Department of the Environment to hold additional public meeting on sewage sludge permit applications in Cecil County

For Immediate Release:

BALTIMORE, MD (October 30, 2013) –  The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has scheduled an additional public meeting on sewage sludge utilization permit applications for four properties in Cecil County. MDE conducted a meeting on the applications as required under law in August and is conducting an additional meeting at the request of the Cecil County Council.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, November 7, 2013, at the Elk Room, Cecil County Administration Building, 200 Chesapeake Boulevard in Elkton.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide an additional opportunity for the public to obtain information on the permit applications and MDE’s review process. Representatives of MDE and the applicant, Synagro Central, LLC, will be available to answer questions.

Under law, MDE sends notice of any sewage sludge utilization permit application to the local jurisdiction, which can request a public informational meeting. Cecil County requested a meeting on these applications, and MDE conducted a meeting on August 21. MDE representatives also provided additional information and responded to questions during the Cecil County Council work session onSeptember 24.

The new and renewal Sewage Sludge Utilization permit applications are to land apply treated sewage sludge generated from various wastewater treatment plants at agricultural rates at:

  • the Adelaide P. Ernest Life Estate/Patricia E. & Douglas E. Ford Trustees Property (CE 1), Wards Hill Road near Warwick
  • the Ralph Gooner and Thomas Crouse Property (CE 2), Grove Neck Road near Earleville
  • the Spry Brothers Inc. Property (CE 15), Feeder Road near Elkton
  • the John L. and the Marcia L. Harnish Property (CE 20), Liberty Grove Road near Conowingo


Permit applications for two other properties were withdrawn after the August meeting.

MDE has provided copies of the pending applications to the County Executive and County Council of Cecil County and the Cecil County Environmental Health Department. These applications and supporting documents are available for public review at these County offices and at MDE by appointment.

Sewage sludge (also known as biosolids) is not sewage. It is a form of fertilizer. It is one of the final products of the treatment of sewage at a wastewater treatment plant. After treatment breaks down the organic matter and kills disease-causing organisms, the remaining fine particles ultimately become sewage sludge. The application of sewage sludge to land returns essential nutrients to the soil, adds organic matter, and can improve the tillability and moisture retention capability of the soil. A sewage sludge utilization permit is required for any person who collects, incinerates, stores, treats, applies to land, transports or disposes of sewage sludge in Maryland. More information is available on MDE’s website at .