Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 31, 2003) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. announced Board of Public Works approval yesterday of $1 million grant to Cecil County to upgrade the existing Northeast River Wastewater Treatment Plant with a biological nutrient removal (BNR) system.

“These types of improvements are a cornerstone of our environmental efforts and are essential to making sure Maryland achieves the nutrient reduction goals set in the Chesapeake Bay Agreement,” Governor Ehrlich said. “Locally, water quality to Big Elk Creek will progress as a result of this project.”

Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.

The project upgrade to the Northeast River Wastewater Treatment Plant includes the planning, design and construction of a full-scale BNR facility so it can achieve a goal of removing total nitrogen to a seasonal average of 3 milligrams per liter (mg/l), using biological treatment and will also take into account the ability to treat total phosphorus levels to 0.3 mg/l.

The total cost of the project is estimated at more than $7.88 million, of which $5.9 million is the local share. The state, through the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Water Quality Infrastructure Program, previously contributed $900,000 to the project.

“Without the professional help and funding that we receive, Cecil County would not be able to meet its future infrastructure needs,” said David Hollenbaugh, deputy director of Cecil County’s Department of Public Works. “ Again we would like to thank everyone very much for their support.”

Construction on the upgrade began late last year and is expected to be complete by September of next year.