James J. Lyko, a former assistant Maryland attorney general who specialized in prosecuting environmental crimes, died of cancer Wednesday at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, N.J.
A mass of Christian burial was being offered today at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church in Mercerville, N.J.
Mr. Lyko was chief of New Jersey's Environmental Prosecutions Bureau since 1987.
"His greatest accomplishment was in working with his colleagues throughout the Northeast to persuade and motivate society to adopt a new standard of behavior respecting the environment," said New Jersey Attorney General Robert J. Del Tufo.
Michael C. Powell, principal counsel for the environment in the Maryland attorney general's office, said Mr. Lyko was a driving force behind the creation of the Northeast Hazardous Waste Project, a consortium of 14 states that provides training and technical assistance to environmental prosecutors and investigators.