The county violated state laws against sediment pollution when it failed to install erosion controls at the Sudley landfill near Lothian.
The state Department of the Environment issued a complaint against the county May 9, said DOE spokesman Michael Sullivan.
State inspectors had asked the county to correct environmental violations at the site three times since February, Sullivan said.
The state asked the county to plant grass or cover an unused area, where the soil is exposed. But the problem still had not been resolved when an inspector returned last week.
Ann Sieling, a spokeswoman forthe county Bureau of Solid Waste, said the work was delayed as the county sought a contractor to do the work.
"We're exercising our right to seek the best price. . . . We have to be fiscally responsibleas well as environmentally conscious right now," Sieling said.
Aninspector for the state Sediment and Stormwater Administration discovered the problem after a citizen complained Feb. 26, Sullivan said.
The problem had not been corrected when an inspector returned April 22. But, the inspector said,the county had begun to stockpile balesof hay in preparation for seeding and mulching.
"They had begun liming the area in preparation for seeding last week," Sullivan said. "But their progress wasn't what we would like to have seen so we issued a site complaint."
Sullivan said the site complaint is non-binding but is the first step toward enforcement. If it didn't comply, the county eventually could be fined.
The 180-acre Sudley landfill, opened in 1981, is newer and smaller than the Millersville landfill, the county's only other sanitary dump. The 16-year-old 580-acre Millersville site had similar problems in the mid-1980s, officials said.
County Councilwoman Maureen Lamb, D-Annapolis, said she is disturbed by the development.
She has proposed adding sanitary landfills to the list of sites, including rubble landfills, that would be monitored by the county Department of Inspections and Permits.
A council-appointed panel is studying how the county should monitor rubble landfills.
She said she also wants to meet with state lawmakers to review how the state monitors erosion.
"Obviously ,there's been a problem," Lamb said.