MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp testified in support of SB 343 before the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee on February 7, 2017. The bill would expand the allowed uses of the Bay Restoration Fund’s (BRF) wastewater treatment plant account to include plant upgrades to biological nutrient removal (BNR). The bill was sponsored by Senator Adelaide “Addie” Eckardt. From MACo testimony:
When the BRF was created, one of the Fund’s primary purposes was to upgrade major wastewater treatment plants to enhanced nutrient removal (ENR) technology – the current best technology for reducing nitrogen and phosphorus.1 Now that Maryland’s major plants have been upgraded to ENR, BRF monies are targeting major-minor and minor plants for similar upgrades. However, some smaller plants lack BNR technology – the first level of nutrient removal – and the commensurate resources to make the upgrade to BNR in order to qualify for BRF assistance for ENR upgrades. Allowing BRF monies to be used for BNR as well as ENR upgrades makes sense now that the major plants have been upgraded.
Representatives from the Maryland Municipal League and the Town of Preston also testified in support of the bill. No one testified in opposition.