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BALTIMORE -- The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $2 million in funding on Jan. 8 to operate and maintain sewage treatment plants that have been upgraded to remove additional pollution and to eliminate combined sewer overflows in one community while improving its water system. Of the $2 million total, $330,000 will come to Charles County.
Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $1,655,350 will provide funding for operation and maintenance costs for 18 wastewater treatment plants state-wide operating at enhanced nutrient removal levels. Grants awarded for Charles County were $300,000 for the Mattawoman wastewater treatment plant and $30,000 to the Town of Indian Head for the Indian Head wastewater treatment plant.
The Bay Restoration Fund provides for up to 10 percent of the annual revenue generated from wastewater treatment plant users and deposited with MDE to be allocated for such costs. The grant for each plant is up to $30,000 per million gallons per day of design capacity, with a minimum award of $30,000 and a maximum award of $300,000 per year for any plant.
Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades allow facilities to significantly reduce the amount of nutrients discharged to local waterways 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. The plants receving these grants have reduced nitrogen discharges by more than 1.5 million pounds per year and phosphorus discharges by more than 230,000 pounds per year. Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades of the state’s major wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.
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, and provide quality drinking water to our citizens,” said Governor O’Malley. “These projects reduce pollution and protect the environment and public health while creating jobs for more Marylanders.”