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Award honors Carroll County commissioners for protecting sources of drinking water

Release Date: 10/13/2004
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567
PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the Carroll County Board of Commissioners in Maryland a source water protection award for its efforts to protect the drinking water sources of Carroll County communities.

“Drinking water is a finite and precious resource, so we applaud the Carroll County Board of Commissioners for taking steps to protect it. This award recognizes their leadership, innovation and dedication to source water protection,” said Donald S. Welsh, administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

EPA selected the Carroll County commissioners for the award because of the county’s exemplary efforts to protect drinking water sources. In April, the commissioners adopted a water resource management ordinance that sets standards to ensure land-use activities occur without polluting water and provides enforcement procedures for violations.

The county also published a manual that outlines its master resource management plan. The plan takes into account the hydrogeology of the area, and only allows developments that are designed to protect water resources. Stream buffers, watershed management strategies, and the management of the use and storage of hazardous or potentially hazardous products are all methods that could be used in the protection of their drinking water resource.

“We know that the health of our community depends upon clean drinking water so we are committed to protecting the sources,” said Julia Gouge, president of the board of commissioners.

EPA’s source water protection awards encourage communities with public drinking water systems to take steps to protect these sources. The award is open to individuals, and public and private organizations throughout EPA’s mid-Atlantic region, which includes Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Maryland. Recipients have voluntarily gone beyond what the law requires to protect their communities.

In 1996, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act was amended to give greater protection to millions of Americans who rely on public drinking water systems. By law, all states must develop source water assessments for every public water supply, but it is up to the local authorities to develop plans and measures to protect drinking water sources from contamination.