AG Gansler Secures Guilty Plea from Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator
Thurmont Woman Failed to Sample Discharges, Falsified Reports
MD ( Feb. 1, 2012) -Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Teresa Rochelle Tucker, 35, of Thurmont, pled guilty in the District Court of Maryland for Carroll County to one count of failing to sample wastewater treatment plant discharges and one count of making false statements in reports required to be maintained by the Maryland Department of the Environment.
"When I was first elected Attorney General, I pledged to protect Maryland's environment through enforcement actions such as this," said Attorney General Gansler. "Wastewater treatment plants are critical to protecting our drinking supply and Maryland's endangered waterways. Those who run these facilities get no free passes when they choose to skirt their responsibilities."
District Court Judge Marc G. Rasinsky sentenced Tucker to a 60-day suspended sentence for failing to sample the wastewater discharge and imposed a fine of $10,000 with all but $1,000 suspended, to be paid to the Maryland Clean Water Fund. Judge Rasinsky granted Tucker Probation Before Judgment for making false statements in a report and ordered her to perform 50 hours of community service. Tucker was placed on probation for a period of 18 months.
Both counts are misdemeanor offenses. Tucker, an operator at the Silver Oak Academy Wastewater Treatment Plant in Keymar, admitted to failing to take or analyze wastewater discharge samples and then logging false entries in the records.
After an investigation by a Maryland Environmental Service Central Assistant Regional Supervisor and the Maryland Environmental Service Compliance Division, the case was promptly referred to the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General. When ECU Chief Investigator David Williams confronted Tucker with the allegations, she admitted that she had failed to take the samples on August 14, 2011 and that she had entered false data in the required logs.