Department of Environment Issues Enforcement Actions

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Samantha Kappalman
samantha.kappalman@maryland.gov

Jay Apperson
jay.apperson@maryland.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT ISSUES ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Agency Seeks Penalties, Corrective Actions for Alleged Violations of Land, Air and Water Regulations

BALTIMORE, MD (July 8, 2014) – 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 action prevents further pollution and risks to public health,” said MDE Secretary Robert M. Summers. “The majority of Maryland businesses and citizens comply with environmental laws. A strong and fair enforcement program protects their investment in environmental protection and ensures that those who choose to ignore their responsibilities do not impact the environment, 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 for 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:

Renovations By Design, LLC – Baltimore City:  Eight affected properties – On March 31, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $33,000 for alleged violations.

John S. Verkouteren – Oakland, Garrett County:  One affected property – On April 4, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $33,000 for alleged violations.

Amity Ramble Apartments, LLC and Haynes Properties, Inc. – Baltimore City:  38 affected properties – On April 10, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $65,000 for alleged violations.

Erica Fendlay – Baltimore, Baltimore County:  Two affected properties – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $13,500 for alleged violations.

Winston W. White – Baltimore City:  Five affected properties – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $27,500 for alleged violations.

Harold K. Sanders – Baltimore City:  Three affected properties – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $33,000 for alleged violations.

Patrick A. Agbu and Rita I. Agbu – Baltimore City:  Eight affected properties – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $55,000 for alleged violations.

Monkelien Properties, LLC – Baltimore City:  21 affected properties – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $55,000 for alleged violations.

Leonard Ferguson, Jr., and Vicki Ferguson – Havre de Grace, Harford County:  3 affected properties – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $36,200 for alleged violations.

Edward L. McGowan – Annapolis and Millersville, Anne Arundel County:  Two affected properties – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $33,000 for alleged violations.

Marquis Investments, LLC – Havre de Grace, Harford County:  17 affected properties – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $55,000 for alleged violations.

Armin Abazari – Rockville, Montgomery County:  One affected property – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead Law and seeking $5,000 for alleged violations.

Marsha Louise Johnson Gladden – Baltimore City:  18 affected properties – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $40,000 for alleged violations.

Vaughn B. Parker – Baltimore City:  13 affected properties – On April 21, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $50,000 for alleged violations.

Young Ok Ahn Jung – Baltimore City:  One affected property – On April 22, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $31,000 for alleged violations.

BH Property Management, LLC – Baltimore City:  One affected property – On April 29, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $44,000 for alleged violations.

Pedro P. Quiroz and Maria Quiroz – Baltimore City: One affected property – On May 9, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $45,000 for alleged violations.

Robert Remsburg and Christine M. Remsburg – Knoxville, Frederick County:  Two affected properties – On May 12, 2014, MDE issued an Amended Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s lead law and seeking $40,500 for alleged violations.

Hutzler’s Historic Associates – Baltimore City:  One affected property – On March 20, 2014, 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 $50,000. The penalty has been paid in full.

James B. Owens, Jr. – Havre de Grace, Harford County:  Three affected properties – On March 20, 2014, 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.

American Equity Holdings Operations, LLC – Baltimore City:  11 affected properties – On April 22, 2014, 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.

Benjamin Bridges, Jr., and Sandra Bridges – Baltimore City:  Seven affected properties – On May 6, 2014, 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 $5,000.

Fred L. George III and Dege, LLC – Hagerstown, Washington County:  Five affected properties – On May 14, 2014, 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 $12,000.

Mining Cases

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.

Bardon, Inc. – Prince George’s County:  On March 17, 2014, MDE issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with Maryland’s surface mine law and seeking $10,000 for alleged violations. The penalty has been paid in full.

Metro Earthworks – Prince George’s County:  On April 8, 2014, MDE issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with Maryland’s surface mine law and seeking $10,000 for alleged violations.  The penalty has been paid in full.

Strittmatter Land LLC – Prince George’s County:  On May 1, 2014, MDE issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with Maryland’s surface mine law and seeking $7,500 for alleged violations.

