction, Inc. – Baltimore County: On July 3, 2012, Cherry Hill Construction, Inc. paid $5,000 to the Clean Water Fund to settle alleged sediment pollution violations at the MDTA: I-95 from I-95/I-895 Split to South of Kenwood Ave project, Rosedale.

Michael E. Mohler t/a Baldus-Mohler Joint Venture – Charles County: On or about May 24, 2012, Michael E. Mohler paid $7,500 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve alleged violations of sediment control laws and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Stormwater Associated with Construction Activity at the St. Mary’s Villas Subdivision in La Plata.

Town of La Plata – Charles County: On June 13, 2012, MDE executed a Settlement Agreement with the Town of La Plata to resolve sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) which occurred from the Town’s sewage collection system between January 7, 2009 and December 7, 2011.  Under the terms of the settlement, LaPlata has agreed to pay to the Clean Water Fund $50,000.

Western Acceptance Facility – Baltimore County: On May 17, 2012, MDE finalized a Settlement Agreement with the Maryland Environmental Service (MES) to resolve alleged unlawful stormwater discharges and solid waste violations at the Western Acceptance Facility in Baltimore County. Under the terms of the settlement, MES has paid $15,000 to the Clean Water Fund.

Worcester County Department of Public Works: On June 18, 2012, MDE issued a penalty settlement to the Worcester County DPW to resolve sanitary sewer overflows that occurred from the County’s collection system from March 2010 through May 2011. Under the terms of settlement, Worcester County DPW has agreed to pay $9,600 to the Clean Water Fund.

Town of Rising Sun – Cecil County: On June 21, 2012, the Town of Rising Sun paid a stipulated penalty in the amount of $5,250 to resolve effluent violations that occurred from April 2011 through January 2012 from the Rising Sun Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Payment was in accordance with the civil consent judgment between MDE and the Town.

Baltimore County DPW/Essex Pump Station – Baltimore County – On May 16, 2012, MDE issued a stipulated penalty in the amount of $5,000 to Baltimore County DPW to resolve the failure to construct the Essex Pump Station in the time frame authorized by the civil consent decree between MDE/EPA and Baltimore County. The pump station upgrades have now been completed.

Pond’s Edge Associates, Inc. – Wicomico County: On May 8, 2012, MDE issued a penalty settlement to Pond’s Edge Associates, Inc. to resolve alleged sediment and erosion control violations and water pollution violations at their construction site. Under the terms of settlement, Ponds Edge Associates, Inc. has agreed to pay $20,000 to the Clean Water Fund.

Irishtown, LLLP – Queen Anne’s County: On May 4, 2012, a stipulated penalty in the amount of $5,000 was assessed against Irishtown, LLLP for its alleged failure to comply with the terms of the December 29, 2011, settlement agreement with MDE regarding sediment control.

Frederick County Board of Commissioners – On June 21, 2012, MDE and the Board of Commissioners of Frederick County finalized an administrative Settlement Agreement resolving total aluminum and total suspended solids effluent violations at the New Design Water Treatment Plant. Under the terms of settlement, Frederick County has agreed to pay $9,600 to the Clean Water Fund.

 

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