Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (November 12, 2003) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich announced Board of Public Works approval yesterday of a $831,751 grant for the Town of Leonardtown (St. Mary’s County) to continue work to upgrade the municipality’s wastewater treatment plant to a biological nutrient removal (BNR) system.

“Nutrient removal at the Leonardtown plant is crucial to the success of Maryland’s effort to achieve critical reductions in the amount of nutrients being discharged into the Chesapeake Bay,” Governor Ehrlich said. “Improving the quality of service to Marylanders while at the same time protecting and strengthening the state’s natural resources is a top priority.”

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

The project upgrade to Leonardtown’s wastewater treatment plant includes the design and construction of facilities to allow the 680,000 gallons-per-day plant to achieve BNR to an annual average level of 8 milligrams per liter of total nitrogen and 1 milligram per liter of phosphorus.

“Leonardtown is proud of their commitment to the quality of service and environmental sensitivity for their residents and fellow citizens,” said Leonardtown Mayor J. Harry Norris, III. “This town-state partnership makes projects such as the BNR upgrade financially feasible for small towns in these economically challenging times.”

The total cost of the project is more than $4.2 million. The grant dollars will come from the Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) Water Quality Infrastructure Program. MDE previously awarded the town $802,500 in funding for the project. The remaining balance of the costs will be provided through a state revolving loan and local participation. Construction on the upgrade began in September 2001 and is slated for completion this month.