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For Immediate Release
May 31, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

TANK TRUCK DRIVER SENTENCED FOR FAILURE TO REPORT OIL SPILL


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Robert Louis Simms, Jr., 39, of Brantwood Court in White Marsh, Maryland was convicted Friday, May 27, 2005 in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County of failure to report an oil spill.

Simms was driving a tanker belonging to Eastern Petroleum Inc. on February 10, 2005. While stopped in the first block of Defense Street in Annapolis, a valve on the truck failed and approximately 30 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto a parking lot, according to the statement in support of the plea. Simms immediately left the scene and failed to notify State and local authorities as required by law. A passerby spotted the diesel fuel and notified authorities, preventing the significant environmental harm that the spilled diesel would have caused. " We are all responsible for the safety of our environment. When accidents and spills occur they must be promptly reported, contained and cleaned-up,” said Attorney General Curran.

The Honorable Joseph P. Manck of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County sentenced Simms to one year in jail and suspended the jail sentence in favor of one year of supervised probation and ordered Simms to complete 100 hours of community work service. Additionally, the Court imposed a $5,000 fine and suspended all but $1,000, which is to be paid to the Maryland Oil Disaster Fund.

The maximum sentence for failure to report an oil spill is up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $50,000. The conviction follows a joint investigation conducted by the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland State Police with the assistance of the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Emergency Response Division.

   

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