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Grants target storm-water pollution

State and federal officials joined a Chesapeake Bay nonprofit Thursday in announcing the award of more than $3.7 million to 34 organizations to reduce storm-water pollution in Maryland and three neighboring states and the District of Columbia. Nine of the grants totaling more than $1 million went toward planting trees, removing pavement and other greening projects in Baltimore city, while two smaller grants targeted plantings in Baltimore County.

Shawn Garvin, Mid-Atlantic regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, whose agency provided some of the funds, said investing in such "green infrastructure" to soak up rainfall is "critically important to restoring local waters and the Chesapeake Bay." Storm-water runoff is a significant and growing source of pollution fouling the bay, but controlling it in dense, older communities is challenging and costly.

The "Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns" grants are underwritten by nearly $3 million from the state, more than $600,000 from EPA and the rest from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, a nonprofit funded through state tax checkoffs and sales of bay license plates.

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