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Class B bio-solids  RSS feed

 
Marianne Cicala
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In case you are not familiar with this filth being spread throughout rural USA by DEQ (a govit agency) please check your area and raise bloody hell. "Farmers" have to file for a permit to spread this human waste, which is barely processed, cleaned nor composted. In southern VA, waste from Manhattan, DC and Baltimore is being peddled to farmers are "free fertilizer" that the govit will pay to spread, coat with lime and seed with a cover crop of hay if they want. Or it they don't want hay, they must wait 90 days before planting. There was a passionate meeting with our county's Board of Supervisors, who passed a motion to disallow the spreading of Class B biosolids. DEQ made it clear, that no municipality can control a permit that DEQ approves for the spreading of Biosolids on a farmer's land. NC State University did a study showing groundwater being effected; Cornell spent 3 years doing studies which showed 100% of the sites they sampled (coast to coast) had notable levels of radiation, parasitic worms,pharmaceuticals, pathogens and 100s of bacteria. They presented their findings to Congress last year, who of course appointed a committee to investigate. The committee shelved it for a later date. Cornell also made mention of respiratory issues (several resulted in death) which they feel is directly related to this. Think about it - every person in a hospital flushes, ever poor soul on chemotherapy flushes, every stomach bug gets flushed..... There is no segregation for toilets,not even in isolation in a hospital. At the end of the day, these municipalities are "gifting" their crap to rural America, the ground water, springs, creeks, streams, rivers etc.
 
allen lumley
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A good friend was bought several extra months to 'put his affairs in order' with Chemo- And I think used the time wisely, he was told to always
put the seat down after he urinated, AND keep the bathroom door closed to prevent any attempt by pets in the household to take a drink!

This IS what finds its way onto a municipal waste treatment facility, I could live with this being used for 'greening the desert' if clearly marked as such,
but we do have a RIGHT to know what IS being spread in our neighborhoods !

This gives a whole new meaning to the term Toxic Gick! For the Good of the Planet, The People, and tomorrows children ! Big AL
 
Marianne Cicala
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I can only hope that enough permies read this and explore their own county's spreading of this - it's been quietly spread in our county for over a decade and I just found out about it. Please please explore this deadly government practice and help put a stop to it by calling out your representatives. I truly hope they would care more than our local guy, who was appointed to the committee, given a request for further exploration and for whatever personal reason - he agreed to shelve it. FRUSTRATED in VA
 
Marianne Cicala
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splat~
I pulled up several states, including Montana and every 1 of them is sharing this filth!
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Marianne, I added this to the 'politics' and 'social justice' forums since both play a part in the outcome.........
I am checking on what is happening in our area....I thought factory chicken house manure was bad enough.

 
Marianne Cicala
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Thank you very much Judith - I want as many people as possible to be aware and help to stop this!
 
R Scott
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Something has to be done with this stuff. I for one am kind of happy they are not just flushing it downstream anymore. But a better solution needs to be found.

Mycoremediation? But then what do you do with the toxic shrooms?
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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One example out of many in my state...
The Town of Decaur, Ark., is using a self-propelled dredging system as part of a new biosolids management program designed to reduce the cost of sludge disposal and increase solids detention time in-plant. While less than 1,000 people live inDecatur, the town's wastewater treatment plant handles flow equivalent to a population of 40,000. The primary contributor to these flows is a poultry processing plant.

and the bottom line....
Decatur expects to save approximately $50,000 a year with a fully operational biosolids management plan.'


I knew that sewer sludge was being sold and being called 'compost' but I didn't realize that towns/cities were finding markets for their waste stream that easily on farms growing food. Local 'ranchers' here have always taken advantage of the factory chicken house waste in our area for their pastures....now I want to find out if our little town is selling or giving them any 'bio-solids'.
...and here is some irony...because we are among the few odd balls with sawdust toilets in this area and most folks who know us know that we compost our humanure....we are very careful to make clear to folks when they eat from our garden or buy or are given produce from us that our humanure compost is spread in the woods not on the gardens..............I will have to bring up grocery store vegetables and bio solids in the next conversation.
 
Marianne Cicala
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The govit is seeding with hay - without question, it is not destroyed, but fed to cattle. Making it worse, the waste being spread in our county is trucked in the Manahattan, DC and Baltimore. Most people in this area have private septic systems. 1 local idiot, told me at the last meeting that he's had it spread for 15 years and aside for 1 instance where we had 3" of rain after it was spread and it flowed into his pond, killing all of his fish, he was a fan.
Class "A" biosolids are packaged and sold as fertilizer "milorganite". I've have customers come to our garden center asking for it and although it is burned and pelletized, they want it because once it is spread, deer won't come into their yards. That should also tell you something & I won't carry it!!! There are only a couple of counties nation wide that incerate and convert to energy (don't know what's blowing into the atmosphere) to power their schools and govit offices.
 
Judith Browning
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R Scott wrote:Something has to be done with this stuff. I for one am kind of happy they are not just flushing it downstream anymore. But a better solution needs to be found.

