Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (September 28, 2005) – The City of Rockville is the first to receive a zero percent interest rate loan, which will further Maryland’s efforts to clean its waterways, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced today.

Rockville will use the $1,381,600 loan for the planning, design and construction to enhance the Watts Branch Watershed through stream restoration, wetland enhancement, reforestation, and relocation/protection of sanitary sewer main through a 4,000 linear foot stream valley.

The Non-Point Source Capital Program, which the Governor announced in January, provides loan money that can be used for the design and construction of projects that improve water quality in urban and suburban areas by restoring streams, creating wetlands and implementing other best management practices to improve local water quality.

“This program offers another step to help local governments address non-point sources of pollution that threaten water quality,” Governor Ehrlich said. “Coupled with the Bay Restoration Fund, these dollars will go a long way toward addressing excess nutrients and pollution that endanger natural waters regardless of their size.”

Funds from the Water Quality Revolving Loan program, administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), provide interest-free loans intended to increase the ability of local governments to implement these types of projects. The loan may be combined with other fund sources, such as local general funds, bond proceeds or fees, and federal, state and private grants.

“We encourage local governments to contact us to learn more on how to finance projects that will improve water quality, stream habitat, and enhance the quality of life in densely developed areas,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick.

The agency anticipates $5 million to $7 million in non-point source loan requests annually. MDE offers funds for non-point source projects are with both state grants and zero percent interest Water Quality Revolving Loan dollars.

“We want to thank the Maryland Department of the Environment and all of those who worked so hard to get this loan for the City of Rockville," said Rockville Mayor Larry Giammo. “We have projects planned that will help restore all of our watersheds, and these funds will help our Woottons Mill Stream Restoration project, which includes the Watts Branch Watershed. All of these projects will help bring back aquatic life and slow down stream bank erosion. Our City is committed to protecting our environment, and this loan goes a long way toward helping us meet that commitment.”

Runoff from urban and suburban areas can carry trash, oil and rubber from cars, fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns, sediment from bare or poorly vegetated ground and other pollutants. That accumulation of non-point source pollution ultimately enters neighborhood streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay leading to degraded water quality and harming the Bay’s fragile ecology.

For more information about the Non-Point Source Capital Program call (410) 537-3720.