Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (November 21, 2002) – Governor Parris N. Glendening yesterday announced Board of Public Works approval of a $1.3 million grant for the City of Fruitland to upgrade and expand the municipality’s 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 of the treatment plant’s capacity to 800,000 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 level of 8 milligrams per liter before discharging to the Wicomico 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.

“With these funds, Fruitland can afford to build a plant sized to meet our immediate needs and to provide capacity fro development in line with Smart Growth objectives,” said Fruitland City Council President Ted Lokey. “The Fruitland City Council appreciates the opportunity to work closely with the Maryland Department of the Environment to provide quality wastewater treatment, not only to promote public health, but to offer incentives to citizens to live in designated growth areas where public services are available.”

The total cost of the project is more than $7.7 million, of which $1.87 million is the local share of the cost. The Maryland Department of the Environment, through its Water Quality Infrastructure Program, will assist the town with a low interest loan and additional grants while a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant will round out funding of the project.

Construction on the upgrade began last December September and is slated for completion by March 2003.