Board of Public Works Approves Funding for Clean Water and the Chesapeake Bay

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Jay Apperson

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jay.apperson@maryland.gov

 

Board of Public Works Approves Funding for Clean Water and the Chesapeake Bay

Grants and loans will reduce pollution, improve drinking water systems

 

BALTIMORE, MD (June 19, 2019) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $24 million in grants and loans today to reduce pollution and improve drinking water systems. The board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“Upgrading our water systems infrastructure and protecting the Chesapeake Bay go hand-in-hand and I’m proud of the vote today to continue the mission of restoring our most precious natural asset,” said Governor Hogan. “These steps are critical to ensuring that Marylanders can enjoy this incredible resource for generations to come.”

“These are smart investments to protect public health and prevent water pollution in Maryland communities and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “Reducing pollution from septic systems and sewage treatment plants and upgrading drinking water systems 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:

 

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. Additional Bay Restoration Fund grants totaling $3 million will provide funding for Maryland counties to administer tasks relating to septic system regulations. All 23 Maryland counties will benefit from the grants.

 

Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Treatment Plants with Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrades – Statewide

Bay Restoration Fund grants totaling $6,024,000 will provide funding for the operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment plants with Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrades. Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund equaling up to 10 percent of the annual fee revenue from wastewater treatment plant users can be provided to fund a portion of an ENR facility’s operation and maintenance. MDE recommended an operation and maintenance grant at a rate of up to $30,000 per million gallons per day of a facility’s design capacity, not to exceed $300,000 per year for any individual plant. The board approved grants ranging in amount from $22,500 to $300,000 to a total of more than 50 facilities across the state. Through ENR upgrades and proper operation, these plants have reduced nitrogen discharged to the Chesapeake Bay by more than 8.9 million pounds per year and have reduced phosphorus discharged to the Bay by more than one million pounds per year. 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.

 

Caroline County Detention Center Pump Station Repair/Rehab project – Caroline County

Funding of $487,144 – a $243,572 grant in the form of loan forgiveness from the Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund and a $243,572 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan – to Caroline County will help fund an upgrade to the wastewater pumping station that serves the Caroline County Detention Center. The improvements are needed to prevent sewage overflows to the nearby Choptank River, maintaining water quality and safeguarding public health.

 

Town of New Windsor Water Storage Tank Refurbishment project – Carroll County

A $250,000 Water Supply Financial Assistance Program grant will be used to pay off a portion of the principal on an existing loan for the Town of New Windsor Water Storage Tank Refurbishment project. The cost of the upgrade put a significant burden on the water system user rates, and the grant provides financial relief.

 

Smith Island Clean Water Project – Somerset County

Grants of $104,905 – a $72,971 Bay Restoration Fund grant and a $31,934 Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Supplemental Assistance grant – to Somerset County will help fund the planning, design and construction of a new Biological Nutrient Removal/Enhanced Nutrient Removal (BNR/ENR) wastewater treatment plant in Ewell and an upgrade to the wastewater collection and conveyance system. The project includes decommissioning the existing Tylerton Wastewater Treatment Plant, an overhaul of three pumping stations and the construction of a new main to convey wastewater from Tylerton to the new plant. The upgrade will lead to an 83 percent reduction in nitrogen discharged and a 90 percent reduction in phosphorus discharged to the Frances Gut 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.

 

Funkstown Water Meters Replacement and Leak Repair to Distribution System project – Washington County

Funding of $8,158 in the form of a Water Supply Financial Assistance grant to the Town of Funkstown will help fund a project that entails the replacement of water meters throughout the town with new radio-read meters that will allow real-time leak detection, accurate readings and help in monitoring water conservation. The project also entails the replacement of a segment of the existing water supply line, which is deteriorated and has a history of water loss. This grant, which is in addition to previous financial assistance, is due to the increased cost of water meter equipment.

 

 

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