The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced it has approved and helped fund a $303M plan by Maryland to implement 36 clean water projects, including a series of major improvements to control stormwater and enhance wastewater infrastructure in Baltimore.
The Intended Use Plan includes an award of $32M from EPA’s FY 2017 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The plan by the Maryland Department of the Environment is also funded with a $6.4M state match, repayments from prior CWSRF loans, interest earnings and $150 million in bond proceeds.
The Baltimore projects targeted for funding in the state’s CWSRF plan include:
$73.7M to Baltimore City ($36,970,800) and Baltimore County ($36,700,000) for improvements to the Back River wastewater treatment plant. These improvements will help eliminate overflows of untreated sewage.
$46.7M to implement the city’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit program by constructing various green infrastructure projects to absorb stormwater.
Baltimore is also expected to receive $7.5M for three sanitary sewer collection system improvements, part of the $54.8M allocated for 20 such projects statewide. A full list of these and other CWSRF projects to be funded can be found at: http://mde.maryland.gov/programs/water/WQFA/Pages/index.aspx
“Restoring our nation’s water infrastructure is one of President Trump’s and EPA’s top priorities because all Americans deserve clean water,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The CWSRF funding follows the recent announcement that Baltimore has been invited to apply for a $200M federal loan to improve its water infrastructure through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).
“Maryland appreciates EPA’s support of our clean water investment plan to protect public health and safety and prevent water pollution in Maryland communities and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles. “In partnership with EPA, the Maryland Department of the Environment will continue to provide financial assistance to local jurisdictions to help them comply with their pollution reduction requirements under our state’s blueprint to restore the national treasure that is the Chesapeake Bay.”
The CWSRF program provides low interest loans for the construction of wastewater treatment facilities and other projects vital to protecting and improving water quality in rivers, lakes and streams for drinking water, recreation and natural habitat. The loans help communities keep water and sewer rates more affordable while addressing local water quality problems.
Other key projects targeted for funding with the CWSRF funds include:
$86.6M to Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) to design and construct a regional biosolids facility including bio-energy at the Piscataway wastewater treatment plant in Prince George’s County.
$15M for the state Department of Housing and Community Development to promote energy efficiency in homes to reduce atmospheric pollution to the Chesapeake Bay.
$5.6M to the City of Hagerstown in Washington County for planning, design and construction of emergency repairs to the Edgemont Reservoir.
$3M to Calvert County for an upgrade to Enhanced Nutrient Removal at the Solomons wastewater treatment plant to improve water quality in local waters and the Chesapeake Bay.
For more information about EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program: https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf
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SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency