General & MDE Secretary Go “To
the Scene of the Crime”
Enlisting future generations in their ongoing fight against environmental
crimes, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Maryland Department
of the Environment (MDE) Secretary Shari T. Wilson visited Maryland
middle school students and spoke to them about the importance of
reporting environmental crimes.
At events in Baltimore City and Montgomery County, Attorney General
Gansler and Secretary Wilson held an outdoor class with science
students from the schools at a mock environmental crime scene staged
by members of MDE’s Emergency Response Division. Students
worked in groups to “process the scene” and look for
clues that helped them try to “solve” the crime while
learning how criminal investigators and emergency responders work
together to fight environmental crimes.
By participating in this exercise we are hoping these young people
will develop an environmental ethic,” said Environment Secretary
Wilson. “We’re fostering a belief that crimes and activities
that harm our natural world are just as reportable and significant
as crimes against individuals - perhaps even more so - and there
are easy steps that each of us can take to make a positive difference
in that effort.”
The sixth graders have been preparing for the special class, which
lasted 90 minutes, by studying and researching environmental issues.
Teaching kids about environmental crime, and how they can help
protect their communities keeps the kids safe and encourages prompt
reporting,” said Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler. “We
also want to get the message out to the public that these crimes
are felonies and carry significant jail terms.”
The “scene” is designed to represent a typical hazardous
waste dumping site that criminal investigators and emergency responders
handle regularly. Attorney General Gansler and Secretary Wilson
lead the session and then spoke with the students about types of
environmental crimes and the damage they cause to communities and
This is the first joint environmental crime outreach event for
the new administration, continuing the collaboration between the
Maryland Attorney General’s Office and MDE in the fight against
To report suspected environmental crimes, call the Attorney General’s
Environmental Crimes Unit at (410) 537-3333, your local police
or MDE’s 24-hour hotline toll free in Maryland at (866) MDE-GOTO.
MDE has and continues to take steps to communicate enforcement
activities more clearly including a new website: www.mde.state.md.us/AboutMDE/enfcomp.asp.
For more information about the Attorney General’s Environmental
Crimes Unit, visit: www.oag.state.md.us/ECU/.
For more information on environmental education, visit: www.mde.state.md.us/education.