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Anne Arundel County’s Department of Public Works Recognized for Environmental Excellence

Annapolis (August 21, 2019) – Two Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works (DPW) agencies earned national awards that recognize their efforts to dramatically improve the quality of our local waterways.  The Bureau of Utilities received the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Peak Performance Awards for continued wastewater treatment excellence at each of the County’s six Water Reclamation Facilities (WRF).  Meanwhile, the Watershed Protection and Restoration Program (WPRP) was recognized with a Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Award from the Water Environment Federation (WEF) for innovation, effectiveness and cost-efficiency in exceeding regulatory requirements of the County’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. 

The Broadwater and Broadneck WRF’s earned NACWA Peak Performance Platinum Award honoring treatment plants that have at least five consecutive calendar years without a single National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit violation.  The Peak Performance Platinum Award for the Broadwater WRF reflects 22 consecutive years of 100% NPDES permit compliance, while the Broadneck WRF has had perfect compliance for the past six years.  Cox Creek, Maryland City, Patuxent, and the Annapolis WRF’s all received Gold Awards having achieved perfect permit compliance last year.

In addition to these prestigious awards, the exceptional performance of the WRF’s has resulted in the County being awarded $1.2 million in operating grants and $2 million from the Clean Water Commerce Act program through the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE). 

The Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Award from the WEF was awarded to the Department’s Watershed Program recognizing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit (MS4) holders for innovative, effective and cost-efficient program management.

The WPRP is responsible for coordinating Anne Arundel County’s efforts to satisfy the terms of its MS4 (stormwater) permit, issued by MDE, which include providing stormwater management review of new development projects, inspecting and maintaining existing stormwater facilities across the County, monitoring illicit discharges into the County’s stormwater system, providing public education to reduce stormwater pollutants, and undertaking restoration projects to reduce pollution across the County.

Highlighted Watershed Program efforts include:

  • In just over five years, the County has invested more than $25 million to repair and replace existing, failing, stormwater infrastructure as well as authorized the expenditure of over $250 million for water quality restoration projects.
  • Since early 2015, the WPRP has issued over $4,000,000 in grants to local, non- profit organizations, leveraging another $6,400,000 in outside dollars, for restoration work that will help the County meet its permit goals.
  • In 2016, the County developed a Full Delivery of Water Quality Improvements program for the contracting of design/build/maintain projects by tapping into the innovation of the private sector. This Public/Private Partnership (P3) has served as both a local and national model for creating an innovative and cost effective means deliver watershed restoration projects.
  • In early 2019, Anne Arundel County became the first jurisdiction in Maryland (and perhaps nationwide) to use the State’s new Nutrient Trading program to achieve compliance with its stormwater permit.  This innovative trade was available due to the over performance and significant nutrient reductions by the water reclamation facilities.

“These awards recognize and honors the outstanding work our operators, scientists and engineers perform each day to protect the environment and public safety,” said DPW Director Chris Phipps.  “Our remarkable compliance record is due to the high standards, work ethic, and dedication of these talented employees.”

Together, these programs (wastewater treatment and WPRP) are leading the state in its efforts to restore the health of the Bay.  The investments made in these programs are paying off as the Bay is showing signs of recovery. 

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