FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 12, 1999
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a Baltimore City business has been fined $5,000 for illegally transferring medical waste in Lothian, Maryland. On Thursday, in Anne Arundel District Court, Rory J. Cooper, District Manager and Resident Agent of Stericycle, Inc., pleaded guilty on behalf of the corporation to removing a controlled hazardous substance from a place other than a controlled hazardous substance facility. Judge Paul A. Hackner fined the corporation $5,000, suspending all but $1,000, which he ordered to be paid to the Maryland Hazardous Substance Control Fund.
According to the Statement of Charges, on January 5, 1998, an employee of Stericycle, which operates a Special Medical Waste Transfer and Processing Facility at 2510 Erick Street in Baltimore, was observed illegally transferring medical waste into a semi-trailer parked at 1322 Mount Zion Marlboro Road in Lothian. The next day, the same Stericycle employee and Stericycle's Transportation Manager were observed transferring the contents of the semi-trailer, which was registered to C.D. Payne Trucking, back into a Stericycle truck. The contents were identified on manifests as special medical waste.
According to records maintained by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), the Lothian property is not permitted by MDE as a Controlled Hazardous Substance Facility. Furthermore, both Stericycle employees admitted to investigators that they never contacted MDE concerning an emergency off-site transfer, which is required by Maryland law.
"Transferring medical waste is a serious public health issue," said Attorney General Curran. "We can't afford to have businesses cutting corners by circumventing regulations designed to protect the public."
This case was investigated by the Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Unit and the Maryland State Police.