Dominion Cove Point LNG Pays State $175,000 for Alleged Water Pollution Violations

BALTIMORE (Jan. 28, 2010)—The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) today announced an enforcement action against Dominion Cove Point, LNG which conducts business in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties. On December 28, 2009, MDE finalized a Complaint and Administrative Consent Order with Dominion Cove Point, LNG, LP and Sheehan Pipeline Construction Company to resolve alleged violations including:

-- unauthorized discharges (fracouts) including drilling returns to Jordan and Zakiah swamps

-- discharges related to the General Discharge Permit Associated with Hydraulic Testing

-- failure to update required records

-- discharge of sediment pollution to St. Leonard’s Creek and associated wetlands

-- discharge of sediment pollution into the Patuxent River

-- failure to comply with the erosion and sediment control plan requirements at the Cedar Point Lane site; and

-- violations of wetland regulations for causing unauthorized impacts to Ketts Pond, Hunting Creek, and St. Leonard’s Creek.

The alleged violations occurred between March 2007 and December 2008 in connection with the installation of a 36-inch pipeline in Calvert, Charles, and Prince George’s Counties.

In accordance with the Order, Dominion paid MDE a penalty of $175,000 on December 29, 2008, and will perform remedial work at Ketts Pond by June 28, 2010.

State Law requires a State Discharge Permit before constructing, installing, modifying, extending, altering, or operating any outlet or establishment that may discharge pollutants to waters of the State, including surface waters, groundwaters and wetlands. Discharge permits are issued for many different types of establishments such as industrial and commercial operations, sewage treatment plants, animal feeding operations and construction sites. Discharge permits typically include permittee self-monitoring and reporting requirements as well as operational restrictions, best management practices, and effluent limitations for discharges from the site to prevent violations of water quality standards in the receiving waters and adverse impact to aquatic resources and public health.

“The Maryland Department of the Environment’s top priority is to protect public health,” said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “A consistent baseline of enforcement actions, which we are publicizing widely, not only helps prevent further risks to public health but also deters future violations.”

Source: Maryland Department of the Environment

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