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For Immediate Release
September 1, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

ELK MILLS MAN JAILED FOR ILLEGAL BURNING


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Kenneth Miller, 51, of Elk Mills Road in Elk Mills, has been convicted on two counts of air pollution. Judge Stephen Baker in the District Court of Maryland for Cecil County sentenced Miller to serve ten days in jail.

The convictions were for fires on September 15, 2004 and January 12, 2005 when authorities responded to open fires on a lot in Elk Mills where the CSX railroad tracks cross Elk Mills Road. On both occasions demolition debris from mobile homes that had been transported to the lot were burned and Miller was present at the scene. The Cecil County Health Department had not authorized either of the fires. Local health departments regulate burning to protect the region’s air quality and to prevent hazardous materials from being burned.

Evidence introduced at trial established that Miller had been cited by the Cecil County Health Department in 1998 for similar burning violations and that he was presently under an outstanding order from Cecil County to vacate the premises and clean up the property.

While imposing sentence, Judge Baker told Miller that he was a common nuisance and that he was maintaining a “pigsty” in addition to breaking the law by illegally burning. Judge Baker sentenced Miller to two concurrent one-year jail sentences, but suspended all but 10 days to serve, placed Miller on one year of supervised probation and directed him to comply with the zoning order that he vacate the premises.

The convictions follow an investigation conducted by the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland State Police. The case was referred to the Environmental Crimes Unit by the Cecil County Health Department, which assisted in the investigation.

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