Press Release

October 7, 2022
Cardin, Van Hollen, Harris release joint statement on USDA Grant to Smith Island Wastewater Infrastructure Project

WASHINGTON – Today, Senators Ben Cardin, Chair of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee (both D-Md.) along with Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (R-Md.), Acting Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee, announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a $1,611,000 grant for the Smith Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Improvements project. This grant funding will specifically be used to provide an enhanced nutrient removal system for the entire island by replacing all the degraded equipment with updated, more efficient, and clean equipment. Funding for this project will also be used to eliminate unsanitary sewer discharges into the Tangier Sound and Chesapeake Bay. The completion of this project will benefit both the environment and the population of Smith Island as it will increase climate and coastal resiliency and increase assurance of access to sanitary sewer services for the island residents and businesses. 

Joint Statement from Senators Cardin and Van Hollen and Congressman Harris:

“This is a sizable investment in modernizing Smith Island’s wastewater infrastructure. Newer and more efficient sanitation equipment will protect the public health of the Island residents while keeping pollution out of the Chesapeake Bay. As the last remaining offshore inhabited island in Maryland, Smith Island has deep cultural roots on the Eastern Shore and this grant money will ensure that all residents and businesses have access to the clean water they deserve.”