Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 16, 2007) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announces Board of Public Works approval of $2,985,000 in grants to upgrade Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) to Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) in six Maryland Counties. The Board is comprised of Governor Ehrlich, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller William D. Schaefer.

“Nutrient removal at these wastewater treatment plants is critical to achieving nutrient reductions discharged into the Chesapeake Bay,” said Kendl P. Philbrick, secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). “We serve Marylanders to protect and restore the state’s natural resources - it has been Governor Ehrlich’s top priority. These grants are significant in expediting the technological advancements in reducing nutrient flow to the Bay.”

The awarded grant amounts will be used to for planning and design of Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) facilities to upgrade in the following WWTPs for the purpose of removing nitrogen from treated water:

  • $1 million – awarded for the design of ENR facilities at the Cumberland WWTP, in Allegany County

  • $325,000 – awarded for design of ENR facilities at the Damascus WWTP a Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Facility in Montgomery County

  • $1 million – awarded for plant reevaluation and design of the ENR facilities at the Western Branch WWTP, (a WSSC facility) in Prince George’s County

  • $50,000 – awarded for planning of ENR upgrade at the Emmitsburg WWTP in Frederick County

  • $510,000 – awarded for planning and design of the ENR facilities at Leonardtown WWTP in St. Mary’s County

  • $100,000 – awarded for the planning study to upgrade the existing facility at Freedom District WWTP in Carroll County.

Once complete, these plants will be able to remove nitrogen to achieve an effluent goal of 3 milligrams per liter of total nitrogen and total phosphorus down to 0.3 milligrams per liter before discharging to the tributaries and waterbodies that empty into the Chesapeake Bay. Excess nutrients lead to degraded water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.

The estimated project costs total nearly $78.8 million in combined funding from grants, state revolving fund loans and local share.

These ENR upgrade projects are in various stages of planning and design and are expected to be complete and operational by 2011.