Maine DEP To Help Break Ground On Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility In Aroostook County

August 9, 2012

Nick Archer, DEP Northern Maine Regional Office Director, / (207) 760-3139 or Samantha DePoy-Warren, DEP Director of Communications, / (207) 287-5842

ST AGATHA – Officials from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and USDA Rural Development will join leaders from St Agatha and Frenchville to celebrate the combining of the two towns' wastewater treatment facilities at a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 11 a.m.

This project will bring the two communities together in a regional partnership with a single wastewater facility located in Frenchville, eliminating discharges to the St. John River and Long Lake, a valuable salmon fishery.

The total estimated cost of the project is just over $3.2 million and is made possible by funding from three different agencies. It is expected to be completed in late summer 2013 when St Agatha will officially begin sending its wastewater to Frenchville for treatment.

The Maine Department of Environmental Projection has awarded the project just over $1.6 million in grant funding and principal loan forgiveness through its Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund. The DEP funds will be used to update the treatment facility as well as a section of force main and a couple pump stations improvements in Frenchville.

“By moving from two separated, aged wastewater treatment systems to a shared, state-of-the-art facility, the towns of St. Agatha and Frenchville are ensuring a safer and more sustainable future for their communities. The Maine DEP is proud to have played a part in this project and applaud these two communities for their commitment to the proactive protection of public and environmental health that we at the department so value,” said Nick Archer, DEP’s Northern Maine Regional Director who will attend the ceremony along with DEP Bureau of Land & Water Quality Director Mick Kuhns and Engineering Services Manager John True.

USDA Rural Development has provided a loan/grant commitment of just over $1.1 million to the project to assist with the conversion of the treatment plant to a pumping facility.

USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “I am pleased that USDA Rural Development could assist in the funding of this critical project that will benefit the residents of these two rural communities. This is a shining example of partnership and collaboration at its best, not only on the part of St Agatha and Frenchville, but on the part of the partners who worked together to make this vital project a success.”

Maine's Department of Economic and Community Development also awarded the Town of St Agatha $500,000 grant from its State Community Development Block Grant program. These funds will be used to repair about one mile of service line and connections on Main Street in St Agatha.