Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 23, 2007) – The Maryland Board of Public Works today approved $5.35 million in grants for capital construction projects in Allegany and Garrett Counties. The Board is comprised of Governor Martin O’Malley, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“We have an obligation to future generations to protect and preserve the ecosystems in our precious Chesapeake Bay and provide a reliable, high quality drinking water supply,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “The State takes pride in keeping up with the evolving infrastructure and needs of community’s combined sewer system to protect human health, water quality and the well-being of aquatic ecosystems.”

Evitts Creek Combined Sewer Overflow Elimination Project (Allegany County)

The Board approved a $500,000 State Supplemental Grant increase to finance the upgrade of the City of Cumberland’s existing wastewater pumping station and force main to carry the flow generated in the Evitts Creek Sewer Basin to the Cumberland wastewater treatment plant. The City of Cumberland has a combined sewer system where sanitary sewage and storm drainage are conveyed through the same network of pipes. As a result, during intense rainfall, the capacity of the system may be overwhelmed, leading to discharges of large quantities of untreated sewage into Evitts Creek, which threatens water quality and potentially jeopardizes human health.

The proposed upgrade will help reduce the frequency and volume of combined sewer overflows to Evitts Creek and the Potomac River. The construction is set to begin in June, 2007, and is expected to be complete July, 2008.

“The City of Cumberland is pleased to be able to use this grant as well as Bay Restoration Fund and loan money to continue to make improvements to the City’s combined sewer overflow system,” said Mayor Lee Fiedler.

Westernport Combined Sewer Overflow Elimination Project (Allegany County)

The Board approved a $500,000 State Supplemental Grant increase for the project, which entails planning, design and construction to eliminate the combine sewer overflow problem in the Town of Westernport. The corrective measures will include separation and replacement of pipes and installation of new pipe joints, cross connections, manhole covers and walls. The project will benefit public health and improve water quality for the
residents in the George’s Creek and Upper Potomac River drainage areas. It is part of ongoing efforts to bring the Town into compliance with federal and state requirements. The construction is set to begin in June, 2007, and is expected to be complete by December, 2008.

“The town of Westernport is very grateful for the money that the Maryland Department of the Environment is putting into our sewer system,” said Mayor Donald T. Smith. “Small towns would be devastated without understanding people and organizations like MDE.”

George’s Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant BNR/ENR Upgrade (Allegany County)

The Board approved a more than $4 million State Supplemental and Biological Nutrient Removal grant increases for the construction of Biological Nutrient Removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal facilities at the existing George’s Creek wastewater treatment plant. Once upgraded, the facility will help to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus discharges to George’s Creek, the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. The construction is anticipated to begin September, 2007, and should be completed by December, 2009.

“The Maryland Department of the Environment’s continued partnership with Allegany County is giving us the ability to reduce nutrient flows to the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River and George’s Creek,” said Allegany County Administrator Vance C. Ishler. “We appreciate MDE’s assistance and the project would not be possible without it.”

Table Rock Water System (Garrett County)

The Board approved a new $350,000 State Supplemental Grant for a proposed project to provide safe and dependable drinking water to approximately 26 existing homes in the Table Rock area. The project involves construction of approximately 8,000 linear feet of water main to connect the Table Rock area to the existing Gorman water system and eliminate unsafe drinking water wells impacted by deep mining in the vicinity. The construction is expected to begin in October, 2007, and be completed by June, 2008.

“Allocation of funding for the project will insure an adequate supply of potable water to the residents in the area,” said Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Ernest Gregg. “We are very pleased that MDE is providing funding assistance for this critical project, and are grateful for their continued support of infrastructure projects in Garrett County.”