NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


May 18, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

BALTIMORE MAN INDICTED FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE VIOLATIONS

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Edward L. Birtic, 73, of Finksburg, Maryland, was indicted yesterday by a Baltimore City Grand Jury on charges of illegally transporting and storing hazardous waste. The charges alleged that in May 2000, Birtic illegally transported hazardous waste containing methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) from his warehouse on W. Heath Street in Baltimore. Additionally, Birtic is charged with several related offenses of improperly storing hazardous waste at the warehouse and allowing hazardous materials to leak from their containers.

If convicted of the felony charge of illegal transportation of hazardous waste, Birtic could be sentenced to five years in prison and/or fined $100,000. The remaining 13 counts are misdemeanors and each carry between one and three years in jail and fines up to $50,000.

This indictment follows a joint investigation conducted by the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland State Police with the assistance of the Maryland Department of the Environment. An indictment is merely an accusation of criminal wrongdoing and each individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty. No trial date has been set.

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