February 06, 2006
BALTIMORE CITY BRICK WASHER CONVICTED OF
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Michael
Potter, 53, of the 600 block of South Monroe Street, Baltimore
City, Maryland, has been convicted of illegally discharging a pollutant
into the waters of the State of Maryland. The Honorable Jack I.
Lesser, in the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City, sentenced
Potter to one year in jail and suspended the sentence in favor
of two years of supervised probation. Potter was ordered to complete
one hundred hours of community work service. Judge Lesser also
imposed a fine of $5,000 of which he suspended $4,000. The maximum
penalty for the offense, which is a misdemeanor, is up to one year
in jail and a $25,000 fine.
The conviction results from Potter illegally discharging reddish
wastewater containing lead into a storm drain at 3400 Fait Avenue
in Baltimore City, while brick washing a building at that location.
On October 27, 2004, an Inspector of the Pollution Control Section
of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works observed the discharge
from the work site entering a nearby storm drain. He traced the
discharge to its source, a drilled hole in a wooden containment
dike. Three other holes, blocked by sludge and debris were also
discovered. A sample of the discharge revealed that the reddish
wastewater contained lead.
Storm drains are waters of the state and most storm drains in
Central Maryland ultimately drain into the Chesapeake Bay. The
conviction follows an investigation conducted by the Environmental
Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General, The Pollution
Control Section of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works
and the Baltimore City Police Department.