Board of Public Works approves funding for clean water and the Chesapeake Bay

Board of Public Works approves funding for clean water and the Chesapeake Bay

Grants and loans will reduce pollution, improve drinking water

BALTIMORE (October 30, 2019) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $5 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. Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford chaired today’s meeting.

“Our administration has committed an historic $5 billion toward wide-ranging bay initiatives and this is another important step to reduce pollution and improve water quality in our state,” said Governor Hogan.

“These are smart investments to protect public health and the environment in Maryland communities,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “Upgrading the Betterton Wastewater Treatment Plant, improving drinking water systems in Wicomico and Charles counties and eliminating the environmental effects of an abandoned mine in Allegany County 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:

Salisbury Regional Airport Water Main Extension – Wicomico County

Funding of $4,428,292 – a $2,928,292 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan and Water Supply Financial Assistance program grants totaling $1.5 million – to Wicomico County will help pay for project to connect the existing water system for the Salisbury Regional Airport to the City of Salisbury’s water system. The airport water system has experienced water quality problems and cannot provide sufficient quantity. Connecting to the City of Salisbury system will ensure a safe and sustainable supply of water to the airport. This project will be constructed in accordance with coastal and non-coastal resiliency guidelines developed as part of the Coast Smart Program to reduce climate change risks to such projects.

Bryans Road Wells Project – Charles County

A $350,000 Water Supply Financial Assistance program grant to Charles County will help fund the planning, design and construction of new water wells for the Bryans Road water system. The new wells will be drilled into the Patuxent Aquifer in the Bryans Road vicinity. This project is intended to add reliability to the Bryans Road water system, which currently has two wells, one of which has operational problems. This project will be constructed in accordance with coastal and non-coastal resiliency guidelines developed as part of the Coast Smart Program to reduce climate change risks to such projects.

Upper Georges Creek Shaft Stream Restoration – Allegany County

A $277,457 Mining Remediation program grant to the Allegany County Department of Planning and Growth will fund the completion of a project to eliminate the environmental impacts of an abandoned surface mine pit whose water leaks into underlying coal mine workings and becomes polluted with acidity and iron. This project is consistent with Maryland’s climate change adaptation and resiliency objectives by addressing the ongoing environmental impairments from legacy coal mining.

Betterton Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade – Kent County

A $274,493 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the Town of Betterton will help fund the planning, design and construction of Biological Nutrient Removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades of the Betterton Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project will allow the plant to reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83% and its phosphorus discharge by 90%, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to the Sassafras 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. ENR upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay restoration plan. This project will be constructed in accordance with coastal and non-coastal resiliency guidelines developed as part of the Coast Smart Program to reduce climate change risks to such projects.

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