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


June 25, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

CONTRACTOR CONVICTED OF WATER POLLUTION FOR IMPROPER LEAD PAINT REMOVAL

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Daniel Joseph Layden, 54, of the 6400 block of Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, was convicted of illegally discharging a pollutant into State waters. Layden was found guilty after a trial before Judge Charlotte M. Cooksey in the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City.

Layden, who owns and operates a business called "Z Wash Cat", allowed lead-laden water to flow into the storm drainage system while hydro blasting (or power washing) a residence in the 3800 block of Foster Avenue in the Highlandtown/Canton area of Baltimore City on June 28th of last year, resulting in his conviction.

The removal of lead paint from building exteriors normally involves the application of a corrosive chemical, followed by hydro blasting to remove the paint and chemical from the building. The process results in lead paint being dissolved into the wash water, which is a pollutant. State law requires that the water be contained, collected and disposed of properly. Layden failed to collect the water and allowed it and lead from the paint to flow through the neighborhood to a storm drain. Storm drains are waters of the State and it is illegal to allow any pollutant to flow into any waters of the State.

"Lead paint poses a significant health hazard to the citizens of Maryland. Contractors who break the law and remove it improperly only exacerbate the dangers to residents," Attorney General Curran said. "We will continue to vigorously enforce the water pollution laws to prevent unscrupulous individuals from causing greater damage."

Layden was sentenced to 12 months in jail, which was suspended. He was fined $1,500, placed on one year of probation, and ordered to complete three hundred hours of community service. As a condition of his probation, Judge Cooksey barred the Defendant from engaging in any brick cleaning or hydro blasting in Baltimore City.

This conviction 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.

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