Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (March 21, 2001) — Gov. Parris N. Glendening announced today’s Board of Public Works approval of a $3 million grant to assist the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) with improving its sewer management system and reducing nutrient levels entering Great Seneca Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

"This project will help us provide cleaner water to the residents of Montgomery County and takes us one step closer to the maintaining the nutrient management goals outlined in the Chesapeake Bay Agreement," Glendening said. "Improving the condition of the Chesapeake Bay continues to be among our top priorities."

The Board’s approval finances $12.7 million of $25.4 million needed to plan, design and construct a new wastewater treatment plant with biological nutrient removal technology. The money will come from the Maryland Department of the Environment. WSSC is responsible for paying the remaining $12.7 million in construction costs.

The new facility, which is adjacent to the existing Seneca wastewater treatment plant, will handle 8 million gallons of wastewater a day. Construction on the plant began in 1999 and officials expect the project to be completed by March 2003.

With the addition of the new treatment facility, WSSC representatives hope to improve service to the area’s 33,000 customers while fostering environmental stewardship.

"This project encompasses a critical component of WSSC’s mission — returning clean water to our environment," John R. Griffin, WSSC general manager. "Seneca’s expansion completes WSSC’s comprehensive upgrading of our wastewater treatment plant network for conventional biological nutrient removal and also supports our ongoing commitment in helping to restore the Chesapeake Bay."

Chaired by Governor Glendening, the Board of Public Works also is comprised of Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and Treasurer Richard N. Dixon. The Board is empowered by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.

MDE's primary mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water, and land resources. The department works to ensure achievement of the state's environmental goals while fostering economic development, safe communities, and environmental education.