ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 15, 2006) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. announced Board of Public Works approval today of several grants and a state-sponsored low interest loan totaling more than $11.3 million for the Town of Indian Head’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (Charles County) to upgrade to an enhanced nutrient removal (ENR) system. A large part of the funding comes from Governor Ehrlich’s Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund (BRF), a cornerstone of the Governor’s environmental agenda.
“This upgrade will dramatically reduce the amount of nutrients being discharged into Mattawoman Creek, the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay,” Governor Ehrlich said, “furthering our commitment to achieve reduction goals set in the Chesapeake Bay 2000 Agreement.”
Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.
The project upgrade to Indian Head’s existing wastewater treatment plant includes the planning, design and construction of a full-scale ENR facility so it can achieve a goal of removing total nitrogen to a goal of 3 milligrams per liter (mg/l) and total phosphorus to 0.3 mg/l.
Total cost of the project is roughly $14.2 million. The Board’s approval included a BRF grant of $6.4 million, a state revolving loan of $3.7 million and a biological nutrient removal grant worth $1.2 million. The state has previously given more than $2.4 million toward the upgrade. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant and today’s action will complete financing of the project.
“The Town of Indian Head is pleased to be among the first communities to upgrade their sewage treatment plant to meet new higher standards to help restore the Chesapeake Bay,” said Indian Head Town Manager Steve Sager. “As a peninsula town bordered by the Potomac and Mattawoman rivers, we are particularly aware of the importance of healthy waterways and the benefits they can bring.”
Construction on the upgrade is expected to begin next month with completion anticipated in May 2008.