Maryland Attorney General Cracks Down on Pollution

by Alan Fein

June 15, 2005 Baltimore - Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr filed charges against a Somerset County man for dumping raw human sewage into a ditch that drained into state waterways.

Paul Wayne Adkins, 61, formerly of Hall Highway, in Crisfield, Somerset County, Maryland has been indicted by the Grand Jury for Wicomico County for water pollution. The charge alleges that Adkins violated the State's water pollution laws between November 2004 and March 2005 by illegally discharging septage containing human fecal waste into a drainage ditch located at his then residence.

The indictment alleges that the septage then flowed to Horsebridge Creek. Both the drainage ditch and Horsebridge Creek are waters of the State of Maryland. Septage is the material that is removed from a septic tank when it is pumped out. If convicted of the illegal discharge of a pollutant into waters of the State, Adkins could be sentenced to up to two years in prison and/or fined $50,000. The filing of an indictment is merely an accusation of criminal wrongdoing and each individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty. These charges follow a joint investigation conducted by the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland State Police. No trial date has been set on the new charge. Additionally a petition for violation of probation is pending for a similar conviction.