BALTIMORE (WUSA) -- An Eastern Shore developer will have to pay $15,000 after pleading guilty to burning waste for days inside the Cooke's Hope subdivision, says Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.
Kirlkey Road Sales, Inc., owned by William T. Hunter, pleaded guilty to several criminal counts of improper solid waste disposal by open-fire burning and violation of air pollution regulations in Talbot County court.
The investigation started when several residents of Cooke's Hope in Easton complained about being overcome by heavy smoke and the smell of burning plastic and rubber. Some residents reported breathing problems.
The results of the investigation revealed that on January 4, some Kirkley Road Sales representatives took trash and waste from a retail store in Queenstown and under direction from the manager, some employees took the trash to the subdivision, doused it with kerosene and lit it on fire. According to authorities, the fire lasted for six days and there was no permit for burning the items, which included plastic shelving, display racks and metal shelves.
Authorities say this kind of burning was a huge concern because of toxic and dangerous chemicals that can lead to significant health problems, such as lung damage.