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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

Grants will reduce pollution, improve water quality, allow for faster testing of PFAS contaminants

BALTIMORE (Dec. 21, 2022) – The Maryland Board of Public Works in Annapolis approved more than $2.3 million in grants today to reduce pollution and improve water quality through upgrades to septic systems.

The board also approved funding for a memorandum of understanding between the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) laboratory for the investigation of emerging per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contaminants. 

The board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Dereck E. Davis and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“These smart investments in upgrading septic systems will protect public health and prevent water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland communities across the state,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Horacio Tablada. “As part of Maryland’s commitment to understand, communicate and reduce the risk of PFAS in our state we will conduct state-of-the-art PFAS sampling to identify and respond to this emerging contaminant.”

The following funding was approved today:

Upgrade Septic Systems – Statewide

Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $2,318,000 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. Eighteen Maryland counties will benefit from the grants.

Memorandum of Understanding, PFAS testing

A memorandum of understanding between MDE and MDH will allow for faster turnaround times and decreased costs in sampling of PFAS to identify and remediate sources of these contaminants and their impacts to the environment. The board approved a $250,000 grant from MDE, using funds in the agency’s Hazardous Substance Cleanup Program, to MDH.

MDE has prioritized the investigation of PFAS) to identify sources of these emerging contaminants, which have been identified in public drinking water supply wells and surface water across the state. The MDH laboratory has more capabilities for PFAS analysis than any other lab in the state after completion of a rigorous U.S. Environmental Protection Agency multi-lab validation process and purchases of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment.

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