FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Grants and loans will reduce pollution, improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructure
BALTIMORE, MD (March 5, 2014) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $5.8 million in funding today for projects to upgrade sewage and drinking water systems and build rain gardens and other controls to reduce polluted stormwater runoff. The Board also approved the issuance of up to $100 million in Bay Restoration Fund revenue bonds to provide additional funding to upgrade sewage treatment plants. The Board is composed of Governor Martin O’Malley, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.
Projects such as these are an important part of our effort to improve Maryland waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay, and provide quality drinking water to our citizens, said Governor O’Malley.
These projects reduce pollution and protect the environment and public health while creating jobs for more Marylanders.
The following funding was approved today:
Bay Restoration Fund revenue bonds
Proceeds from up to $100,000,000 in Bay Restoration Fund revenue bonds that are planned for sale next month will be used to provide grants to upgrade sewage treatment plants with enhanced nutrient removal (ENR) technologies. The Bay Restoration Fund is expected to provide a total of $1.24 billion in grant funding for ENR upgrades at the 67 major sewage treatment plants with a goal of reducing the amount of nitrogen to the bay by 7.5 million pounds per year by 2017. A portion of the grant funding will come from the sale of the revenue bonds. To date, the Bay Restoration Fund has awarded $928 million in grants for upgrades that are under construction or completed at 54 plants. 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 the state’s major wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.
Routes 235 and 712 Interceptor Rehabilitation project – St. Mary’s County
A $2,601,000 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan to the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission will help fund the Routes 235 and 712 Interceptor Rehabilitation project. The project entails the design and rehabilitation of a portion of the sewer system in the Lexington Park area of St. Mary’s County. The existing sewer system, built in the 1940s, has deteriorated, allowing inflow of stormwater runoff and and infiltration of groundwater into the wastewater system that can cause sewage overflows in wet weather. The project includes rehabilitation or replacement of sewer mains and manholes.
Westernport Water Distribution System Improvements Phase II project – Allegany County
Grant and loan funding of $2,312,000 – a $756,500 Water Supply Financial Assistance Program grant, a $743,500 grant in the form of loan forgiveness from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund and an $812,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan – to the Town of Westernport will help fund the Westernport Water Distribution System Improvements Phase II project. The project entails the replacement of the aging water distribution system throughout the Town, including the installation of water meters, storage tanks, booster pumps and other ancillary features. The project helps to protect public health and conserve drinking water.
Waverly Drive Water Quality Storm Drain Inlets project – Wicomico County
Grant and loan funding of $531,000 – a $464,625 grant in the form of loan forgiveness from the Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund and a $66,375 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan – to the City of Salisbury will help fund the Waverly Drive Water Quality Storm Drain Inlets project. The project includes the construction of rain gardens, tree removal and restoration of curbs, gutters and sidewalks along the Waverly Drive storm drain system. The project will control polluted stormwater runoff to improve water quality by reducing the amount of sediment and nutrients to the Wicomico River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.
Tidal Back River Greening Project – Baltimore County
A $385,000 Green Grant from the Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund to Baltimore County help fund the Tidal Back River Greening Project. The project entails the construction of stormwater controls and urban plantings at nine sites in the Back River watershed. The sites are at seven school properties (Eastwood Center, Berkshire, Mars Estates, Deep Creek and Edgemere elementary schools, Deep Creek Middle and Sparrows Point Middle and High), the Back River Community Center and the Essex park-and-ride. The work includes the construction of rain gardens, removal of pavement, installation of pervious pavers, removal of invasive plant species, reforestation and supplemental tree plantings. These improvements will improve water quality by reducing the amount of sediments and nutrients to Back River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.
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