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Maryland Department of the Environment

Board of Public Works approves funding for Urban Trees Program and climate progress

Board of Public Works approves funding for Urban Trees Program and climate progress

Grant to Chesapeake Bay Trust made under Tree Solutions Now Act of 2021; projects will benefit underserved communities

BALTIMORE (June 22, 2022) – The Maryland Board of Public Works in Annapolis approved a $10 million grant today for the Urban Trees Program as part of an ambitious plan to plant five million native trees and address climate change, protect the environment and plant trees in communities impacted by environmental justice. The board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Dereck E. Davis and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“This smart investment in the Urban Trees Program will help us make important progress on climate and on cleaner air and water,” said Maryland Environment Deputy Secretary Suzanne E. Dorsey. “The Urban Trees Program will also improve the quality of life in underserved communities across Maryland by reducing urban heat island effects.”

The board also approved $15 million in grants to upgrade septic systems across the state.

The following funding was approved today:

Urban Trees Program – statewide

A $10 million Bay Restoration Fund grant to the Chesapeake Bay Trust will fund the Urban Trees Program. The program was created to foster community-based projects to plant trees in underserved areas and advance the goals of the Tree Solutions Now Act of 2021. Maryland has pledged to plant five million native trees by 2030. The Urban Trees Program is to plant 500,000 trees in urban areas in the next eight years. The Chesapeake Bay Trust will make grants to qualified organizations for tree-planting projects in underserved areas. Qualified organizations include nonprofit organizations, schools, community associations, service, youth and civic groups, institutions of higher education, county or municipal governments, or forest conservancy district boards.

More information is available on MDE’s website.

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. All 23 Maryland counties will benefit from the grants.

Residential septic system owners are eligible for a minimum 50% and maximum 100% grant for the cost of Best Available Technology to reduce nitrogen discharges, based on household income. Business owners are eligible for 50% of the Best Available Technology cost as grant, and small business owners are eligible for 75% of the Best Available Technology cost as grant.