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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Consolidated Pharmaceutical Group Convicted of Numerous Felony Hazardous Waste Violations

BALTIMORE, MD ( June 21, 2010) -Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today announced that Consolidated Pharmaceutical Group, Inc. (“CPG”), located at 6110 Robinwood Road in Anne Arundel County, plead guilty in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to 47 counts of storing and abandoning a controlled hazardous substance, as well as three felony counts of knowingly storing a controlled hazardous substance knowing that the storage places a person or persons in danger of serious injury. Judge Paul Harris, Jr. sentenced CPG to a fine of $250,000 and three years probation. As a special condition of probation, CPG and its principal, Mehmet Tunc Turgut, will immediately place the property up for sale with no further interest by either the company or Turgut. Judge Harris also ordered CPG and Turgut to no longer own industrial or commercial property or any business in the State of Maryland in the future, including, but not limited to, any enterprise where chemical or hazardous materials are involved.

CPG was an antibiotics manufacturing facility until the site and production was shut down in 1999. When in production, the facility produced antibiotics in bulk quantities, maintained laboratories, and generated hazardous waste. The property is located in a mixed use area of Anne Arundel County. Commercial properties, residential homes, a school and park, and a nursing home are all located within a several mile radius of the facility.

Following a referral, the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Hazardous Waste Division performed multiple inspections of the property, beginning in April 2007. The Office of the Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes Unit was also contacted and conducted an investigation. Inspectors found approximately 150 barrels of hazardous and flammable chemicals stored and stacked inside the building. In lab rooms, inspectors found 300 containers of chemicals and hazardous lab waste, all out-dated and most without labels. Most of the lab containers contained liquid hazardous substances that were highly flammable, corrosive, toxic, and reactive. Chemical reactions were noted in a lab cabinet which MDE inspectors and Anne Arundel Fire Department noted as posing an immediate risk of fire, explosion or other release of hazardous substances. Investigators found three chemicals labeled as acutely hazardous wastes: carbon disulfide, arsenic trioxide, and potassium cyanide. Evacuation plans for a five mile radius were constructed by the Fire Department in light of potentially deadly results that would occur if a fire were to break out, which was considered an imminent threat.

During an inspection in November 2007, MDE inspectors found 25 drums of chemicals and solvents, along with a sign dated June 27, 1996, and labeled “Waste Containment Area.” The substances listed were all sampled and tested. All of the substances were tested and found to be hazardous substances under State and federal guidelines and definitions within required ranges for at least one of the following standards classifying hazardous substances: ignitability, corrosivity, or the presence of volatiles.

CPG began clearing out the chemicals on site in April 2007, a process that was completed in 2009.

The Environmental Crimes Unit was assisted in this case by the Maryland State Police, the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Anne Arundel Fire Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In making today’s announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Michelle Barnes for her work on the case.

 

   

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