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For Immediate Release
March 26, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

BALTIMORE BRICK WASHING COMPANY AND TWO EMPLOYEES PLEAD GUILTY TO WATER POLLUTION VIOLATIONS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the guilty plea and sentencing of New Faces, Inc., a Maryland company, located at 921 S. Binney Street; and brothers, Sherman Knuckles, 42, and Tommy Knuckles, 37, both of Baltimore, for violations of the State’s Water Pollution laws.

New Faces, Inc. and both Knuckles pled guilty before District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City Judge H. Gary Bass to the charges of unlawfully discharging a pollutant into the waters of the State.

According to the statement of facts, on February 25, 2003, Tommy and Sherman Knuckles, as employees of New Faces, Inc., used a high-pressure waterpower unit to remove paint from the exterior of a house on the 500 block of South Rose Street in Highlandtown. The men failed to properly contain the work area and allowed approximately 100 gallons of lead-laden wastewater to flow into a storm drain.

Proper containment and disposal of brick washing wastewater is required by State law because of the risks to public health and safety created by the dangerously high levels of lead found in the wastewater.

New Faces, Inc. was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine to the Clean Water Fund and placed on two-years probation. Sherman and Tommy Knuckles were each placed on two-years probation. In the event that they violate the terms of their probation, the Court has reserved the right to impose the maximum sentence of one-year incarceration and/or a fine of $25,000 fine.

This incident was discovered by the Special Projects Team of the Pollution Control Section of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works when it responded to a citizen’s complaint about the discharge. The cases were investigated and prosecuted by the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General with the assistance of the Baltimore City Police Department and the Baltimore City Department of Public Works.

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