MARYLAND TAKES ENFORCEMENT ACTION TO PROTECT THE MAGOTHY RIVER
Maryland Department of the Environment, Maryland Attorney General file court case seeking penalties, corrective actions from Pasadena facility
BALTIMORE (April 19, 2021) — The Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland Attorney General have filed a suit alleging that a waste management and recycling business in Anne Arundel County operated without required permits and in violation of an agreement to prevent water pollution from the site.
The lawsuit against Ecology Services Inc. states that Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) inspectors have observed mud and sediment being tracked offsite. The facility’s entrance, exit, parking area and fueling area are unpaved and exposed to stormwater — and stormwater from the exit mixes with stormwater from Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard and is discharged to the Magothy River, the suit states.
The suit filed today in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court seeks financial penalties and a court order requiring the facility to perform all necessary work to meet the terms of the consent order agreement to prevent stormwater pollution.
“The Maryland Department of the Environment is taking this strong enforcement action to bring this facility into compliance with our clean water laws and to protect the Magothy River,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles.
The suit states: Ecology Services uses the Pasadena property for heavy vehicle storage, fueling, and operations. During a series of inspections in 2020, MDE observed evidence of unpermitted discharges of pollutants from the site, including mud and sediment being tracked off the site, waste storage containers, vehicle parts, and trash exposure to precipitation, and soil stains indicating the discharge of oil at the site. Ecology Services agreed to the issuance of a consent order authorizing the continued operation of the site subject to certain pollution-control conditions, and MDE approved the consent order for the site on August 3, 2020. Subsequent inspections revealed multiple violations of the consent order’s requirements.
The suit includes two counts, the first alleging that the facility operated without a permit for 213 days from January 3, 2020, to August 3, 2020. MDE is asking the court to impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each day of unauthorized operation.
The second count alleges the facility’s operation on four separate days breached multiple parts of the MDE-issued General Permit for Discharges from Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activities and the facility’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan in violation of the consent order and state environmental law and regulation. MDE is asking the court to impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each day of each violation under that count. MDE is also seeking an injunction to compel the facility to perform all necessary remediation to bring the site into compliance with, and to operate the site in conformity with, the consent order agreement.
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