June 9, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
COUNTY MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR
SENTENCED FOR WATER POLLUTION
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that John J. Kirlin,
Inc. was sentenced on May 30 for unlawfully discharging a pollutant
into waters of the State of Maryland. John J. Kirlin, Inc., located
at 75 Derwood Circle, Rockville, pled guilty before the Honorable
John W. Debelius, III in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County.
Judge Debelius imposed a fine of $ 15,000 on Kirlin. In addition,
the defendant was given probation before judgment, and placed on
18 months of probation. The maximum penalty for water pollution
is one year in jail and/or a fine up to $25,000.
April 12, 2002, Maryland Department of the Environment inspectors
went to the company's facility in Rockville in response to a citizen
complaint. While there the inspectors observed a Kirlin employee,
later identified as the facility manager, pouring liquids from a
series of 55-gallon drums down a storm drain. Subsequent investigation
revealed that the drums contained sludge and liquids removed from
the traps and drains of a nearby commercial car wash. The Kirlin
employees had obtained the drums from the car wash to use in checking
for leaks in the custom made plumbing equipment Kirlin produced
at that location. When the Kirlin employees realized that each drum
contained only a few gallons of soapy water and a solid black silty
material, which could not be used in the fabrication process, they
decided to dispose of the contents of the drums.
is a violation of Environment Article §9-322 to discharge a
pollutant into the waters of the State without a permit to do so.
The waste discharged by the defendant is a pollutant by definition
because it is the product of an industrial operation. Storm drains
that lead to open waters are considered waters of the State of Maryland.
Environmental Crimes Unit of the Attorney General's Office and the
Maryland State Police investigated the case, with the assistance
of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection
and the Maryland Department of the Environment.