Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 31, 2005) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of two grants totaling more than $9 million to upgrade the Easton Wastewater Treatment Facility in Talbot County to Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR). A more than $8.6 million grant will come from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund and another of $461,403 will cover biological nutrient removal expenses. The Board is comprised of Governor Ehrlich, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller William D. Schaefer.

“The reduction of excess nutrient discharges to the Chesapeake Bay is in full force, as more wastewater treatment facilities are efficiently operating under Maryland Department of the Environment’s guidelines,” said Governor Ehrlich. “The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund is a model for how to help our largest point sources expedite wastewater treatment technology.”

The upgrade will help the plant achieve an annual effluent concentration goal of 3 milligrams per liter (mg/l) for total Nitrogen and 0.3 mg/l for phosphorous, before discharging to the Choptank River. Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries. The project also involves expanding the existing wastewater treatment plant capacity from 2.35 to 4.0 million gallons per day.

“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 Robert C. Wiley, mayor of Easton. “Without the considerable support from the State of Maryland, Easton would not have been able to construct a facility with this level of treatment.”

The total cost of the upgrade is more than $38.9 million, of which more than $20 million will be the local share financed from the state revolving fund administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Water Quality Infrastructure Program. The upgrade’s completion date is anticipated to be December 2006.