Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 3, 2006) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. announced Board of Public Works approval today of a $200,000 grant for the Town of Westernport (Allegany County) to eliminate Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) problems. The Board is comprised of Governor Ehrlich, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller William D. Schaefer.

The city currently has a system that combines its stormwater and sanitary sewer functions. In times of heavy precipitation, the system overflows into local waterways causing potential health impacts and dumping excessive nutrients into the water. Excess nutrients lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.

“This project will benefit general public health and improve water quality for the residents within the drainage area of Georges Creek and the upper Potomac River,” Governor Ehrlich said. “It is part of the ongoing efforts to bring the Town of Westernport in compliance with federal and state requirements.”

The project at Westernport entails planning, design and construction to eliminate the town’s CSO problems.

“I would like to thank the Maryland Department of the Environment on behalf of our citizens,” said Westernport Mayor Tom Smith. “This money will help with the construction of a new sewer line that will eliminate these CSOs.”

The corrective measures will include separation and replacement of pipes, installation of new pipe joints, cross connections, manhole covers and walls.

Total cost of the project is $19 million, of which $712,000 was awarded in a previous action. The remainder will be filled with state contributions, including $800,000 from the Bay Restoration Fund and a major grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency. Work on the long-term, phased project began over a year ago and has an expected completion date of November of 2007.