Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 13, 2002) - Governor Parris N. Glendening today announced Board of Public Works approval of a grant totaling more than $1.3 million for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) to complete the Blue Plains Sludge Composting Facility.
"Protecting Maryland's environment and preserving our natural resources remain top priorities," said Governor Glendening. "This grant because it will allow WSSC to do its part in reducing the amount of pollutants being discharged from the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Potomac River."

The project at the plant includes the planning, design and construction of sludge composting facilities, which include degritting, thickening, dewatering, chemical conditioning equipment, filter presses and sludge loading components.

In keeping with the objectives of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement, officials are positive the Blue Plains project will help improve water quality in the bay. "Providing essential services to our customers and protecting the environment are what we do every day," said WSSC General Manager John R. Griffin. "This advanced treatment facility helps us fulfill our mission while further strengthening WSSC's ongoing efforts to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries."

The total cost of the project is $26.54 million, of which $2.93 million is the local share being paid WSSC. The grant approved today increases the state's participation in the project to more than $3.26 million. The District of Columbia actually owns and operates the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, but a portion of WSSC's wastewater is transported to Blue Plains for treatment and disposal. WSSC is responsible for 46 percent of the plant's capacity and shares operation and maintenance costs of the facility. WSSC is among the 10 largest water and wastewater utilities in the nation, serving 1.6 million customers in Prince George's and Montgomery counties.