ANNAPOLIS,MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Thursday recognized the completion of a project to significantly reduce water pollution from one of the state’s largest wastewater treatment plants.
Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles joined Baltimore City officials at the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant to celebrate this achievement on Thursday morning.
The completion of Enhanced Nutrient Removal facilities will bring the largest reductions of nitrogen and phosphorus discharges to the Chesapeake Bay of any Maryland wastewater facility.
“Maryland is fortunate to be home to countless natural assets, but for us, none is more important than the Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor Hogan. “The Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant project, completed with financial support from the state, moves us forward in achieving Maryland’s Bay restoration goals.”
State funding for the project included $159 million from the Bay Restoration Fund. The Bay Restoration Fund uses monthly fees collected from homes and businesses served by wastewater treatment plants to pay for Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrades to Maryland facilities.
The program has led to the completion of upgrades at more than 60 of the state’s largest facilities and will result in total reductions of seven million pounds per year of nitrogen and 250,000 pounds per year of phosphorus discharged to the Chesapeake Bay.
Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. ENR upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay restoration plan – and the reductions at the Patapsco plant account for a large share of the wastewater reductions in Maryland’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan.
“The completion of the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades is a big step in Maryland’s work to restore the Chesapeake Bay,” said Secretary Grumbles. “This successful project demonstrates how progress can be made in Chesapeake Bay restoration through partnerships, including the Maryland General Assembly’s support of the continued, dedicated state funding that has been critical in upgrading wastewater treatment plants across the state. There is also a real commitment from leaders at all levels, including in Baltimore City and municipalities and counties throughout the state.”
The Hogan administration has committed $6 billion toward wide-ranging Chesapeake Bay restoration initiatives, and was recently successful in securing an increase in federal funding for Chesapeake Bay cleanup.