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 protect drinking water, reduce pollution, save energy

BALTIMORE (April 22, 2020) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved funding of more than $70 million toward major projects to protect the supply of drinking water for customers in the Baltimore region.

The board also approved funding for: improvements to wastewater treatment plants and sewage systems in Garrett, Cecil, Wicomico and Carroll counties; improvements to a public drinking water system in Calvert County; a renewable energy project in Caroline County; and a project to address the environmental effects of abandoned coal mines by improving the quality of a stream in Allegany County that eventually feeds the North Branch Potomac River.

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.

“There’s no greater way to celebrate Earth Day than to protect public health and prevent water pollution in Maryland communities and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “We are providing significant funding to Baltimore City and Baltimore County to build underground storage tanks to replace open-air drinking water reservoirs at Druid Lake and Lake Ashburton. These projects will secure and protect the largest supplies of drinking water serving the Baltimore region. We green and grow the state’s economy when we invest in environmental infrastructure and renewable energy.”

The following projects were approved today:

Druid Lake and Ashburton Reservoir finished water tanks projects – Baltimore City and Baltimore County

Funding of more than $71.7 million will help fund the design and construction of underground finished water storage tanks at Druid Lake and Lake Ashburton in Baltimore. Baltimore City is required under a consent decree with MDE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to comply with an EPA rule designed to improve drinking water quality and provide additional protection from contaminants by replacing open-air finished water reservoirs with storage tanks with a combined capacity of 104 million gallons. The cost of the project is shared by Baltimore City and Baltimore County because the two jurisdictions share use of the drinking water system. The board approved funding of $40,370,174 in Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loans to Baltimore City and $31,385,812 in Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loans to Baltimore County for the projects. The projects 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. This funding brings the total funding through State Revolving Loan Fund loans and grants in the form of loan forgiveness to more than $207 million for the projects, whose total estimated cost is nearly $332 million.

Federalsburg Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade to Conserve Energy project – Caroline County

A $1,818,993 Energy Water Infrastructure Program grant to the Town of Federalsburg will help fund a project that includes the construction of a solar panel system to generate renewable energy for the operation of the Federalsburg Wastewater Treatment Plant. This project is consistent with the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act’s statewide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030. Under an agreement between the Maryland Energy Administration and the Maryland Department of the Environment funding will be provided from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund.

Chesapeake Heights/Dares Beach Well & Water Main Extension project — Calvert County

Funding of $1,795,998 – a $1,700,998 Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund loan and a $95,000 Energy Water Infrastructure Program grant, both to Calvert County – will fund the installation of a new production well, a pump station and a water treatment system adjacent to the Chesapeake Heights Well and Water Tower. The Chesapeake Heights system will provide water to the Chesapeake Heights and Dares Beach water distribution systems, which will be connected through a water main extension. The project will provide a reduction in arsenic levels in the water systems to ensure compliance with federal water quality standards. This project is consistent with the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act’s statewide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030.

Trout Run/Oakland Wastewater Treatment Plant Regionalization project – Garrett County

A $1,621,035 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the Garrett County Sanitary District will fund the planning and design of a project to convey wastewater from the Trout Run Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Oakland Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will be upgraded to achieve Enhanced Nutrient Removal levels at the combined plants’ capacities of 1.8 million gallons per day. Upon the completion of the Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrade, the Oakland Wastewater Treatment Plant will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83% and its phosphorus discharge by 85%.

Perryville Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Refinement project – Cecil County

A $330,493 Bay Restoration Fund to the Town of Perryville will help fund the design of improvements to the Perryville Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is an Enhanced Nutrient Removal facility. The project will improve plant efficiency to allow it to reduce its nitrogen discharge by 62% and significantly reduce the amount of nutrients discharged to Mill Creek and ultimately to 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.

Mt. Hermon Road Sewer Extension – Wicomico County

Funding of $120,000 – a $90,000 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan and a $30,000 grant in the form of loan forgiveness, both to the City of Salisbury, will help fund the design and construction of sewer service for two properties in Salisbury with leaking septic systems. The work includes the abandonment of the existing septic systems and the construction of a system to convey sewage to the Salisbury Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is an Enhanced Nutrient Removal facility. This project will eliminate potential groundwater contamination and help protect local water quality. This project is part of MDE efforts to connect failing septic systems to public sewer to reduce nutrient pollution and eliminate public health problems exacerbated by climate change.

Town of Manchester Wastewater Treatment Plant Enhanced Nutrient Removal Upgrade project – Carroll County

A $105,575 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the Town of Manchester will fund the planning for an Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrade of the Manchester Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrade, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83% and its phosphorus discharge by 90%, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients to Georges Run and ultimately to 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 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.

Jennings Run Lime Doser project – Allegany County

Mining Remediation Program grants of $75,000 to Tetra Tech, Inc., will help fund the design, construction and operation of a lime doser on a tributary in the Jennings Run to improve the pH of the stream. Jennings Run is a stream that flows into Wills Creek, which then flows into the North Branch Potomac River. Untreated acid mine drainage from pre-law mines in the upper reaches of Jennings Run has severely impacted water quality in the stream. The Mining Program’s goal is to improve the water quality of Jennings Run to the point that it can become a high-quality stream maintaining a reproducing population of brook trout and other aquatic species. This project is consistent with Maryland’s climate change adaptation and resiliency objectives by addressing the ongoing environmental impairments from legacy coal mining.

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