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For Immediate Release
November 21, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

TWO CECIL COUNTY MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO WATER POLLUTION

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Wade S. Hunt, 48, of the 500 block of W. Main Street, Elkton, Maryland and Shawn Justice, 30, of the 100 block of E. Louis Shore Road, Elkton, Maryland have pled guilty to illegally discharging a pollutant into the waters of the State of Maryland. The Honorable O. Robert Lidums of the Circuit Court for Cecil County sentenced Hunt to one year in Jail and suspended the sentence in favor of one year of probation. Hunt was ordered to complete one hundred hours of community work service. Judge Lidums also imposed a fine of $2,000 which he suspended. Shawn Justice was sentenced by Judge Lidums to pay a fine of $1,000. The maximum penalty for the offenses, which are misdemeanors, is up to one year in jail and a $25,000 fine.

The conviction results from Hunt and Justice illegally discharging fuel oil from an underground fuel tank at 16 Westover Place, North East, while attempting to remove water that was in the tank. The fuel oil was pumped from the tank through a hose that emptied into a stream that flows into the North East River.

On November 29, 2004, Neighbors noticed a strong odor of fuel and upon going outside, noticed an oily sheen in the stream that flows beside their residence. The North East Fire Department was contacted and responded along with Cecil County Emergency Services and the Maryland Department of the Environment, Emergency Response Division. An oil boom was placed downstream from 16 Westover Place to collect the oil. Samples were collected from the stream and from the fuel tank. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Laboratory concluded that the stream sample and the suspected source sample were derived from a common source of petroleum oil.

The conviction follows an 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, Emergency Response Division.


 

   

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