CORDOVA, Md.- A Talbot County business and its owner have pleaded guilty to multiple counts of improper waste disposal and face thousands of dollars in fines.
Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced that Purnell A. Shortall and his business, Shortall Building Supplies and Hardware, Inc., were charged with conducting open fire burning and maintaining and illegal open dump.
Authorities said that in May 2009, a Maryland Department of the Environment inspector found extensive dumping along the tree line behind the buildings on the business property at 11523 Cordova Road.
The Office of the Attorney General said that large piles of debris included construction and demolition building materials as well as various metals, barrels, tanks and burned tires.
In December 2010, authorities said an inspector discovered that the waste still remained and active burning was taking place on the property. Investigators said the matter was referred to the Office of the Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Unit after Shortall's repeated failure to comply with Maryland environmental regulations, of which he was made aware.
Shortall Building Supplied and Hardware, Inc. was fined $10,000 with $5,000 suspended and given five years probation. Purnell A. Shortall was given a six-month suspended sentence, fined $15,000 with $9,000 suspended, given five years probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service. All fines will be paid to the Maryland Clean Air Fund and Sediment Control Fund.
As a condition of probation, Shortall and his business will be required to cooperate with the MDE to assess the substances on the property and clean them up as directed.
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