Maryland Department of the EnvironmentMedia ContactsJeffrey R. Welsh(410) 537-3003Richard McIntire(410) 537-3012
EASTON, MD (November 4, 2004) – Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. and Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick and others launched a new era in the Chesapeake Bay’s restoration in events on Maryland’s Eastern Shore today. Governor Ehrlich and Secretary Philbrick joined Easton officials in a ceremony for the town’s new wastewater treatment facility, the first municipal plant to break ground since adoption of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Restoration Fund.“I am deeply committed to preserving the Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor Ehrlich. “The goal of my Bay Restoration Fund is simple: restore the Chesapeake Bay to its rightful status as a great national treasure, one which generations of Marylanders can both enjoy and protect.” The fund is the most innovative environmental legislation in the past two and a half decades, with the potential to remove nitrogen from wastewater treatment plant effluent to state-of-the-art levels. When all 66 major plants are upgraded with use of the fund, impact will be a 7.5 million pound annual reduction in nitrogen.“With the Bay Restoration Fund, each household invests $2.50 a month in the Bay’s recovery, less than it costs to buy a daily newspaper for a week,” Secretary Philbrick said. “That small household contribution, plus prorated contributions from businesses, will allow us to invest a billion dollars to help restore a bay that repays us economically, culturally and recreationally.”Hugh E. Grunden, president and CEO of Easton Utilities, said, "Easton has a long and distinguished history of deploying advanced technologies for the benefit of its citizens. Today's groundbreaking marks the beginning of another such effort. I am proud that this facility will serve Easton's needs for years to come while significantly reducing nitrogen and phosphorus, without generating an excess of sludge."Robert C. Willey, the mayor of Easton, said, "For the Town of Easton, this is the real deal. This state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility marks a significant investment not only in the future of the town, but also in the health of the local waterways that the town of Easton is committed to."
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