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Rockville honored for watershed protection work

Release Date: 03/28/2007
Contact Information: Terri White (215) 814-5523

PHILADELPHIA (March 28, 2007) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined environmental leaders from Maryland today in recognizing Rockville, Md. for efficiently using federal funding for restoration of the main stem of Watts Branch, a tributary of the Potomac River.

“The City of Rockville has set a tremendous example for communities that have problems controlling stormwater runoff that can damage nearby waterways,” said Donald S. Welsh, administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. “The work they have done will not only benefit the Watts Branch, but also help improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.”

The main stem of the Watts Branch runs north/south through Montgomery County, and its watershed encompasses the western part of Rockville. The restoration project included enhancement of existing wetlands, restoring a stream buffer, stabilizing 4,000 feet of eroding stream bank and upgrading storm drain outfalls. This project helps reduce pollution from storm water runoff in area streams and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Maryland Department of Environment selected Rockville to receive EPA’s 2006 PISCES award. The award is presented to communities that most effectively and efficiently use funding from the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program.

The funding program is an innovative method of financing environmental projects. EPA provides a grant to each state, and states use the funds to provide low-interest loans for water quality improvement projects. These projects support the Clean Water Act by protecting environmental health and water quality. In Maryland, the program is managed by the Maryland Department of Environment.

For information on EPA’s PISCES award, visit http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/cwsrf/2006pisces.htm .
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