Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 21, 2005) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced yesterday Board of Public Works approval of a more than $2.3 million grant to upgrade the Talbot County Region II (St. Michael’s) Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Board is comprised of Governor Ehrlich, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller William D. Schaefer.

“The funds approved today are an essential part of my Administration’s plan to reduce nutrients discharged to the Chesapeake Bay by 40 percent, while also improving local water quality to the Miles River,” said Governor Ehrlich.

The Region II Wastewater Treatment Plant project consists of planning, designing and constructing Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) technology to upgrade the existing 500,000 gallons per day facility to accommodate 660,000 gallons per day. This will lower nitrogen levels to 3 milligrams per liter (mg/l) and phosphorous to 0.3mg/l. Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.

“These improvements will assist the citizens of Talbot County and the State of Maryland in achieving improved water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries,” said Talbot County Council President, Hope R. Harrington. “Without ENR grant funding and financial assistance through the State Revolving Fund for low-interest loans provided by Maryland Department of the Environment [MDE], the county could not pursue the improvements.”

The total cost of the project is $7.3 million financed through a combination of low interest state loans and grants from the Water Quality Infrastructure Program, both administered by the MDE and a contribution from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Design work began in June 2004, but the project has an August 2006 completion date.