PHILADELPHIA, Pa., Oct. 29, 2003 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $9.3 million to the Maryland Department of the Environment to improve drinking water systems and protect drinking water supplies. The state will contribute $1.8 million in matching funds.
"This funding helps ensure that public drinking water supplies throughout Maryland remain safe and affordable, and that drinking water systems in the state are properly operated and maintained," said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA's mid-Atlantic region.
About $8.2 million of the funding will be used to provide Maryland communities with low-interest loans to fund improvements to drinking water systems that could include upgrading treatment plants, replacing storage tanks, consolidating inadequate facilities, replacing distribution lines, improving pumping stations, and constructing wells and transmission mains.
Additionally, the Maryland Department of Environment will use about $2.9 million of the funding to manage the loan program, to provide technical assistance to small water systems, to expand operator training and certification programs, to protect drinking water supplies from contamination and to ensure that drinking water systems remain viable.
The EPA grant is from the drinking water state revolving fund authorized by the 1996
amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program emphasizes preventing contamination through source water protection and enhanced water systems management. The fund helps to ensure that public drinking water supplies remain safe and affordable, and that drinking water systems are properly operated and maintained. As communities repay their loans, the funds are available for new projects in Maryland.