Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 31, 2005) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of a $2.5 million grant from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund for Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) technology installation at the Celanese Wastewater Treatment Facility in Allegany County. The Board is comprised of Governor Ehrlich, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller William D. Schaefer.

“This is another integral step in our critical effort to reduce nutrient amounts being discharged into the Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor Ehrlich. “The fund improves service quality to our citizens, while simultaneously protecting and restoring the state’s natural resources - a top priority for this administration.”

The project involved planning, design and construction of ENR facilities and expanding the existing 1.25 millions gallons per day (mgd) plant to 1.66 mgd. The upgrade lowers Nitrogen levels to 3 milligrams per liter (mg/l) total discharge and lowers phosphorous to 0.3mg/l. This will reduce nutrients discharged to the Potomac River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.

“The Maryland Department of the Environment’s continued partnership with Allegany County is giving us the ability to reduce nutrient flows to the Chesapeake Bay,” said Allegany County Administrator Vance Ishler. “The new construction, made possible through the increase in ENR grant money, has greatly improved our plant effluent.”

In addition to more than $2 million in Bay Restoration Funds being submitted to the Board of Public Works for approval, a loan of $8.9 million to Allegany County from the state revolving fund, administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment, with other state grants, of which $4.7 million has already been approved by the board, will finance the project.

Dedication ceremonies for the completed project were held Aug. 25.