Thursday - 8/11/2011, 12:28pm ET
CAMBRIDGE, Md. - The owners of a Cambridge country club have been fined $500,000 for releasing sewage into Choptank River wetlands for more than two years.
The Maryland Attorney General's office and the Department of the Environment said Thursday that a Dorchester County judge fined the owners of Clearview at Horn's Point earlier this month.
Testimony in the case showed BSJ Partners intentionally diverted raw sewage from a failed septic system despite being directed by county officials to use the municipal sewer system or pump and haul away the waste, the judge noted in his order. The judge added that the club saved at least $100,000 by not connecting to the nearby sewer system and more than $300,000 by not pumping and hauling away the waste.
Maryland Department of the Environment experts also testified that water quality tests showed high levels of fecal coliform bacteria, which indicate the presence of sewage, in Jenkins Creek, which feeds the Choptank River. They also said shellfish harvesting was substantially reduced.
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said the extraordinary penalty secured in the case is a "severe warning to anyone who would pollute our wetlands, our rivers and the Chesapeake Bay."
Court Order _ http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/BSJ_Partners_LLC.pdf
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