AG Gansler Secures Conviction in Illegal Hazardous Waste Transport Case
New Jersey-based company operating in Md. failed to renew required permit
Baltimore, MD ( June 12, 2013) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that National Waste Clean, LLC, a New Jersey-based company, has pleaded guilty in the District Court for Prince George's County to transporting hazardous waste without a permit.
"Companies that haul hazardous waste are required to get permits because their load presents a potential risk to public safety," said Attorney General Gansler. "We must be vigilant to ensure compliance with the law and do everything we can to keep Marylanders safe."
The permitting violation was discovered in March 2012 while investigators from the Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Unit were looking into separate hazardous waste violations of a dry cleaning business. During the initial probe, investigators learned that National Waste Clean was the normal hauler for the dry cleaner. The company picks up controlled hazardous waste products from clients in numerous states, including Maryland, and then transports those wastes to a licensed facility in Canada.
Any hauler of controlled hazardous substances in Maryland is required to be licensed by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). National Waste Clean was issued a one-year Controlled Hazardous Substances hauler permit in 2011. Although MDE sent multiple notices of the need to obtain a new permit, no renewal request was submitted by the hauler and the permit expired.
Despite the lack of a valid permit, National Waste Clean continued to pick up and transport hazardous waste materials in Maryland. Requiring valid permits and proper reporting are vital and necessary to track hazardous waste to ensure that it is being properly disposed and poses no danger to citizens. Evidence determined that the company properly disposed of the hazardous waste once picked up and has since obtained the proper permits.
District Court Judge John P. Morrissey sentenced the company, through its vice president, Dennis Ahn, to a $50,000 fine with all but $15,000 suspended and three years probation to ensure ongoing compliance with all regulations. The fine will be paid to the Maryland Hazardous Substance Control Fund.
In making the announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Michelle Barnes and David Williams, chief investigator for the Environmental Crimes Unit, for their work on this case.