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

March 26, 2002 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Lenderking Metal Products, located at 8370 Jumpers Hole Road in Anne Arundel County, pled guilty in the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County to illegally storing, treating and otherwise disposing of a controlled hazardous substance. The corporation received a fine of $15,000. The Honorable Joseph P. Manck suspended the fine and placed Lenderking on probation for a period of two years.

Company president, Michael D. Semenuk, 47, of Stevensville, also pled guilty to failing to file a report with the Department of the Environment to provide notice that he generates, uses, treats, stores, and disposes of a controlled hazardous substance, as required by law. Semenuk received a 30-day suspended sentence, a two-year period of probation, and a fine in the amount of $25,000, with all but $10,000 suspended. Mr. Semenuk was ordered to pay the $10,000 fine within 30 days.

Lenderking Metal Products, which is owned by Mitesha, Inc., makes stainless steel animal cages using a process involving an acid rinse. The company was illegally storing drums of spent acid and rinse water and disposing of the solutions using an evaporator that was vented outside the building. Laboratory tests showed that the solutions being stored and evaporated by Lenderking were controlled hazardous substances. In Maryland, anyone who stores, treats or otherwise disposes of a controlled hazardous substance must do so at a permitted facility, or face a felony carrying the potential maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.

"Lenderking and its President took deliberate steps to circumvent the laws which protect our environment," Attorney General Curran said. "This is not acceptable or responsible behavior."

The Maryland Department of the Environment also has a pending administrative action against Semenuk relating to these violations. The Department is seeking a $50,000 penalty in that action.