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Rockville, Md. Wins EPA Award For Sustainable Drinking Water Service

Release Date: 06/06/2011
Contact Information: David Sternberg, 215-814-5548 sternberg.david@epa.gov

ROCKVILLE, Md. (June 6, 2011) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded the City of Rockville the Sustainable Public Health Protection Award for leadership and innovation in upgrading the Rockville Drinking Water Treatment Plant. Beginning in late 2009, the 51-year old plant was upgraded to improve operational and energy efficiency, with funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“There is nothing more fundamental than clean drinking water, and the work that’s been done here in Rockville is exemplary,” said EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Clean drinking water is our shared obligation to the people of Maryland, and EPA is proud that Recovery Act dollars have helped communities make their drinking water infrastructure more energy efficient and sustainable.”

In June 2009 EPA awarded $26.83 million in Recovery Act funding to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) for financial assistance to drinking water systems needing infrastructure improvements. Funds provided by ARRA have helped the City of Rockville, and other local governments to finance many overdue water infrastructure improvements that are needed for protecting public health and the environment across the state.

“Green infrastructure projects help to clean our waterways and protect our drinking water, but they also do a lot more. They promote innovation and create jobs, and they help us conserve energy and improve air quality. They are quite simply an investment in healthier communities,” said MDE Secretary Robert M. Summers. “Maryland thoroughly reviewed every application for Recovery Act funds to get the best return on each dollar. The Rockville Drinking Water Treatment Plant project was a worthy recipient, and the city truly deserves this award.”

“We are very pleased to have been recognized,” said Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio. “This award signifies Rockville's dedication to provide our citizens with clean and safe drinking water.”

Improvements to the Rockville Water Treatment Plant included:

• installing motion sensors to control power usage;
• restoring service pumps;
• retrofitting the entire air conditioning system;
• and, enhancing the plant’s capacity to dewater solids by 40 percent.

The total cost of the project was $3.7 million, of which $1.7 million came through ARRA “green project” funding and $2 million from the city.

In order to qualify for the Sustainable Public Health Protection Award, a nominee must demonstrate innovative leadership in financing, planning, implementation, partnering and/or promoting sustainable infrastructure.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Feb. 17, 2009 and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability.