Violators of Maryland's pollution laws paid almost $1.5 million in fines and served a total of 105 days in jail last year, state environmental officials reported this week.
The $1,475,768 in civil penalties collected by the state Department of the Environment is a 15 percent increase from 1989, according to a department spokesman, Michael Sullivan.
The largest share of that total was collected by the department's Hazardous and Solid Waste Management Administration, which garnered $633,263. The administration handles disposal of municipal and solid waste and wastewater discharges.
Mr. Sullivan said the Environmental Crimes Unit of the state attorney general's office prosecuted seven corporations and nine individuals last year -- resulting in 105 days of prison time served and $210,751 in fines.
A $1.07 million civil suit against Bethlehem Steel Corp. for violations of air pollution laws is still pending in court, Mr. Sullivan said.
The money goes into discretionary funds set up by each administration within the department, Mr. Sullivan said. For example, the Air Management Administration has its Maryland Clean Air Fund, some of which goes for monitoring air pollution in localities around Maryland and some for the administration's general operating expenses. The Air Management Administration levied and collected $452,600 in fines last year.