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County Executive Owens Announces Memorandum of Understanding with the State

Upgrading Water Reclamation Facilities

Annapolis, MD (November 28, 2006) - Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens announced a Memorandum of Understanding with the State that obligates Anne Arundel County to upgrade all seven of its water reclamation facilities. In order to meet Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Restoration goals, the facilities are being upgraded to Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) with grants from the State's Bay Restoration Fund.

"With more than 500 miles of shoreline, the benefits of this agreement include significant funding and tremendous contributions to the overall Chesapeake Bay restoration," said County Executive Owens. "I believe it sets an example for the other major wastewater plants in the state to follow."

Anne Arundel County owns and operates seven water reclamation facilities, which currently meet or exceed seasonal Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) goals set by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). These Goals apply to the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus to levels of 8 mg/1 and 2mg/1 respectively. Additional reduction of nutrients by treatment facilities (point sources) is desired, and Maryland has implemented a strategy known as Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) which will further reduce treatment effluent to 3mg/1nitrogen and 0.3mg/1 phosphorous.

The Bay Restoration Fund allows MDE to provide grant funding to upgrade wastewater treatment facilities in order to achieve ENR. The grant funding will cover 100% of the cost to convert to ENR. As a condition of the grants, Anne Arundel County must operate the upgraded facility in a manner that optimizes the nutrient removal capability. The County estimates the cost to upgrade all seven plants could be in excess of 100-million dollars.

"Upgrading Maryland's major sewage treatment plants to achieve ENR is Governor Ehrlich's top environmental priority," said Maryland Secretary of the Environment Kendl P. Philbrick. "Governor Ehrlich proposed and signed the Bay Restoration Act, which provides the funding that makes these upgrades possible. I applaud Anne Arundel County for taking this important step today toward cleaning up Chesapeake Bay."

The agreement binds the County and State to make its best effort to initiate construction of all facilities by December 2011, subject to State/County funding.

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