Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (November 21, 2002) – Governor Parris N. Glendening yesterday announced Board of Public Works approval of a $300,000 grant for Allegany County to upgrade and expand its Celanese Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“We are taking aggressive action to protect and preserve our precious Chesapeake Bay while improving the quality of life for all Marylanders,” said Governor Glendening. “This project is consistent with Maryland’s commitment to reduce the amount of nutrients being discharged to the Chesapeake Bay, improving aquatic habitat in that irreplaceable jewel that is the centerpiece of our State.”

The grant will be used to install a biological nutrient removal (BNR) facility at the plant, improving its ability to remove nitrogen from treated water, as well as expand the treatment plant’s capacity to 2 million gallons per day to provide for growth projected to occur in the area over the next few years. Once complete, the plant will be able to remove nitrogen to a seasonal average level of 8 milligrams per liter and phosphorus down to 2 milligrams per liter before discharging to the Potomac River.
On Nov. 14, Governor Glendening announced an Enhanced Nutrient Removal policy established by Executive Order that will utilize technological advances in BNR to enhance Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay region-leading nutrient reduction program by preventing an additional 7.5 million pounds of nitrogen and 220,000 pounds of phosphorus from entering the Bay from wastewater treatment plants each year. Excess nutrients lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.

The total cost of the Celanese project is more than $13.7 million, of which $7 million is the local share of the cost. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), through its Water Quality Infrastructure Program, will assist the town with a low interest loan, additional grants and financial support from other sources to round out funding of the project. More than $2.25 million was previously appropriated for the project.

“We appreciate the state partnering with us to complete this important plant upgrade,” said Vance Ishler, Allegany County Administrator. “The project will enable us to do our part in reducing nutrient flow to the Chesapeake Bay.”

Construction of the upgrade is expected to begin this coming April and is slated for completion by June 2004.