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For Immediate Release
October 7, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

ANNE ARUNDEL MAN CONVICTED IN FUEL OIL DUMPING AT PIZZERIA


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, Maryland, 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 approximately a quarter mile and entered College Creek. Concerned citizens who saw the oil entering the storm drain promptly called authorities. 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 Division.

 

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