Board of Public Works Approves Funding for Clean Water and the Chesapeake Bay

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Jay Apperson

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Board of Public Works Approves Funding for Clean Water and the Chesapeake Bay

Grants and loans will reduce pollution, improve water quality, improve wastewater infrastructure

Baltimore, MD (August 5, 2015) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $14 million in funding today to reduce pollution from sewage treatment plants and septic systems, improve drinking water and reduce the effects of abandoned mines on water quality. The Board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“These are smart investments and great news for Maryland communities and citizens of the Chesapeake Bay region. The Maryland Department of the Environment thanks Governor Hogan for his leadership on this environmental priority,” said MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles. “Improving drinking water and reducing nutrient pollution to our waterways will help us to green and grow the state’s economy and lead in the race to protect and restore Chesapeake Bay watersheds.”

The following projects were approved today:

 

Greensboro Wastewater Treatment Plant Biological Nutrient Removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade – Caroline County

Funding of $5,778,791 – a $2,660,819 Bay Restoration Fund grant, a $2,081,592 Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Projects Biological Nutrient Removal grant and a $1,036,380 Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Projects Supplemental Assistance Program grant — to the Town of Greensboro will help fund construction of a new 332,000 gallons per day Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) facility to treat wastewater for the towns of Greensboro and Goldsboro. The plant will be capable of achieving effluent concentration goals resulting in an 83 percent reduction in nitrogen and a 90 percent reduction in phosphorus compared to the existing Greensboro facility, which will be taken out of service when the new plant is complete. The project will reduce nutrient pollution to the Choptank River and, ultimately, to the Chesapeake Bay.

 

Upgrade Septic Systems – Statewide

Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $4,485,000 will provide funding for counties to upgrade on-site sewage disposal (septic) systems to significantly reduce the discharge of nitrogen, one of the most serious pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. Counties will focus on upgrading septic systems located within the critical area. A typical septic system that does not remove nitrogen delivers about 23 pounds of nitrogen per year to the groundwater. An upgraded, nitrogen-removing septic system cuts a system’s nitrogen load at least in half. All 23 Maryland counties will benefit from the grants.

 

Thurmont Waste System Improvements Phase III project – Frederick County

A $2,278,000 Water Quality State Revolving Fund loan to the Town of Thurmont will help fund the Thurmont Waste System Improvements Phase III project. The project entails the repair or replacement of defective sewer pipes and manholes. The project is intended to remove major sources of infiltration and inflow in the town’s wastewater collection system, prevent sewer backups and improve the operational capacity of the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

 

St. Michaels Arsenic Removal – Talbot County

Funding of $2,181,000 – a $681,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan, a $143,000 grant in the form of loan forgiveness from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund and a $1,357,000 Water Supply Financial Assistance Program grant – to the Town of St. Michaels will help fund the planning, design, and construction of improvements to the Marengo and Glory Street well water treatment systems. This project is necessary to achieve compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standard for arsenic and to provide at least two wells for service as required under state regulations.

 

Twin Cities Wastewater Treatment Plant Biological Nutrient Removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrades – Dorchester County

A $67,185 Bay Restoration Fund Grant to the Town of Secretary will help fund the design of Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrades at the 281,000 gallons per day Twin Cities Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83.3 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 90 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to the Choptank River and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.

 

Upper Georges Creek Stream Sealing Project, Acid Mine Drainage Remediation: Hoffman Drainage Tunnel – Allegany County

A $16,036 Mining Remediation Program grant to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies will help fund the Upper Georges Creek Stream Sealing Project, Acid Mine Drainage Remediation: Hoffman Drainage Tunnel. The project is designed to remediate the loss of stream flow and resulting water contamination that can be caused by abandoned deep mines. This phase of the project includes installing continuous water samplers for monitoring pH and collecting water samples for analysis. This assessment data will chart the discharge quality of the Hoffman Drainage Tunnel, the Midland Drainage Tunnel and the Allegheny Drainage Tunnel. Monitoring and establishing the baseline water quality from these three tunnel discharges prior to any stream channel lining work is essential, and will assist in assessing hydrologic changes that could result as several stream channel sealing projects are planned and constructed in the tributaries of the Upper Georges Creek watershed in Allegany County.

 

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