The city's Board of Estimates on Wednesday approved a massive $263 million contract for constructing a new facility aimed at curbing pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
The spending panel voted to award the contract to Archer Western Contractors LLC, which will build the first phase of a nutrient removal facility at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant. More than 90 percent of the contract will be covered by funds from the state's "flush" tax, which charges residents who use municipal wastewater systems, city officials said.
The plant would reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that flows into the bay, officials said. At Back River, about 35,000 pounds of nitrogen and 6,000 pounds of phosphorus enter every day through wastewater.
The new plant would cut nitrogen levels by about 60 percent, officials said.