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EPA Recognizes Queen Anne’s County, Maryland for Excellence and Innovation in Clean Water Infrastructure

11/08/2017
Contact Information: 
David Sternberg (sternberg.david@epa.gov)
215-814-5548

Contact: David Sternberg (215) 814-5548 sternberg.david@epa.gov

EPA Recognizes Queen Anne’s County, Maryland for Excellence and Innovation in Clean Water Infrastructure

PHILADELPHIA (November 8, 2017) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it has recognized Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, for excellence and innovation for the Southern Kent Island Sewer Collection System. EPA’s Performance and Innovation in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) program celebrates innovation demonstrated by CWSRF programs and assistance recipients.

The CWSRF is a federal-state partnership that provides communities a permanent, independent source of low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects. Over the past 30 years, CWSRF programs have provided more than $125 billion in financing for water quality infrastructure.

“For decades, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund has supported critical water infrastructure projects that help grow the American economy and support our way of life,” said Mike Shapiro, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “These projects are a testament to the power of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund in leveraging investment to meet the country’s diverse clean water needs.”

Queen Anne’s County utilized CWSRF assistance to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay by connecting 1,526 properties that had failing septic systems. This $55 million project is partially financed by a $34 million CWSRF loan for disadvantaged communities that includes $1.2 million in loan forgiveness, a low 0.8 percent interest rate, and a 30-year repayment term.

The failing septic systems are generally on small lots with marginal soils and high groundwater. Upgrading Southern Kent Island to sewer service will not only remove 7,000 pounds of nitrogen each year from Chesapeake Bay, but will also benefit the community by improving property values, spurring new development, and making the island more resilient. A combination of revenue streams, including a premium assessed on buildable vacant lots, has enabled the county to keep the project affordable at under $100 per month per customer.

Twenty-eight projects by state or local governments, public utilities, and private entities were recognized by the 2017 PISCES program.

More about each of these projects and the PISCES program can be found: https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf/pisces