Sanitary Commission, EPA, area leaders launch Maryland sewer reconstruction project

LAUREL, MD, Dec. 7, 2009 -- The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission kicked off a landmark rehabilitation project, marking the first time WSSC has been awarded federal funding for a reconstruction project through the Maryland Department of the Environment...

Dec 7th, 2009

LAUREL, MD, Dec. 7, 2009 -- Earlier today, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) kicked off a landmark rehabilitation project, marking the first time WSSC has been awarded federal funding for a reconstruction project through the Maryland Department of the Environment. Earlier this year, a $6 million dollar grant was awarded to WSSC by MDE as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant is being used to conduct sewer infrastructure renewal in the Lower Anacostia area of Prince George's County.

U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Peter Silva, U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, U.S Congresswoman Donna Edwards, WSSC General Manager Jerry N. Johnson, Anacostia Watershed Society Executive Director Jim Connolly and other area leaders joined together at WSSC's headquarters in Laurel to launch the project. It will rehabilitate 22,000 linear feet of sewer mains and laterals in portions of Bladensburg, Hyattsville, Brentwood, Cheverly, Colmar Manor, Landover Hills and Mount Rainer, Maryland and provide an estimated 65 additional jobs to the region.

"Recovery Act funds are revitalizing water infrastructure and the economy at the same time," said Peter S. Silva, Assistant Administrator for Water. "Environmental protection and economic strength are not mutually exclusive, but in fact can go hand-in-hand."

"This project is a perfect example of Recovery Act funding at work -- not only will WSSC be able to make much needed improvements to our community's infrastructure, but it will infuse money into the economy and help keep Marylanders in their jobs," said Congressman Van Hollen, Co-Chairman of the bipartisan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus and Co-Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force.

"This grant will not only help address the problems we are having with our aging infrastructure," said Johnson, "it also set an example of how federal stimulus funding can be used to improve everyday lives, not only by helping the environment but also by boosting the local economy."

Internal pipeline inspections in the project area indicated the sewer mains and laterals are deteriorating and that the number of sewer backups and overflows has increased. Some of the mains in the area are nearly 90 years old.

"We are proud to join WSSC in advocating for more funding for projects that support our environment," said Jim Connolly, Executive Director of the Anacostia Watershed Society. "This kind of work is drastically needed, both in the Washington Metropolitan area and around the nation."

"I am pleased that WSSC was awarded a $6 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress to make needed repairs to the infrastructure in the Lower Anacostia area of Prince George's County," said Congresswoman Edwards, Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "These funds will help ensure the area has healthy water resources for the future, and will help save and create needed jobs in the area today. I look forward to working with my colleagues at the federal, state, and local levels to continue making these types of investments for the future."

The project is slated for completion by December 2010. For more information, contact WSSC's Office of Communications and Community Relations at (301) 206-8100.

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