Board of Public Works approves funding for clean water and the Chesapeake Bay
Grants and loans will reduce pollution, improve water quality
Baltimore, MD (August 26, 2015) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $300,000 in grants today to reduce pollution, improve water quality and clean up Western Maryland rivers affected by drainage from abandoned mines. 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. “Undoing the effects of drainage from abandoned mines 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:
Winebrenner Run Acid Mine Drainage Remediation project – Allegany County
A $251,948 Mining Remediation Program grant to the Allegany Soil Conservation District, in addition to a previous $273,052 grant from the same program, will help fund the Winebrenner Run Acid Mine Drainage Remediation project.The project will address the effects of acidic and metal-laden water draining from an abandoned mine along a coal outcrop in the community of Midlothian.The untreated acid mine drainage affects the water quality of Winebrenner Run and Georges Creek and drains onto the properties of several homes and the Midlothian Schoolhouse.The project includes the demolition of the Midlothain Schoolhouse and proper handling of and disposal of materials such as asbestos and lead paint.Impaired water will be treated by a lime doser downstream of the site.The project will reduce the effects of untreated acid mine drainage on the community and improve the quality of the two waterways.
Preston Wastewater Treatment Plant Biological Nutrient Removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrades – Caroline County
A $56,500 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the Town of Preston will help fund planning for Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrades at the 115,000 gallons per day Preston Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83.3 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 85 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to the Lower Choptank 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.
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