Mycoremediation? But then what do you do with the toxic shrooms?


that's the problem in so many manufacturing processes. Other than stopping the waste stream itself we are presented with bad solutions for toxic stuff like that is our only choice. Mycoremediation sounds like the right direction and might at least consolidate the toxins and then someone would probably try to sell us dried toxic mushrooms for insulation or something
I like the idea that permaculture might come up with the right solution... I think the waste stream problem is not going away.
 
Zach Muller
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This could be a bad scene, or it could be a program headed in the right direction.

There is some information straight from the horses mouth. here.

here is a link to the Cornell waste management institute stuff mentioned by the op.

this is a link to a page that has links to many other studies and sources.

I think R Scott has a great point, this stuff is not just going to disappear, and finding ways to treat it and turn it into fertilizer is actually kind of permacultureish. Anything short of a total revolution in wastewater treatment systems is not going to get the chemicals out of the environment, but growing plants in them is a chance at phytoremediation, as opposed to bury it in the landfill, or sink it into the ocean.

While it is obviously not perfect, they are trying to make a composting toilet out of an entire cities stream of waste. If you read some of the links you will find that some of this bio solid juice has been used to replant native plants on desolate abandoned mines and industrial sites of that nature. Not all bad. Still I can relate to the anger felt by those closely affected by this.

Departments of environmental quality are actually state agencies made up of local people who work for an organization that works in tandem with the federal epa. That is an important distinction when trying to figure out who to aim your complaints at. The system is designed very well so most can say it was not their idea, they are just doing a job. It is the Feds who set the guidelines for safe levels of chemicals in bio solids, the departments of environmental quality are there for enforcement. Without local deqs industry would almost definitely still be operating like it was the beginning of the industrial revolution (ie no controls or regulations whatsoever)
 
Marianne Cicala
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This is a bad scene - DEQ is only required to test for 13 items: 3 obviously "fertilizer" like nitrogen, the bulk of the rest are heavy metals. there is no testing for radiation (found in 100% of the studies), pharms., bacteria, parasetic worms (again found in 100% of the samples). For annual reapplication, the only thing tested is the levels of nitrates and potassium, no other testing is required. Even if you only consider what's flushed from a hospital, that should be enough to say enough!
 
Zach Muller
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Marianne Cicala wrote:This is a bad scene - DEQ is only required to test for 13 items:


I am not sure what your source for that is, but according to this reference sheet on bio solids that is actually not true. I am not saying its safe, but according to that sheet there is alot more involved in the testing required.

Public awareness is rising about the concern of radioactivity being flushed down the hospital toilet. Which to me it seems crazy to think that it wouldn't be a huge issue in the first place. here is a related news article about it. particularly iodine-131.
 
Marianne Cicala
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I got that information directly from the DEQ agent that spoke at our meeting. I initially was certain I had not heard him correctly and ask him to please repeat this.
I am speaking about Class "B" biosolids not Class "A" which has more stringent regulations.
There are plenty of studies (not from the EPA or other government agencies) but academics which points to great concern.
http://sph.unc.edu/study-sludge-based-fertilizer-may-be-causing-human-illnesses/

 
Zach Muller
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Thank you for clarifying Marianne , I am not trying to be difficult, just trying to uncover information and find out more.


If anyone knows of other studies about class b solids and public health it would be nice to see them. The study in the link admits it is a very small sample of only 30 something people. This could have been caused by one irresponsible party, and is hardly evidence of b grade solids always causing illness. To me it seems like the article is written in a way to outrage rural dwellers, it says things like " Many respondents in our study said it’s not fair for rural people to bear the burden of urban waste disposal.” While this is true, no part of these programs is forcing rural land owners to take the waste. There are clear guidelines and laws surrounding the spread of class b material
and really it is on the land owners who accept these materials and do inappropriate things with them. And it's on the deq to enforce the laws when people apply this junk in an unsafe way.






Here are the official site restrictions.




SITE RESTRICTIONS
MULTIPLE TREATMENT PLANTS
Biosolids from multiple treatment plants with different permittees cannot be applied to the
same site without the landowner first obtaining a biosolids-only land application permit. A location can be segregated into different application sites and used by multiple permittees but no more than one permittee can use an individual site without a biosolids-only permit.
If a permittee wants to apply to one site from multiple treatment plants, all permitted to them; the testing can be done on a weighted average sample of all biosolids to be applied.
SITE ACCESS AND CROP RESTRICTIONS
Details of the restrictions can be found in Chapter 391-3-6-.17-(7)(c).
1. Food crop harvesting restrictions depend upon crop type and biosolids application methods. Feed and fiber crops also have restrictions.
2. No grazing shall be allowed on the site for 30 days after biosolids application.
3. Turf grown on land on which biosolids is applied shall not be harvested for one year after application of biosolids if it is to be placed on a lawn or other land with high potential for public exposure.
4. Following application of the biosolids, public access to the site shall be restricted for 30 days when there is a low potential for public exposure, or for one year when there is a high potential for public exposure.
Additional restrictions may be added at EPD's discretion. RECHARGE AREAS AND KARST TOPOGRAPHY
If the proposed site contains areas with karst topography or sinkholes, additional reviews will June 2006


here is a pretty good article that makes reference to some actual studies that sound pretty damning for bio solids.
 
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