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For Immediate Release
April 29, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

DRY CLEANING OPERATOR INDICTED FOR UNLAWFUL DISPOSAL OF CONTROLLED HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the indictment of Byron Lee Alsop, of 609 ½ Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, on one count of the unlawful disposal of a controlled hazardous substance.

Alsop is the owner-operator of Norge Village Coin Laundry and Dry Cleaning in Annapolis. On October 30, 2001 Mr. Alsop allegedly disposed of approximately 16 gallons of tetrachloroethylene, a controlled hazardous substance, into the parking lot immediately adjacent to his place of business. Tetrachloroethylene is a chemical used in dry cleaning and mechanical parts de-greasing and can only be lawfully disposed of at a controlled hazardous substance facility.

Firefighters from the local fire department as well as a team from the Maryland Department of the Environment responded to the scene and secured the entire parking lot. The laundry had to be evacuated for a period of time and individuals who had their automobiles parked in the parking lot were unable to retrieve them until the waste was safely removed. Fumes from the chemical, which can cause dizziness and a burning sensation in the eyes, were reportedly present in the immediate area.

All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted Alsop could be sentenced to five years incarceration and a fine of up to $100,000.

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