Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 6, 2004) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announces Board of Public Works approval of more than $35 million to support upgrade of the Easton Wastewater Treatment Plant in Talbot County.

“The funds approved today are an essential part of Maryland’s effort to achieve a 40 percent reduction in the amount of nutrients discharged to the Chesapeake Bay, while also improving local water quality to the Choptank River,” Governor Ehrlich said.

The project at the Easton Wastewater Treatment Plant will consist of planning, designing and constructing a biological and enhanced nutrient removal (BNR/ENR) facility that will reduce the plant’s total nitrogen removal to a yearly average of 3 milligrams per liter and .3 milligrams per liter for phosphorus. Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.

Easton’s wastewater facility’s capacity will also be expanded to handle 4 million gallons per day as part of the upgrade process.

“Easton has a deep commitment to a healthier Chesapeake Bay and we look forward to building one of the state’s most environmentally friendly wastewater treatment facilities,” said Easton Mayor Robert C. Wiley. “Without this considerable support from the State of Maryland, we would not be able to construct a facility with this level of treatment.”

The total cost of the project is $35.77 million of which $8.47 million is a grant from the Water Quality Infrastructure Program while the remainder will come from a State Revolving Loan Fund, both administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Design work began last spring but construction is expected to get underway later this month. An April 2006 completion date is proposed.