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Maryland to Improve Environmental Management at 34 Prisons as Part of Jessup Prison Settlement - EPA Also Cites Mt. Olive Prison in West Virginia As Part of Ongoing Compliance Initiative

Release Date: 6/10/2003
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

PHILADELPHIA – The mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled a lawsuit alleging environmental violations at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup, Md. In a separate action, EPA also issued a complaint alleging hazardous waste violations at West Virginia’s Mt. Olive Correctional Complex.

The two cases are part of EPA’s enforcement and compliance assistance initiative targeting mid-Atlantic correctional facilities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh. “Like all private and public facilities, prisons have a duty to comply with laws protecting public health and the environment. These two cases show EPA’s commitment to bring prisons into compliance with federal and state environmental regulations,” said Welsh.

Maryland Correctional Institution, Jessup, Md.: In a consent agreement with EPA, the Maryland Department of Public Safety (DPS) has agreed to pay a $34,125 penalty and implement a $420,000 environmental management system (EMS) at 34 prisons and other facilities under the department’s jurisdiction. The EMS will require employee training in environmental requirements, pollution prevention programs, and annual environmental compliance audits, with the department required to correct identified violations and implement audit recommendations.

Environmental management systems are a proven method of increasing regulatory compliance and cutting pollution.

The settlement resolves hazardous waste and Clean Water Act violations at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup, which were uncovered in a December 2000 inspection by EPA and the Maryland Department of the Environment.

EPA’s complaint cited Maryland Department of Public Safety for the prison’s failure to properly close, inspect, label and date drums containing chromium and lead hazardous waste, stored near the prison's maintenance shop. EPA also alleged that the prison failed to provide required training to personnel on hazardous waste storage and disposal, failed to submit necessary hazardous waste reports and failed to have a hazardous waste emergency plan.

In addition, EPA alleged that the prison did not have a required spill prevention and control plan for its seven underground fuel tanks and four aboveground tanks. Clean Water Act regulations require these plans to protect nearby waterways. Jessup prison is located adjacent to the Dorsey Run Creek, a tributary of the Patuxent River.

As part of the settlement, DPS neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but it has certified that it is now in compliance with the cited regulations.

Mt. Olive Correctional Complex, Fayette County, W.Va.

In a separate action, EPA has cited the West Virginia Division of Corrections (WVDC) for violations of hazardous waste storage regulations discovered during a September 2002 inspection of the Mt. Olive Correctional Complex.

EPA’s administrative complaint alleges that the prison stored waste paint thinner from sign printing and license plate-making shops without a required hazardous waste storage permit. EPA also cited WVDC for the prison’s failure to prepare proper manifests when this hazardous waste was transported off-site.

EPA’s complaint proposes a $10,560 penalty for these alleged violations. WVDC has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalty.

For more information on EPA’s prison enforcement and compliance assistance activities, visit