John SurrickDNR 410-260-8008
Charles F. PorcariRaquel GuilloryGovernor’s Press Office410-974-2316
ANNAPOLIS, MD (November 14, 2002) - Continuing his commitment to restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay, Governor Parris N. Glendening today signed an executive order instructing the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to develop and implement an Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) policy for wastewater treatment plants. The ENR policy will achieve 40-percent of the nitrogen reduction necessary to meet the new 2010 goal announced at the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council meeting two weeks ago. “This Executive Order will jump-start Maryland’s efforts as we continue to set the pace for the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor Glendening. “With Enhanced Nutrient Reduction, we will significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus coming out of our waste treatment plants. Today, Maryland takes a major step forward towards meeting our goals and insuring a legacy of environmental protection for our children of which we can all be proud.”“This Executive Order will jump-start Maryland’s efforts as we continue to set the pace for the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor Glendening. “With Enhanced Nutrient Reduction, we will significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus coming out of our waste treatment plants. Today, Maryland takes a major step forward towards meeting our goals and insuring a legacy of environmental protection for our children of which we can all be proud.”The Chesapeake 2000 Agreement was signed by the Governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the Mayor of Washington D.C., and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. The agreement is a blueprint for the protection and restoration of the Bay, with a goal by 2010, of improving water quality so that living resources can thrive.Effective immediately, the key requirements of the Executive Order are as follows:
The ENR policy established by this Executive Order will utilize technological advances in Biological Nutrient Reduction (BNR) to enhance Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay region-leading nutrient reduction program by preventing an additional 7.5 million pounds of nitrogen and 220,000 pounds of phosphorus from entering the Bay from wastewater treatment plants each year. Already, the major wastewater treatment plants in Maryland - which contribute more than 98-percent of the State’s total sewage flow to the Chesapeake Bay - have either installed or have signed agreements for the installation of BNR technology. To date, BNR technology already implemented at plants in Maryland has removed 14 million pounds of nitrogen and 1.4 million pounds of phosphorus. The Patuxent River, which was the first river in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to have fully implemented BNR technology, has seen significant improvements in water quality. Bay grasses, which once carpeted the shoreline, are beginning to return in the Bay’s upper reaches. “In the Patuxent watershed, we have demonstrated that reducing nutrient discharges from wastewater treatment plants can significantly improve water quality,” said Bernie Fowler, former State Senator and longtime champion of improving water quality in the Patuxent River. “While it is clear that more still needs to be done, we have shown that it is within our power to restore the health of the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay. These wastewater treatment plant reductions are a giant step in the right direction and will play an important role in achieving our goals.”Funding the upgrades required to meet the new standards will require a combination of State grants and loans, and local and federal funding. The cost for the average household is expected to be between $5 and $14 per year on their wastewater bill.Throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and in Maryland, wastewater treatment plants are the second largest source of nutrient pollution, following agriculture. Achieving the remaining portion of the nutrient reduction goals will require reductions including reducing run off from farms and urban areas, improved septic systems, and reducing air pollution from automobiles.
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