Board of Public Works approves funding for Clean Water and the Chesapeake Bay

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Jay Apperson

Board of Public Works approves funding for Clean Water and the Chesapeake Bay

Grants and loans will reduce pollution, improve water quality, conserve water

BALTIMORE, MD (February 18, 2015) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $13 million in funding today to upgrade a wastewater treatment plant, improve a sewage system and drinking water infrastructure 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.

“Working to restore our most treasured asset, the Chesapeake Bay, is a goal that we all agree on,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Acting Secretary Ben Grumbles. “Upgrading the Freedom District wastewater treatment plant moves us closer to that goal. That project and the others approved today are not only good for the environment – they are good for jobs and good for business.”

The following projects were approved today:

Freedom District Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade project – Carroll County

Grants totaling $11,742,773 – a $7,369,359 Bay Restoration Fund grant and a $4,373,114 Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Projects grant – to Maryland Environmental Service will help fund the planning, design and construction of Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) refinements and the Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrade at the existing 3.5 million gallons per day Freedom District Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 76 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 85 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to South Branch Patapsco 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. Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades of the state’s major wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

Braddock Run Sanitary Sewer Rehab Phase III project – Allegany County 

Funding of $1,424,000 – a $500,000 grant in the form of loan forgiveness from the Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund, a $125,000 Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Project Funds Supplemental Assistance Program grant and a $799,000 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan – to Allegany County will help fund the repair and replacement of manholes and pipes and other required modifications of the Braddock Run sewer system. The project will reduce inflow and infiltration of water to the lines, which leads to sewer overflows.

Crisfield Peripheral Water Meter Upgrade project – Somerset County

A $211,313 Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Green grant to the Somerset County Sanitary District will help fund the Crisfield Peripheral Water Meter Upgrade project. The project entails the replacement of aging water meters with new, radio-read capable meters in the area surrounding Crisfield. The County plans to acquire and install new water meters to accurately track water losses, increase efficiency, minimize leakage and promote water conservation.

Upper Georges Creek Stream Sealing Acid Mine Drainage Remediation project – Allegany County

A $93,498 Mining Remediation Program grant to CTL Engineering of West Virginia, LLC, will help fund the Upper Georges Creek Stream Sealing Acid Mine Drainage Remediation project. The project will address the effects of collapses in abandoned deep mines that cause streambeds to subside and stream flow to be lost into the mine workings, where it becomes contaminated before discharging at a mine opening or drainage tunnel. Water from the top third of the Georges Creek watershed is collected and discharged from a drainage tunnel into Braddock Run. The project will assess various tributaries and provide data for the best sites for baseline monitoring and remediation. By returning stream flow to Georges Creek, pollutants will be removed and water quality improved in Braddock Run and Wills Creek. Wills Creek flows into the Potomac River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.