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Flush Tax to Pay for Clean Water Projects

The Maryland Board of Public Works approved $43 million in grants to local jurisdictions for clean water and Chesapeake Bay projects in the last two months.

Administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment, the projects are part of an ongoing effort to improve water quality for Marylanders and reduce nutrients in the Bay.

“We’ve updated 67 of the largest waste water treatment plants” in the state so far, says Jay Apperson, the environment department's deputy director in the office of communications.
State funding comes from the Bay Restoration Fund, which is paid for by the “flush tax.” The 2012 General Assembly passed legislation that doubled the tax to $30 per year for septic users and $2.50 per month for public water users.
Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants, aka stimulus money, were also available. The state is allocated a certain amount of stimulus funding, and environmental department picked the recipients.
Grants went to:
Allegheny County: more than $1 million to City of Cumberland for sewer overflow storage facility.
Anne Arundel County: $5.4 million for Broadwater Water Reclamation Facility; $90,455 for Peach Orchard Stormwater Management; and $345,000 Rhode River/Cheston Point Living Shorelines.
Baltimore City: $2.5 million for the Montebello Reservoir Cover Project.
Harford County: over $33 million for Sod Run Wastewater Treatment Plant; and $2.6 million for Joppatowne Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“The water quality projects – for drinking water and waste water – are all designed to improve the quality of the waterways, including the Bay,” says Apperson, “and to ensure that Marylanders have as clean drinking water as possible.”
Source: Jay Apperson, Maryland Department of the Environment
Writer: Barbara Pash
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