New report highlights green infrastructure at hospital as part of national roadmap to clean water

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Kate Breimann

Investments in Maryland’s water infrastructure can help solve water challenges

Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

Baltimore, MD – In Maryland and across America, the systems that should manage wastewater and stormwater are outdated and failing, according to a new report from Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center. Poor wastewater infrastructure in Maryland threatens the health of the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest and most diverse estuary. 

The new study, which comes out as Congress negotiates water infrastructure funding for the coming fiscal year as part of the federal budget, offers a path to cleaner water that can be achieved with investment. The report calls for Congress to support states’ efforts to bring our nation’s water quality up to standards. This clean water funding should prioritize nature based infrastructure, a cost effective and innovative way to trap and treat dirty water while providing beautiful outdoor spaces and wildlife habitat. 

“From the Patapsco River to the Puget Sound, one thing is clear: investing in water infrastructure works,” said Environment Maryland Director Kate Breimann. “Across Maryland we read stories about nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and sewage overflows in our cities.  Unfortunately, we can expect more of these stories as our infrastructure ages without the updates it needs. But when our nation applies the right resources, we can fix these problems.”

Entitled A Path to Cleaner Water, the report shows how investing in water infrastructure brings cleaner water to communities across America. Specifically, the group looked at successful and innovative projects in each of the ten U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regions. Despite the geographical differences between regions and states, it’s clear how clean water investments can clean and protect America’s waterways.

The report highlighted green infrastructure at the MedStar Harbor Hospital in a case study showing the value of investing in clean water projects. Blue Water Baltimore retrofitted four of the hospital’s major parking lots with green stormwater infrastructure – the project is estimated to prevent 39 pounds of nitrogen, six pounds of phosphorus, and 1.2 tons of sediment from entering the river every year. 

“MedStar Harbor Hospital understands the connections between human health and environmental health, and has demonstrated institutional leadership by working with Blue Water Baltimore and other partners to treat runoff with green stormwater practices, trees, and native landscaping” said Jenn Aiosa, Executive Director of Blue Water Baltimore, “By investing in these options for their campus, they are creating a healthy campus that treats hundreds of thousands of gallons of stormwater every year.”  

To upgrade these systems and protect clean water, Congress will have to make a substantial investment, according to the report. They have until December 11 to negotiate a compromise on this and other issues in the federal budget. Elected officials are currently negotiating water infrastructure provisions, including the $11 billion House spending bill aimed at solving this problem.

“Not only is investing in clean water a good idea for our waterways, environment, and communities, it also boasts bipartisan support.” Breimann said. We saw proof of this earlier this year when the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee announced draft legislation with bipartisan support to boost water infrastructure spending. The support of clean water can bring Congress together, and show unity in a time of great division.


Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.