Maryland is spending more than $37 million on technology improvements to septic systems and wastewater treatment plants around the state, including two plants in Baltimore City. The funding is intended to enhance the plants’ efficiency and create jobs, says Jay Apperson, spokesperson for the
Maryland Department of the Environment.
The state’s Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Project has designated 67 major plants for improvement. To date, 25 plants been upgraded, with another 16 plants scheduled to be completed by 2013. The goals of the long-term and ongoing project are to reduce pollution and to improve water quality of the Chesapeake Bay.
Apperson says that water quality-related projects in the current fiscal year account for about 5,000 jobs. Water quality-related refers to wastewater treatment plant and septic system improvements and to drinking water projects.
The latest funding is part of a series of grants from the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Project.
The current funding goes to the following:
• $13 million to Back River Plant, Baltimore City, which has previously received $20 million from the project and other state sources;
• $3.7 million to Patapsco Plant, Baltimore City, which has previously received about $139 million from the project and other state sources;
• $2 million to New Windsor Plant, Carroll County, to help pay off a previous $3.8 million loan; and,
• $3.7 million to Emmitsburg Plant, Frederick County, in addition to a previous $1.7 million grant.
In addition, $14.8 million has been allocated to counties throughout the state for septic system upgrades.
The Baltimore City plants are two of the largest in the state. Improvements at Back River would reduce nitrogen discharge by 67 percent at Back River and by 83 percent at Patapsco that ultimately goes into the Chesapeake Bay, according to Apperson.
Source: Jay Apperson, Maryland Department of the Environment
Writer: Barbara Pash