BPW Approves $29M+ in Grants for Clean Water, Chesapeake Bay - Southern Maryland Headline News

BPW Approves $29M+ in Grants for Clean Water, Chesapeake Bay

Grants Designed to Reduce Nutrient and Sediment Pollution, Improve Infrastructure

BALTIMORE (June 1, 2011)—The Maryland Board of Public Works on June 1 approved more than $29 million in grants statewide to reduce pollution and improve water quality by upgrading wastewater treatment plants and septic systems, improving sewer systems, and restoring stream banks. Two of the eleven grants are specific to southern Maryland and total $8,977,127.

The following projects, relative to southern Maryland, were approved:

UPGRADE SEPTIC SYSTEMS (STATEWIDE): Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling as much as $8,943,000 will provide funding for counties to upgrade on-site sewage disposal (septic) systems to significantly reduce the discharge of nitrogen, the most serious pollutant in the Chesapeake Bay. Counties will focus on upgrading septic systems located within the Critical Area. The typical septic system does not remove nitrogen, instead delivering about 30 pounds of nitrogen per year to the groundwater. An upgraded, nitrogen-removing septic system cuts a system’s nitrogen load in half. Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester counties will benefit from the grants.

LA PLATA WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT ENHANCED NUTRIENT REMOVAL UPGRADE (CHARLES COUNTY): An $8,768,000 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the Town of La Plata, in addition to a previous $610,000 Bay Restoration Fund grant, will fund the planning, design, and construction of Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) facilities at the existing 1.5 million gallons per day (mgd) La Plata Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrade the La Plata Wastewater Treatment Plant will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 62.5 percent, significantly reducing nutrients discharged to the Port Tobacco Creek, the Potomac River, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

OLIVER DRIVE SEWER SYSTEM (ST. MARY’S COUNTY): A $209,127 capital construction grant from Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Project Funds, Supplemental Assistance Program, to St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission will provide public sewer service to houses along Oliver Drive that are experiencing failure of their septic systems. The project area will then be served by the existing Piney Point force main that runs to the Marlay-Taylor wastewater treatment plant.

The Board is composed of Governor Martin O’Malley, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

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