October 7, 2005
ANNE ARUNDEL MAN CONVICTED IN FUEL OIL DUMPING AT
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announces that Paolo
Francesco Assante, 57, was convicted today in the Circuit
Court for Anne
Arundel County of dumping fuel oil into waters of the State.
Assante, of the 500 block of Francis Nicholson Way in Annapolis,
dumped the heating oil from an unwanted tank behind his restaurant,
Bella Italia. More than one hundred gallons entered a storm drain
on Taylor Avenue in Annapolis on the afternoon of August 16,
2004. The oil flowed through the storm drainage system
a quarter mile and entered College Creek. Concerned citizens
who saw the oil entering the storm drain promptly called
Emergency Response crews from the Maryland Department of the
Environment and the Annapolis Fire Department were able
to contain the oil
and vacuum it from the storm drains and the creek.
Obviously this kind of crime will not be tolerated by this office,
and apparently concerned citizens feel the same way. I applaud
the efforts of those who contacted authorities immediately, and
in doing so prevented further environmental damage,” said
Attorney General Curran.
The Honorable Judge Ronald A. Silkworth sentenced Assante to
one year, suspended, and two years probation. Assante was ordered
to complete 75 hours of work service
and was fined $1,000. Assante was also ordered to pay the State $6,592 to cover
expenses related to the oil cleanup.
The maximum penalty for illegally discharging fuel oil into waters of the State
is up to a year in prison and/or a fine of $50,000.
This 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 Environment's Emergency Response