Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 21, 2001) – The Maryland Board of Public Works today approved a $180,000 grant to the town of Westernport in Allegany County for the construction of a new sewer system in the Johnson Street area of the town.

"The improvements that will result from this funding will break a vicious cycle that potentially threatens drinking water supplies, human health and the vitality of aquatic habitats," Governor Parris N. Glendening said.

A replacement system in the Johnson Street area is expected to help alleviate on-going problems often related to combined sewer systems and their overflows that tend to occur during times of heavy precipitation. Those overflows can contain untreated domestic, commercial and industrial wastes, as well as surface runoff.

"Presently, there are two areas on Johnson Street in such disrepair that raw sewage actually flows out of the piping and down into the roadway area of Johnson Street," said Westernport Mayor Donald T. Smith. "The monies appropriated by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) will correct this problem and allow the necessary repairs to be performed."

The total cost of the project is $200,000, $20,000 of which is the local jurisdiction’s share. The project is expected to begin in June and be completed six months later.

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.