Oil Control – Above Ground Storage Tanks (AST)

The Oil Control Program has highly trained staff to help owners ensure that their Above Ground Storage Tanks (ASTs) are in compliance with State and federal regulations. ASTs with capacities of 1,000 gallons of used oil or 10,000 gallons or more of virgin oil are required to have oil operations permits issued by the Oil Control Program.

Southern States Cumberland Cooperative – Cumberland, Allegany County:  On March 20, 2014, MDE issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with Maryland’s AST law and seeking $6,000 for alleged violations.

Oil Control – Underground Storage Tanks (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.

Paul M. Dziwanowski trading as Regester Tire – Baltimore, Baltimore County:  On April 28, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s UST law and seeking $68,750 for alleged violations.

Juan C. Terrones and Armando Terrones – Bladensburg, Prince George’s County:  On April 29, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s UST law and seeking $37,000 for alleged violations.

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 that 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 public health and the environment. All licensees are required to submit semi-annual reports each February 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.

Jorge A. Bocanegra doing business as Boca Motors – Baltimore City:  On March 31, 2014, MDE issued an Administrative Complaint, Order and Penalty requiring compliance with Maryland’s scrap tire law and seeking $20,000 for alleged violations.

Solid Waste

Solid waste acceptance facilities must ensure the proper disposal of solid waste in an environmentally acceptable manner while protecting 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.

Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources – Bowie, Prince George’s County:  On March 18, 2014, MDE issued a Notice of Violation requiring compliance with Maryland’s refuse disposal law and seeking $5,000 for alleged violations. The penalty has been paid in full.

Castillo Vasquez and Vasquez Landscaping, Inc. – Marydel, Carroll County:  On April 8, 2014, MDE issued a Notice of Violation for open dumping and open burning and seeking $7,500 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.

Precision Products Group – Prince George’s County: On April 21, 2014, MDE executed a Settlement Agreement with Precision Products to address alleged violations of air pollution requirements. Precision Products failed to keep proper operational records for its air pollution control device for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Precision Products has since returned to compliance.  The Settlement Agreement requires Precision Products to pay a $30,000 penalty. 

Automated Graphic Systems (AGS) – Prince George’s County: On May 13, 2014, MDE executed a Settlement Agreement with AGS to address alleged violations of air pollution requirements. AGS failed to submit its annual emissions certification report for its printing plant. AGS has since returned to compliance. The Settlement Agreement requires AGS to pay a $24,000 penalty. 

NRG Chalk Point LLC – Prince George’s County: On May 29, 2014, MDE and NRG Chalk Point LLC entered into a Consent Decree to address alleged violations of air pollution requirements. NRG emitted excess amounts of sulfur dioxide from its power plant. NRG has since returned to compliance. The Consent Decree requires NRG Chalk Point LLC to pay a $65,000 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.

Chesapeake Potomac Regional Cancer Center – St. Mary’s County: On April 15, 2014, Chesapeake Potomac Regional Cancer Center agreed to settle for $10,000 the Department’s claims for a misadministration of radiation during cancer treatment of a patient.

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. 

Holly Hills Country Club  – Frederick County: On May 2, 2014, MDE and Holly Hills Country Club, LLC executed a Consent Order  to resolve alleged discharge permit violations that occurred from 2004 through April 2014. The Consent Order requires implementation of corrective measures and includes an administrative penalty of $17,500 and stipulated penalties for failure to implement the required corrective measures.

Pohanka of Salisbury, Inc. – Wicomico County: On April 17, 2014, MDE and Pohanka of Salisbury, Inc. executed a Settlement Agreement and Penalty to resolve alleged discharge permit violations that occurred at the facility on North Salisbury Road.  A $10,000 penalty was assessed. The alleged violations have been corrected.

Garnet of Maryland, Inc. – Calvert County: On May 1, 2014, MDE and Garnet of Maryland, Inc., executed a Settlement Agreement and Penalty to resolve alleged discharge permit violations from February 2012 through February 2013 at the Appeal Landfill and transfer station in Lusby.  A $10,000 penalty was assessed. The alleged violations have been corrected.

 

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