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Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager Travels to PA for Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Tour

Mac Curtis (left), owner of Windview Farm in Port Treverton, explains to Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager how his farm has benefited from the promising technology of a poultry litter incinerator that reduces his energy costs and the amount of nutrients flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.

Mac Curtis (left), owner of Windview Farm in Port Treverton, explains to Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager how his farm has benefited from the promising technology of a poultry litter incinerator that reduces his energy costs and the amount of nutrients flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.

On a crisp, fall-like day in August, Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager travelled to Pennsylvania to tour two USDA funded facilities that are helping to reduce the amount of nutrients flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. The first stop on the tour was Windview Farm where owner Mac Curtis has revolutionized his poultry farm with a $100,000 Conservation Innovation Grant from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The project demonstrates the promising technology of a poultry litter incinerator to produce energy and nutrient management benefits.  Last year, in addition to reducing 400 tons of poultry litter to 30 tons of ash, the farm saved 90% of their propane costs.

The next stop on the tour was Milton Regional Sewer Authority (MRSA), currently described by the designers as one of the world’s first wastewater-to-energy projects.  George Myers, MRSA’s Superintendent, provided a briefing on plans for a new state-of-the-art treatment facility funded in part by a $34,132,400 Rural Development Water & Environmental Program loan under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2010 and an additional $25,000,000 this year. The funding will result in a 180-degree upgrade to the treatment complex that will turn high-strength influent streams into energy and money while reducing nitrogen and phosphorus loading to the Chesapeake Bay.

George Myers (left), Milton Regional Sewer Authority Superintendent, explains to Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager how the wastewater is currently treated at the existing facility. Construction begins for a state-of-the-art facility this fall that will reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading to the Chesapeake Bay.

George Myers (left), Milton Regional Sewer Authority Superintendent, explains to Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager how the wastewater is currently treated at the existing facility. Construction begins for a state-of-the-art facility this fall that will reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading to the Chesapeake Bay.

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