Plant Manager Guilty of Faking Wastewater Tests


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 17, 1999

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a Dorchester County man has been fined $5,000, ordered to surrender his Waste Systems Operator's License, and ordered to perform forty hours of community service for failing to perform required wastewater tests and for falsifying official environmental records at the Twin Cities Wastewater Treatment Plant in Dorchester County. Thomas William Trego pleaded guilty in Dorchester County District Court to filing a false statement and was sentenced by Judge John C. Coolahan, who suspended $4,000 of the fine and made the remainder payable to the Maryland Clean Water Fund.

According to the Statement of Charges, Thomas William Trego was charged after a Maryland Department of the Environment employee made an unannounced inspection of the Twin Cities Wastewater Treatment Plant on June 4, 1998. The employee found numerous violations of the Maryland Environmental Code including the failure to perform required wastewater examinations, failure to maintain equipment according to regulations, and the falsification of official environmental records required by State and Federal law. The wastewater tests, and the records maintained by the facility, help ensure the safety of a nearby shellfish harvesting site

In an interview with a Maryland State Trooper assigned to the Environmental Crimes Unit, Trego said performed all the required tests but admitted he did not perform them as often as required. He also admitted he did not maintain the equipment as specified and that he falsified official environmental records. Trego had been the superintendent of the facility since January 1998.

"These wastewater tests are essential to maintaining the health and safety of our natural resources," said Attorney General Curran. "We cannot afford, nor will we tolerate employees cutting corners and potentially placing those priceless resources at risk."

This case was investigated by the Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Unit and the Maryland State Police.


For Further Information Contact:
Frank Mann
Special Assistant to the Attorney General
(410) 576-6357