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Maryland Department of the Environment

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

BALTIMORE (Dec. 7, 2022) – The Maryland Board of Public Works in Annapolis approved more than $12 million in funding today to replace a deteriorating wastewater treatment plant on Smith Island with a facility featuring advanced technology. The board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Dereck E. Davis and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“Smith Island is an integral part of Maryland’s history, culture and Chesapeake Bay heritage,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Horacio Tablada. “The deteriorated condition of the existing wastewater system on Smith Island must be addressed to protect public health and the Chesapeake Bay. This project will be built following Coast Smart Program resiliency guidelines to reduce climate change risks.”

The following project was approved today:

Smith Island Clean Water Project – Somerset County

Grants and loans totaling $12,491,604 – a $1.6 million Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan, a $2 million grant in the form of loan forgiveness of a Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan and an $8,891,604 Bay Restoration Fund grant – to the Somerset County Sanitary District will help fund the planning, design and construction of a new Biological Nutrient Removal/Enhanced Nutrient Removal (BNR/ENR) wastewater treatment plant to replace the existing Ewell wastewater treatment plant, which is more than 40 years old and in a deteriorated condition. The multi-phase project also includes an upgrade of the wastewater collection and conveyance system, the decommissioning of the existing Tylerton wastewater treatment plant, an overhaul of three existing pumping stations, and the construction of a new sanitary force main for the conveyance of wastewater from Tylerton to the new Ewell plant. This action pertains to the construction of the replaced 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. 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.

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