HRSD’s Launch of Nutrient Recovery Facility Lauded as ‘Great Day for Chesapeake Bay’
KEYNOTE ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR. JOINS STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT DIGNITARIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORITIES AT GRAND OPENING OF HRSD STRUVITE RECOVERY FACILITY AT NANSEMOND TREATMENT PLANT IN SUFFOLK, VA.
SUFFOLK, VA–(Marketwire – May 29, 2010) – At a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday for the unveiling of Hampton Roads Sanitation District’s (HRSD) new Struvite Recovery Facility at their Nansemond Treatment Plant, keynote speaker Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. lauded this as a great day for the Chesapeake Bay.
Said Kennedy, “Nature is the infrastructure of our communities, and nature is on everyone’s minds with the unofficial start of summer beginning this Memorial Day weekend.”
The ceremony marked the official unveiling of the first facility in the fragile Chesapeake Bay Watershed to benefit from the innovative new technology developed and built by Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, Inc. Ostara’s technology recovers nutrients, including phosphorus and nitrogen, from the HRSD Nansemond Treatment Plant’s wastewater solids recycle stream and transforms them into an environmentally-friendly, commercial fertilizer called Crystal Green®.
“What HRSD and Ostara are doing here together is a new model for a progressive public/private partnership,” said Kennedy, a noted environmental attorney and Ostara Board Member representing VantagePoint Venture Partners, which is an investor in the company. “It increases the treatment plant’s capacity and improves production efficiencies, with an added environmental benefit.”
Facts and Highlights
In a pilot program at HRSD in 2006-2007, the Ostara Pearl® process recovered more than 85% of the phosphorus from the plant’s solids processing for conversion into fertilizer. The commercial facility, now operational, has the capacity to produce one million pounds of Crystal Green annually.
An essential nutrient, phosphorus, along with other nutrients found in wastewater are a threat to clean water, but are also needed to grow an abundant food supply. However, as scientists predict that the world’s reserves of phosphorus could be depleted within the next 30-100 years, Thursday’s announcement is particularly important. Ostara’s technology is enhancing HRSD’s efforts to keep excess nutrients out of waterways (protecting the James River and Chesapeake Bay) and is recovering this finite resource from a sustainable source (wastewater).
Excessive nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus, have been identified by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as one of the most serious water quality problems affecting the Bay today.
Video footage shows keynote, speeches and acknowledgements and ribbon cutting ceremony. Core technology and fertilizer footage are also included. Download or view broadcast quality footage at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkGtSSsmxfA.
Event Speakers & Supporting Quotes
– Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Keynote, Ostara Board Member and Partner, VantagePoint Venture Partners:
“Everyone here is concerned with the nutrient loads that are degrading the resources of this state. Phosphorus is the most ubiquitous and costly problem affecting our waterways.”
“Typically, 80% of the phosphorus from a fertilizer application winds up in the Chesapeake Bay. Ostara’s fertilizer product made from wastewater (the only sustainable source of phosphorus) changes that.”
“The public owns the waterways and no one has a right to injure them. Those ideas date back to the Magna Carta and are a key element of our Constitution. Don’t let our children pay for our joyride with the environment.”
– Ted Henifin, General Manager, HRSD:
“We are discovering more and more the high cost of protecting our environment, and I applaud HRSD and Ostara for opening this innovative new facility. Wayne Gretzky said that you fail 100% of the time if you never take the shot. When HRSD and Ostara took the shot, they were backed up by a great team.”
– Phillip Abrary, CEO and President, Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, Inc.:
“It’s an amazing testament to the teams at HRSD and Ostara that we signed this agreement in November of 2009 and we are launching it today. When I first met HRSD and discussed this project with them, they really embraced this new approach as a way to enhance what they were already doing to protect the environment from excess nutrients.”
– Mayor Linda T. Johnson, Suffolk, Va.:
“We are proud of this plant today. This public/private partnership between HRSD and Ostara will help reduce the human impact on our environment. We are making great strides to live in harmony with our environment.”
– Kevin Fletcher, Ph.D., Executive Director, Audubon International:
“Ostara’s Pearl Process at the Nansemond Treatment Plant will help to protect the Chesapeake Bay and its adjoining waterways from harmful nutrient levels. Crystal Green can also strengthen this commitment by delivering a slow-release fertilizer that combats excessive phosphorus release which will work to keep local waterways clean and habitable.”
Government Dignitaries & Environmental Authorities Attending
The grand opening ceremony was attended by dignitaries including the Honorable Linda T. Johnson, Mayor of the City of Suffolk; the Honorable Mamie Locke, Virginia State Senator; Jeannie Evans from the Office of U.S. Senator Jim Webb; Skip Zobel from the Office of U.S. Senator Mark Warner; and Curtis Byrd, from the Office of U.S. Representative Randy Forbes.
Also in attendance were Frank Daniel, Regional Director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality; Dr. John Wells, Dean and Director of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science; Christy Everett, Regional Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Hampton Roads; Chuck Frederickson, Lower James Riverkeeper; Dave Burden, Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper; Michael Helfrich, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper; Diana Muller, South Riverkeeper; and Kathy Phillips, Assateague Coastkeeper.
About Hampton Roads Sanitation District
Since its creation in 1940, HRSD has been dedicated to protecting public health and the waters of Hampton Roads by treating wastewater effectively. The regional utility’s service area includes 17 cities and counties of southeast Virginia, an area of over 3,100 square miles with a population of 1.6 million. Wastewater flows through municipal collection systems to HRSD’s interceptor system. This network of pipelines and pump stations conveys the flow to 13 treatment plants, which have a combined capacity of 249 million gallons per day (MGD).
The Nansemond Treatment Plant, which began operation in 1983, is a 30 MGD facility that features a biological nutrient removal process. The plant, located in Suffolk, Virginia, has received national awards for outstanding compliance with its environmental permits for 22 consecutive years. For more information, visit www.hrsd.com.
About Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, Inc.
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, Inc. is a Vancouver-based company developing and marketing proprietary technologies that recover nutrients from liquid wastewater and transform them into an environmentally-friendly slow-release fertilizer, called Crystal Green®.
Ostara’s water technology, named Pearl® Nutrient Recovery Process, reduces the amount of pollutants released into the environment while creating a beneficial fertilizer product. Ostara is backed by VantagePoint Venture Partners in the U.S. and Frog Capital in the UK. In September 2009, Ostara was named one of the Top 100 Global CleanTech Companies by The Guardian, a London-based media group. For more information: visit www.ostara.com and www.crystalgreen.com.
Director of Corporate Communications
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc.
Office: (604) 408-6697 x404
Mobile: (604) 240-3196
Nancy L. Munnikhuysen
HRSD Chief of Communications
Office: (757) 460-7058
Mobile: (757) 642-1321