BALTIMORE, MD (December 19, 2012) - The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $76 million in grants today to reduce pollution and improve water quality by upgrading and maintaining wastewater treatment plants and reducing sedimentation in waterways. The Board is composed of Governor Martin O’Malley, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.
"Projects such as these are an important part of our effort to improve Maryland waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay," said Governor O’Malley. "These projects reduce pollution and protect public health while creating jobs for more Marylanders."
The following projects were approved today:
A $75,215,000 Bay Restoration Fund grant to Baltimore City, in addition to a previous $83,707,000 Bay Restoration fund grant, will help fund the planning, design and construction of Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrades and the expansion of the existing 73 million gallons per day Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83 percent and its phosphorus discharge by 85 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged into the Patapsco 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. Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades of the state’s major wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.
Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $1,092,690 will provide funding for operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment plants with Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrades. Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund equaling up to 10 percent of the annual fee revenue from wastewater treatment plant users can be provided to fund a portion of an ENR facility’s operation and maintenance. Based on availability of funds, MDE recommended an operation and maintenance grant at a rate of up to $18,000 per million gallons per day of a facility’s design capacity, not to exceed $216,000 per year for any individual facility. The board approved grants ranging in amount from $8,820 to $216,000 to a total of 22 facilities across the state. Through ENR upgrades and proper operation, these plants have reduced nitrogen discharged to the Chesapeake Bay by more than 1.3 million pounds per year and have reduced phosphorus discharged to the Bay by more than 190,000 pounds per year. 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 the state’s major wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.
A $325,000 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund green grant to the Chesapeake Rivers Association will help fund construction of a system to control stormwater at the headwaters of Cabin Branch. The project consists of the construction of an entry pool, riffles, cobble weirs, berms and vegetation using sand, native boulders, cobble rootwad, gravel, wood chips and native plants. The project will control the flow of stormwater and reduce erosion and the resulting sedimentation in Cabin Branch and the Severn River. The land is managed by the Chesapeake Rivers Association.
# # #
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230