ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 20, 2009)– Governor Martin O’Malley today announced 95 proposed Maryland water quality and drinking water projects totaling $119.2 million to receive low interest loans and/or grants under President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The proposed funds were allocated based on readiness to proceed, as well as maximum environmental and health benefits, and will benefit every region of the State. The Maryland Department of the Environment received $3.7 billion in requests for water/wastewater projects.
A total of $92.8 million will be used for pollution reduction projects, including wastewater treatment improvements, sewer upgrades, and stormwater runoff controls; $26.4 million will go to improvements for drinking water treatment, water storage, and wells.
“I want to thank President Obama and Maryland’s federal delegation for working so hard to secure these Recovery and Reinvestment funds. This much-needed funding will not only provide hundreds of jobs across our State, but it will help safeguard our drinking water and accelerate our efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor O’Malley. ”The grants and low interest loans will also provide a boost to our State’s ‘green infrastructure’ and help us become more efficient with our water and energy resources.”
Per ARRA, the Environmental Protection Agency will provide funding for grants and/or loans through the Maryland Department of the Environment’s existing Water Quality and Drinking Water Quality Revolving Loan Funds. Today’s proposed projects will now go to the EPA for final approval. While requests outpaced available ARRA funding by 30 to 1, all Maryland counties will receive some stimulus funding.
“Maryland cities and towns need to upgrade their water and sewer systems, but they shouldn’t have to do it by themselves,” said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “That’s why I have worked hard to put money in the federal checkbook that creates jobs, builds communities, and takes care of our environment. This funding will not only save and create hundreds of jobs across Maryland, it will also prevent utility bill rate hikes, protect public health, and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.”
“Marylanders are hurting, so I applaud Governor O’Malley and his team for moving quickly to put these funds to work,” said U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin. “From Worcester County to Western Maryland, we will be making investments that support good paying jobs while also maximizing environmental and health benefits.”
Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson said: “After receiving a flood of applications for this funding from around the State, we’ve worked to ensure that environmental benefits and job creation are maximized in every region of the State.”
The State will offer 0 and 1 percent interest loans to an estimated 28 water quality and six drinking water projects totaling $55.4 million for 23 applicants; 18 of 24 jurisdictions will receive grants totaling $63.8 million. Each of Maryland’s three designated “Environmental Benefit District” will receive a project grant.
In February, just days after President Obama signed the federal recovery act into law, the Maryland Department of the Environment announced its anticipated ARRA funding and encouraged local jurisdictions to apply. In response, the Agency received an unprecedented number of requests for the ARRA funding.
Funding Totals across the State: Funding Totals across the State:
||% of Total Funding
|Lower Eastern Shore
|Upper Eastern Shore
*Total excludes one State emergency project for $6 million.
The list and a map of ARRA projects to be funded through the Water Quality and Drinking Water Revolving Loan Funds can be found at: mde.maryland.gov.
More information on Maryland’s use of federal recovery funding can be found at recovery.maryland.gov.