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 for Back River plant upgrade will reduce pollution, improve water quality

BALTIMORE, MD (April 6, 2016) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $100 million in grants today to reduce pollution and improve water quality by upgrading the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant, one of the state’s largest sewage treatment plants. 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 Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles. “Upgrading the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant 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 project was approved today:

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

Funding of $108,937,151 – an $85,728,565 Bay Restoration Fund grant increase and a $23,208,586 Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Projects 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 the state’s major wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

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