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Sussex County Receives Regional Award for Environmental Excellence

Release Date: 11/14/2008
Contact Information: Donna Heron (215) 814-5113

(PHILADELPHIA, November 14, 2008) Donald S. Welsh, Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mid-Atlantic Region, today presented Sussex County, Del. with EPA’s regional environmental excellence award for their outstanding operation and maintenance of the South Coastal regional wastewater treatment plant.

Many significant improvements in our nations water quality can be attributed to better wastewater treatment. This award recognizes the outstanding job that Sussex County, plant staff, and trainers are doing to operate a state-of-the-art treatment plant, said Welsh.

EPA’s award honors the staff involved in the day-to-day operations of the facility, and recognizes local officials for their commitment to maintain and protect their communitys environment.

“Sussex County is honored to receive this award, and to be a leader among thousands of other operators across the mid-Atlantic region,” Sussex County Administrator David B. Baker said. “I believe this distinction being awarded twice in the last decade is a testament to our employees’ skills and their consistency in providing a quality, necessary service to the people of Sussex County.”

The county recently spent $19 million to upgrade and expand the facility and an additional $3.5 million to upgrade biosolids treatment. Prior to the upgrade, the plant had problems with sludge bulking. The plant transforms solids into a product called “coastal blend” which is distributed to farmers. The plant has been in compliance with its discharge permit since the new plant came on-line.

Welsh said the management and staff of the South Coastal wastewater treatment plant are to be congratulated for their professionalism and determination. He said its evident that the staff involved in the operations of the facility are highly trained and devoted to the environment.