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Penobscot Bay Press
Community Information Services

News Feature

Washington, D.C.
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, December 1, 2022
Golden announces $4 million in USDA loans and grants for treatment plant

Congressman Jared Golden has announced that USDA Rural Development has awarded a loan of $2.75 million and a grant of $1.25 million to the town of Blue Hill for upgrades and repairs to its wastewater treatment plant. The funding would go towards much-needed repairs to the facility that Golden has been working with local leaders to secure for the past year. The total budget for upgrades at the 47-year-old facility exceeds $5 million.

“As I saw in my visit to the plant in August, the last few years of rising tides in Blue Hill Harbor have left the plant in need of some upgrades and repairs,” said Golden in a press release. “The USDA funding will go a long way to ensuring that the families and businesses in Blue Hill can continue to count on safe water.”

Golden met with local leaders and toured the facility in August.

Open since 1975 and last upgraded in 2000, Blue Hill’s wastewater treatment facility is showing its age and has been impacted by rising tide levels from the surrounding waters. Earlier this year, Golden passed $1 million in Community Project Funding for the facility through the House, although it remains unclear whether the Senate will act on the House-passed legislation.

According to information from USDA Rural Development, “This Rural Development investment will be used to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility in the Town of Blue Hill to address immediate needs primarily consisting of replacement of failing equipment, which has reached the end of its useful life. Generators will be added and equipment replaced at the town’s two pump stations….While the plant is currently working well and routinely meeting its effluent discharge license requirements, the equipment at the facility is either 46 years old if original, or 21 years old if part of the upgrade. This raises a concern given that the expected useful life of wastewater treatment process equipment is typically considered to be 20 years. While the town’s wastewater treatment plant continues to serve the community well, its age and its location along the shore are valid concerns that should be considered as a high priority.”