There are increasing reports of human health and environmental problems linked to land applications of municipal sewage sludge. Fifteen years ago internationally renowned soil scientists at the Cornell Waste Management Institute warned that the current regulations that govern sewage sludge applications “do not protect human health, agricultural productivity, or the environment.” New scientific studies confirm this, but despite growing public concern, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has not changed its current policy of promoting widespread land application of treated sewage sludge, putting our soils, surface water, groundwater, drinking water, crops, wildlife and human health at risk.
The 2nd public comment period on application VPA00076 runs from April 21 until June 17, 2016.
We strongly recommend that you submit your comments prior to the Public Hearing on June 8 and submit any further comments immediately afterward.
(also see https://www.facebook.com/MadisonSludgewatch/)
The EPA’s 2009 Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey concluded that all sewage sludge contains toxic and hazardous materials, including large numbers of endocrine disruptors. EPA found that dozens of hazardous materials, not regulated and not required to be tested for, have been documented in each and every one of the sludge samples EPA took around the USA. Regardless, hundreds of communities across the U.S. sell sludge products that are renamed “biosolids” and sold or given away as “organic fertilizer.”
Here’s a partial list of the chemicals and pathogens found in sludge:
- Alkylphenols and Alkylphenol Ethoxylates
- Dioxins and Furans
- Flame Retardants
- Metals and Non-Metallic Elements
- Perfluorinated Compounds
- Pharmaceuticals and Their Breakdown Products
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
- Other Chemicals and Pathogens
Here are some Sierra Club policies and guidance on sewage sludge: