Press Release

ST. MICHAELS, MD (January 21, 2005) – The steady march toward a cleaner Chesapeake Bay continued today as Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., key cabinet secretaries, state and local elected officials, and members of the business community and watermen witnessed the signing of a cooperative agreement to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant serving St. Michaels and surrounding areas in Talbot County.

“When completed this facility will serve as another significant step towards our lasting commitment of producing a healthy Chesapeake Bay and cleaner environment,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Every Bay Restoration Fund, state grant and state loan dollar spent in such projects is an investment we can’t afford not to make. They are an essential part of our long-standing effort toward achieving Maryland’s Chesapeake 2000 Agreement commitment to reduce the amount of nutrients being discharged to the Bay from our state by 19.5 million pounds per year.”

The project for the Talbot County Region II Wastewater Treatment Plant, located in St. Michaels, includes the construction of Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) facilities to achieve total nitrogen and phosphorus removal to yearly averages of 3 milligrams per liter (mg/l) and expanding the plant’s capacity from 500,000 to 660,000 gallons per day.

The upgrade of the plant will reduce nitrogen loading to the Miles River by an estimated 30,000 pounds per year and phosphorus by roughly 1,400 pounds per year, ultimately resulting in nutrient reductions for the Chesapeake Bay.

“Improving water quality in the bay’s tributaries is critical in tackling our water pollution problems,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick. “We must do all we can to safeguard the Chesapeake and its living resources that have sustained this region's economy, defined its traditions and culture.”

Construction is expected begin in October 2005 with the project’s completion coming near the end of 2007. Total project cost is approximately $10 million, which will be funded by the Bay Restoration Fund, State Grants, and the State Revolving Loan Fund.