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For Immediate Release
April 26, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

ANNAPOLIS MAN CONVICTED OF WETLANDS AND SEDIMENT CONTROL VIOLATIONS


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that William Costello, 63, of the 1400 block of Sharps Point Road in Annapolis, Maryland, was convicted of wetlands and sediment control violations in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. Costello was convicted of one count of filling wetlands without a license and one count of failing to obtain a sediment control plan. The Honorable Joseph P. Manck of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County sentenced Costello to 30 days in jail, with all 30 days suspended; one-year of supervised probation; and imposed a $10,000 fine. At the time, the maximum penalty for filling wetlands without a license was a $1,000 fine. For offenses occurring after October 2004, the penalty increased to $10,000. The maximum penalty for constructing without a sediment control plan is up to 1-year imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. State and federal agencies are currently determining the scope of the restoration and/or remediation required to be completed by Costello in the illegally filled area.

According to the statement of facts, after Hurricane Isabel in September 2003, State and local agencies enacted expedited regulations to permit property owners to repair property damaged by Hurricane Isabel, provided that the repaired or replaced structures were “in-kind” to the structures destroyed by Hurricane Isabel. On September 26, 2003, under the expedited regulations, Costello obtained a permit from Anne Arundel County to replace a damaged embankment on his property at 1423 Sharps Point Road. In his application for the permit, Defendant stated that the new structure would be an “in-kind ” replacement of the damaged structure. From December 8, 2003 through on or about December 31, 2003, a local contractor, at the direction of Defendant, constructed a revetment at 1423 Sharps Point Road by placing dirt fill, filter cloth and stone on State wetlands. The newly constructed revetment, however, was not an “in-kind” replacement. The new revetment exceeded the damaged structure by 10,000 square feet.

These convictions follow a joint investigation conducted by the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland State Police Department, with the assistance of the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Anne Arundel County government.

   

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