May 29, 2009

CARDIN REQUESTS FUNDING FOR CHESAPEAKE BAY AND CLEAN WATER PROGRAMS

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, today announced his FY 2010 budget appropriations requests that will protect and help clean the Chesapeake Bay watershed while updating Maryland's aging water infrastructure.  The Senate will take up the appropriations bills this summer. A complete list of Senator Cardin's appropriations requests can be found at cardin.senate.gov. 

"The Chesapeake Bay, America's largest estuary, is not just a national treasure, but a vital component in our regional economy and the environmental, cultural and historic heart of Maryland.  Only through an aggressive, coordinated effort of federal, state and local resources, will we succeed in curbing pollution and restoring the water quality within the watershed area," said Senator Cardin, who also serves as Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee. 

Examples of Senator Cardin's appropriations requests related to the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland's clean water include: 

CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED: Senator Cardin continues to provide strong support and leadership on national and regional programs that address pollution from wastewater treatment plants and agricultural lands.  His support of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund would bring $57.8 million to Maryland to reduce pollution from sewer systems, a 350 percent increase over current funding.  In addition, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative in the Farm Bill, which Senator Cardin championed, will bring $43 million to farmers in the Bay watershed to implement conservation practices on their lands.  This represents nearly a 200 percent increase over last year's record funding level. In addition, Senator Cardin's requests include: 

·         $40 million to fully fund the EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program Office, which is essential to accelerate the restoration efforts underway in the watershed. Funding provides implementation grants to states, monitoring programs, and the highly successful Chesapeake Stewardship grants programs for local governments and non-profits. 

·         $20 million for NOAA's Cooperative Oxford Laboratory in Oxford, Maryland, which utilizes complementary assets of the Oxford Lab and academic institutions to guide Chesapeake Bay management and restoration decisions

·         $13.5 million for the Ecosystem Restoration Program at Poplar Island and an additional $483,000 for the Mid-Bay Island restoration project, which will serve as the successor to Poplar Island.

·         $6 million for native Oyster and Oyster Habitat Recovery programs through the NOAA-Oyster Recovery Project effort and the Army Corps of Engineers 

·         $2 million for the Blackwater National Refuge to add to its permanently protected lands and $475,000 for the adjacent Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Park

Implementation of the Deer Creek Watershed Restoration Action Strategy including the promotion of conservation efforts, and completion of stream bank restoration

WATER INFRASTRUCTURE

·         $10 million for the Blue Plains Waste Water Treatment Plant for the upgrades to reduce nitrogen loading to the Chesapeake Bay by over 4  million pounds per year, and an additional $1.8 million for the Sligo Creek Urban Watershed Restoration Project, a joint Montgomery and Prince George's Counties effort to reduce stormwater pollution

·         $10 million for planning, design, and construction of Biological Nutrient Removal and Enhanced Nutrient Removal facilities at the existing Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant. An additional $200,000 for the Patapsco Urban River Restoration Initiative.

·         $5 million for upgrades and repairs to the Smith Island wastewater treatment plant 

·         $1 million for the Town of Snow Hill to repair and upgrade its water-treatment facilities to meet basic health and water quality requirements and reduce nitrogen pollution. 

·         $1 million for improvements to the Cumberland and Frostburg sewer systems to eliminate combined sewer overflow problems.  

Construction of a pipeline for wastewater reuse from the Joppatowne Wastewater Treatment Plant to the proposed County Resource Recovery Facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground. This will allow the Harford County Canal Creek Groundwater Treatment waste-to-energy facility to meet the expanding needs of the Army as a result of BRAC.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION.  In addition to support for NOAA's outstanding environmental education program, B-WET:

·         $2 million for Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails, a network of over 150 sites that provides natural, historic and cultural information about the unique character of the Chesapeake.  These sites accommodate more than 10 million visitors per year, providing an extraordinary opportunity to educate and enlighten people about the Bay

·         Washington College Chesapeake Semester program, a unique opportunity for students to explore our nation's largest estuary, while helping solve real environmental problems

·         $1 million for the National Aquarium in Baltimore to improve facilities and expand education and conservation programs