AG Gansler Announces Conviction of Hurlock Man for Illegal Oil Dumping
Pollutant poured into waterway endangered environment, marine life
Baltimore, MD (April 11, 2012) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that James Darnell Conway, 53, of Hurlock, was convicted in Dorchester County District Court on the charge of illegal discharge of oil. Judge John L. Norton, III gave Conway a six-month suspended sentence, placed him on two years probation and ordered him to pay $2,864.58 in fines and restitution. The Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.
“Dumping hazardous substances shows a lack of regard for our environment by endangering the water we use every day and threatening the plant and marine life that require clean water to thrive,” said Attorney General Gansler. “This office will continue to hold accountable those who ignore the laws that protect our important natural resources.”
On October 30, 2011, Maryland State Police observed Conway walking from his driveway across the road to a ditch, carrying a pan and pouring its contents in the ditch. Upon closer examination, the MSP trooper noted that a significant amount of oil had been dumped into the ditch. Conway admitted that he had discarded used motor oil into the ditch. Ditches and storm drains flow into state waterways, creating hazards to plant and marine life, as well as having a significant impact on the region's waterfowl. A single drop of used motor oil can pollute 25 liters of water.
In announcing the conviction, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Michelle Barnes and Environmental Crimes Unit Investigator Bill Schmidt for their hard work, and the Maryland State Police for their assistance in the case.