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 will reduce pollution, improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, save energy

BALTIMORE (July 5, 2017) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $92 million in grants today to reduce pollution, improve water quality and save energy and money. The Board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“These are smart investments to protect public health, prevent water pollution and save money and energy in Maryland communities and the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Department of the Environment thanks Governor Hogan for his leadership as the new head of the six-state Chesapeake Bay Program and his support for local investments to protect a national treasure,” said Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles. “Providing nearly $100 million to upgrade key sewage treatment plants, septic systems, drinking water systems and clean energy projects 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:

Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade project – Baltimore City, Baltimore County

A $46,219,057 Bay Restoration Fund grant to Baltimore City will help fund the planning, design and construction of Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrades at the 180 million gallons per day Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to Back River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. The plant is currently achieving phosphorus discharge levels that are better than the ENR goal. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. ENR upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

Baltimore City multiple sewershed projects — Baltimore City

Bay Restoration Fund grants totaling $16,999,258 to Baltimore City will help fund a continuation of Baltimore City’s efforts to prevent sanitary sewer overflows as required by a consent decree initiated by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The projects entail the planning, design and construction of improvements to the existing Baltimore City sanitary sewer infrastructure in the Patapsco, Herring Run and Lower Level sewersheds. Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County share the cost of some of the projects because they share the sewer infrastructure. A change in state law in 2015 allows Bay Restoration Fund money to be used for this purpose.

Upgrade Septic Systems – Statewide

Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $15 million 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. All 23 Maryland counties will benefit from the grants.

Betterton Wastewater Treatment Plant Biological Nutrient Removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrades – Kent County

A $5,905,336 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the town of Betterton will help fund the planning, design and construction of biological nutrient removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades at the Betterton Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrade, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 90 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to the Sassafras River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. ENR upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

New operation and maintenance grants for upgraded sewage treatment plants – Statewide

Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $4,776,900 will provide funding for operation and maintenance costs for 41 wastewater treatment plants operating at enhanced nutrient removal levels in 20 counties. The Bay Restoration Fund provides for up to 10 percent of the annual revenue generated from wastewater treatment plant users and deposited with the Maryland Department of the Environment to be allocated for such costs. The grant for each plant is up to $30,000 per million gallons per day of design capacity, with a minimum award of $30,000 and a maximum award of $300,000 per year for any plant.

Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades allow facilities to significantly reduce the amount of nutrients discharged to local waterways and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. The plants receiving these grants have reduced nitrogen discharges by more than 4,547,000 pounds per year and phosphorus discharges by more than 542,000 pounds per year. ENR upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

Combined Sewer Overflow Elimination Phase VIII-B Grant Street project – Allegany County

A $2,135,875 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the City of Frostburg will help fund the next phase of the city’s efforts to separate its combined sewers and reduce the frequency and volume of combined sewer overflows during wet weather. This phase includes the installation of new sewers and storm drains to separate the combined sewers along Grant Street. The project will significantly reduce wet-weather sewage flows to downstream sewage treatment facilities in Allegany County, the Town of LaVale and the City of Cumberland, and it will reduce combined sewer overflows to George’s Creek, the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake City Water Storage Tank project – Cecil County

A $1,027,515 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant to Chesapeake City will help fund the construction of a 300,000-gallon elevated water storage tank at the Bohemia Manor School Complex property. The new tank replaces the town’s outdated tanks. It will provide water storage for emergency use in the event of a disaster and for fire service, and it will serve the existing water distribution system, including the school complex.

Prince Albert/Sunnyside Water Project – Allegany County

A $150,000 grant in the form of forgiveness of a Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan to Allegany County, along with a second $150,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan, will help fund the Prince Albert/Sunnyside Water Project. The project includes the design and construction of waterlines, valves and fire hydrants to extend public water service from Allegany County’s Mt. Savage Water System to the Prince Albert/Sunnyside community, where residents are experiencing problems with their private wells and have asked the county to extend public water service. The new extensions will provide safe and reliable drinking water and fire protection.

Pond Circle Road Water project– Allegany County

A $137,500 Water Supply Financial Assistance grant to Allegany County will help fund the Pond Circle Road Project. The project entails the extension of public water service from Allegany County’s Carlos/Shaft/Klondike Water District to about 20 residential units in the Pond Circle Road area. The project will provide clean, reliable drinking water and fire protection to the area.

Kent County Water Treatment Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plants Lighting Efficiency Upgrade project – Kent County

A $129,720 Energy Water Infrastructure Program grant to Kent County will fund upgrades to lighting systems at four water treatment plants and three wastewater treatment plants. The upgrades to LED lights and associated fixtures will reduce energy consumption by an estimated 60 percent.

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