November 1, 2002
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
PLANT OPERATOR FINED $100,000 FOR WATER POLLUTION CRIMES
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that D & G Brice
Contractors, Inc. ( Brice) has been convicted of illegally discharging
pollutants to State waters and operating an industrial facility
without required discharge permits. The convictions are the result
of repeated discharges of an alkaline concrete slurry from Brices
concrete facility into waters of the State.
entered guilty pleas to four counts of illegally discharging a pollutant
to an unnamed tributary of the Patapsco River which adjoins the
companys plant at 2901 Waterview Avenue, in the Cherry Hill
area of Baltimore City, between August of 2001 and August of 2002.
The corporation also pled guilty to two counts of operating an industrial
facility without a discharge permit. The Honorable Evelyn O. Cannon
of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City imposed a total fine of
$150,000 and suspended $50,000 of the fine and then placed the defendant
on probation for eighteen months.
which has operated the facility since 1996, repeatedly allowed industrial
wastewater to spill out of a settling basin at the facility and
run off the plant property into the adjoining stream. The settling
basin collected the run-off from the plants batch house where
concrete was mixed prior to being loaded onto the companys
thirty concrete mixers. Additionally, the concrete mixers and the
companys dump trucks were routinely washed out resulting in
the concrete-laden wastewater flowing into the settling basin. Investigators
from the Attorney Generals Environmental Crimes Unit took
samples of the wastewater as it entered the stream. Those samples
had elevated pH levels, were discolored and contained high levels
of suspended solids or particulate matter.
to the statement of facts in support of the guilty pleas, the defendant
operated under a discharge permit that expired in August of 2000.
The defendant failed to renew its water discharge permit despite
receiving reminders from the Maryland Department of the Environments
Water Management Administration. The discharges that resulted in
the guilty pleas would have violated the Defendants prior
permit due to the suspended solids, elevated pH and the Defendants
failure to regularly monitor the discharge.
will continue to fight to protect the quality of the Chesapeake
Bay and all State waterways by taking action against those who illegally
discharge pollutants. Industrial facilities that willfully disregard
our environmental laws will be held accountable."
General Currans Environmental Crimes Unit investigated the
case with the assistance of the Baltimore City Police Department,
the Maryland State Police, the Criminal Investigation Division of
the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland
Department of the Environment. The maximum penalty for each count
of water pollution is one year in jail and/or a $25,000 fine.
case was referred to the Environmental Crimes Unit by the Maryland
Department of the Environment, which had previously imposed an administrative
penalty against the corporation for prior wastewater discharges
at the facility.