Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 18, 2006) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announces Board of Public Works approval today of $3 million to continue financing the upgrade of Chestertown’s Wastewater Treatment Plant in Kent County. Today’s actions are in the form of a direct state grant and an allocation from the historic Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund. The Board is comprised of Governor Ehrlich, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller William D. Schaefer.

“Every grant and state loan dollar spent in such projects are an investment we must make,” Governor Ehrlich said. “They are an essential part of Maryland’s long-standing effort toward achieving our 40 percent reduction in the amount of nutrients being discharged to the bay.”Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.

The project at the Chestertown Wastewater Treatment Plant will consist of planning, designing and constructing biological nutrient removal and enhanced nutrient removal facilities that will reduce the plant’s total nitrogen removal to a yearly average of 3 milligrams per liter and 0.3 milligrams per liter for phosphorus. That’s an 83 percent reduction in nitrogen and a 90 percent decrease in phosphorus.

“The town of Chestertown is pleased to participate in Maryland’s Biological Nutrient Removal program and appreciates the Maryland Department of the Environment’s efforts to assist us with grants and loans,” said Chestertown Town Manager W. S. Ingersoll. “The Chester River is an extraordinary river with a rich colonial maritime history. It is incumbent upon us to insure that the Chester River is as clean as it can be for our own use and the use of future generations. Upgrade of the Chestertown wastewater treatment plant will definitely improve the river’s quality.”

The plant, which processes 900,000 gallons of effluent per day, serves more than 4,200 people.

Total cost of the project is more than $10.5 million, of which more than $2.1 million is the local share being paid by Chestertown. The state’s participation in the project, through the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Water Quality Infrastructure Program, is roughly $2.1 million. Anticipated future actions for the plant upgrade include a low interest State Revolving Loan. In the past, the Board has approved more than $1.4 million toward this effort. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant will round out funding of the project.

Construction is expected to begin in March with completion not expected until July 2007.