LAWPCA Wins Environmental Excellence Award

In May, 2014, Lewiston-Auburn Water Pollution Control Authority (LAWPCA) won another honor for its AD & CHP program.

On May 6th, LAWPCA (a NEBRA member) was presented with a Maine 2014 Environmental Excellence Award, for voluntarily going beyond regulatory requirements for innovation in environmental sustainability. LAWPCA was recognized by Governor Paul R. LePage and Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho for its $14 million dollar anaerobic digestion and co-generation facility, which went operational in 2013.

By enhancing its wastewater treatment and solids processing facilities, LAWPCA has improved operations to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint The Authority is able to accept wastewater treatment solids from other facilities, thus diverting that material from landfills and uses methane produced as a by-product to make electricity from two turbine generators. As an added benefit, the heat is used to warm the sludge within the digesters, saving the Authority two-thirds of its electrical costs. This was all done without a sewer rate increase.

Authority Board Chair Phil Nadeau notes, “The Lewiston-Auburn Water Pollution Control Authority is pleased to accept this Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. We believe that the anaerobic digestion facilities can serve to compliment economic growth in the Twin Cities by keeping our treatment costs low; providing an opportunity to process wastes such as sewer grease and food processing wastes that would otherwise be difficult to dispose of; and generating renewable power. In addition to cutting the volume of solids leaving our wastewater treatment facilities for composting or farm field applications and generating nearly half of the power needed to run the treatment plant, we expect to reduce greenhouse gasses from our solids handling programs by 80 percent.”