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CALIFORNIA, Md. (March 18, 2011) — The Maryland Department of the Environment today announced several recent major enforcement actions against southern Maryland-based entities for alleged violations of the State’s public health and environmental protection requirements for 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 Acting Secretary Robert M. Summers in a statement. “The majority of Maryland citizens and businesses comply with environmental laws. A strong and fair enforcement program protects their investment in the environment and the health and quality of life for all Maryland citizens.”
Pertaining to the following 3 violations: State laws governing wetlands protect the State’s water quality, wildlife and other natural resources that depend on those wetlands 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.
MICHAEL STRANDQUIST, ET AL. – CALVERT COUNTY: On January 7, 2011, MDE finalized a civil consent decree with Michael Strandquist et al resolving MDE’s claims that defendants constructed 6 piers, 159 feet of backfilled bulkhead, 13 mooring piles, and a boardwalk in State tidal wetlands at the Breezy Point Marina without first obtaining a license. The Department also alleged that defendants constructed a stone revetment that extended more that 4 feet channelward in violation of a license issued by MDE. The defendants agreed to remove 4 piers, 10 mooring piles, and the boardwalk and they reduced the stone revetment to four feet channelward. The defendants also agreed to pay a $5,000 penalty and $3,020 in compensation.
WARDS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY – CALVERT COUNTY: On January 19, 2011, Wards Construction Company paid $2,600 to the Tidal Wetlands Compensation Fund for the alleged unauthorized construction of a wave break on a pier at the Mill Creek Home Owners Association community pier, Dowell.
MILL CREEK HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION – CALVERT COUNTY: On January 26, 2011, Mill Creek Home Owners Association paid $2,600 to the Tidal Wetlands Compensation Fund for the alleged unauthorized construction of a wave break on a pier at the Mill Creek Home Owners Association community pier, Dowell.
Pertaining to the following 2 violations: It is unlawful for any person to discharge 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 any proposed land clearing, construction activityor earth disturbance greater than 5,000 square feet, 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. State law also requires that a person that undertakes any activity involving earth disturbance over one acre obtain a general permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activity. The permit application must be made available for public review and comment for a period of 30 or 45 days, depending on the total acreage to be disturbed. The permit requires the implementation of an approved erosion and sediment control plan as well as self-monitoring inspections of the erosion and sediment controls.
SOUTHERN MARYLAND ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE – CALVERT COUNTY: On December 9, 2010, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative paid $6,280 to the Maryland Clean Water Fund to resolve an alleged violation of failing obtain an approved erosion and sediment control plan prior to engaging in construction activities in Huntingtown, Calvert County, and for allegedly placing sediment in a position likely to pollute waters of the State.
ST. MARY’S RYKEN HIGH SCHOOL – ST. MARY’S COUNTY: On January 25, 2011, St. Mary’s Ryken High School paid $18,200 to the Clean Water Fund to resolve the alleged failure to maintain permit-required inspection logs under its NPDES General Stormwater Permit and for allegedly failing to implement and maintain approved erosion and sediment controls and placing sediment in a position likely to pollute waters of the State at its construction site in Leonardtown.
MARLEY RUN – CALVERT COUNTY: On December 29, 2010, in accordance with a consent order, Calvert County paid $1,000 in stipulated penalties for total nitrogen effluent violations that occurred at the Marley Run Wastewater Treatment Plant from March through June 2010. State law (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.