ROCKVILLE, MD (December 4, 1997) -- Maryland has been awarded a $17.6 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fund a new drinking water revolving loan program that will help public water systems finance the cost of infrastructure needed to comply with the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act.
Maryland is the second state in the nation, and the first in the region to receive funding under this federal program.
"Providing safe drinking water for Maryland's families is one of my top priorities," said Governor Parris N. Glendening. "Thanks to our Congressional leadership, these funds will be used in a way that will strike a balance between providing technical assistance to protect surface and groundwater supplies, and providing low cost loans to water suppliers to ensure that our drinking water meets all public health standards."
The new drinking water law allows EPA to award capitalization grants to states, which in turn can provide low cost loans and other types of assistance to eligible systems. Maryland will use its revolving fund grant for new construction, renovations, and to ensure technical, financial and managerial integrity of water supply systems. Activities permitted under the current grant include development of state prevention programs, source water protection and operator certification.
"Pure and healthy drinking water is the highest priority for all Marylanders. This grant represents a major investment to protect drinking water sources -- rivers and wells -- so citizens of Maryland can be assured of safe drinking water," said EPA Administrator Carol Browner.
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has already identified six drinking water systems that will benefit from state/federal assistance. Loans from Maryland's Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund will allow three of these systems to attain compliance with federal law requirements. The identified systems are:
- The Towns of Boonsboro/Keedysville in Washington County needs an advanced treatment due to sensitivity of its groundwater supply to surface water contaminants. These two communities are working with MDE to provide filtration and upgrade the water transmission and distribution lines.
- The Town of Myersville in Frederick County owns an outdated water treatment plant that is unable to consistently provide filtered water as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The loan program will finance the needed improvements to provide filtered water to all users of the system.
- The Town of Thurmont in Frederick County will be receiving funding to install filtration due to sensitivity of its groundwater to surface water contaminations. The loan program will assist Thurmont in coming into compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
- The Braddock Heights system in Frederick County will be completely replaced to serve the Braddock Heights community, which had been supplied by an inadequate and deteriorated privately owned system.
- Deer Park project in Garrett County involves the construction of a water supply treatment facility, water storage tank and water distribution system for residents who rely on inadequate groundwater sources and experience water shortages during drought conditions. (Project has no relation to the commercially available Deer Park Water)
- The City of Rockville in Montgomery County will receive funding to correct aging facilities and design deficiencies that will allow the system to remain in compliance while improving water treatment for its users. MDE's technical evaluation of the current plant performance provided guidance to Rockville in determining plan needs.