BALTIMORE—The Maryland Department of the Environment recently announced three major enforcement actions for alleged violations of MDE requirements for water and wetlands against individuals or entities in the tri-county area.
Water Pollution Enforcement Actions
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 also requires that any activity involving earth disturbance over one acre obtain a general permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activity. This permit requires the implementation of an approved erosion and sediment control plan prior to performing earth grading operations as well as self-monitoring inspections of the erosion and sediment controls.
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.
Title 9 of the Environment Article 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 designed to protect public health and the environment.
BRYANS ROAD CORPORATION, LLC (BRC LLC) CHARLES COUNTY: On July 12, 2011, BRC, LLC, paid $2,160 to the Clean Water Fund resolve alleged unlawful discharges associated with boat power washing activities and storm water discharges at the Aqualand Marina.
HOWARD HURLEY—CHARLES COUNTY: On June 17, 2011, MDE and Howard Hurley finalized an administrative Settlement Agreement requiring a $1,000 penalty be paid to the Clean Water Fund in resolution of allegedly unlawful discharges of wastewater from a failed septic system in the 7400 block of Robin Road, La Plata.
State laws governing wetlands were developed to protect the States 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.
BRADBURNS LANDSCAPING ST. MARYS COUNTY: On June 17, 2011, Bradburns Landscaping paid $3,500 to the Tidal Wetlands Compensation Fund to resolve an alleged violation of the tidal wetlands license issued for the Jeffrey Narbut property in Valley Lee through the construction of a pier and timber groin.
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 their investment in the environment as well as the health and quality of life of all Maryland residents.