Attorney General Gansler Secures Conviction in Illegal Dumping Case
Baltimore man left two drums of wastewater from
brick-washing on side of street
Baltimore, MD ( April 29, 2013) -Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today announced that his Environmental Crimes Unit obtained a felony conviction against Richard Kevin Fox, Jr., of Baltimore, for improper disposal and abandonment of a controlled hazardous substance. After Fox, 40, pleaded guilty, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Emmanuel Brown issued a sentence of five years incarceration, suspending all but 18 months, and two years supervised probation.
"Individuals who show such blatant disregard for our environment deserve a harsh penalty," said Attorney General Gansler. "Leaving hazardous materials on a street corner could have led to much worse consequences, so it's important that those who put the public at risk be held accountable for their actions."
On April 28, 2012, a special investigator with Baltimore City Housing Permits and Code Enforcement arrived at a site in the 1800 block of South Monroe Street and found two full 55-gallon drums that had been dumped on the side of the street in an empty lot. Samples were taken from the drums and submitted for analysis. The test results were positive for hazardous waste and the liquid found in the drums was consistent with wastewater from brick-washing activities. Brick-washing involves the removal of paint from building facades and is a common practice in Baltimore. Many of the buildings are covered in lead-based paint and the proper removal of the paint is necessary to avoid the release of toxic waste. If improperly removed, the waste generated results in hazardous waste and water pollution violations.
Investigators were able to locate the vehicle used in the dumping and Fox was identified as the driver of the vehicle, which belonged to a contractor for whom he worked. Fox admitted that he had been asked to dispose of the drums for money and that he dumped the drums in the location where they were found.
This conviction follows an investigation conducted by the Baltimore City Housing Permits and Code Enforcement, who referred the matter to the Environmental Crimes Unit. In making the announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Michelle Barnes, Environmental Crimes Unit Investigator Dave Williams and Baltimore City Code Enforcement Investigator Shawn Kolego for their work on the case.