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Hearing for A&M Composting Permit to Haul NYC Sludge into PA

Statement by Sandy C. Smith
member of PEN,Sludge Busters, York Greens and PA Citizen
Fox Brush Farm, 1650 Furnace Road, Brogue, PA 17309
sandyhcsmi@blazenet.net, 717-927-6412


Thank you for holding this public hearing and hearing my complaints as to why A&M Composting - being Pasquale Mascaro - should not have his 15 year $95.7 million NYC sludge permit renewed.
I am also handing in petitions with 243 names of people speaking up against A&M Composting and not labeling products for what they are--SEWAGE WASTE SLUDGE laced with heavy metals ,PCBs and pathogens.

In my hand,which you are free to copy, are petitions from over 2,000 people wanting the practice of using sewage sludge for anything to STOP. 1. After receiving and reading 36 faxed pages of the W. VA Opinion and Order with reasons why Mascaro's corp.was kicked out of W. VA, I have written the following:
On 11/15/00 Circuit Judge Fred Risovich II of the West Virginia Circuit Court of Brooke County by Order of Court shut down Valero Terrestrial Corp.as a "Public Nuisance". Pasquale Mascaro was the owner and operator since 1990 as stated on page (2) of the Order. Pasquale Mascaro filed a motion to modify or vacate the 11/15/00 Court Order. The Circuit Court Judge James Mazzone ruled on 7/17/01 (page 34) that the motion was DENIED. The Attorney General,the Honorable Darrell V. McGraw,Jr.[State Capital Complex,Room# E 26,Charlestown, W.VA 25305] represented Brooke County Solid Waste Authority,et.al. In effect closed Valero Corp.down. Pasquale Mascaro could and probably will file an appeal.  However,he will probably be, again,put out of business in W. VA and it is doubtful where they could get an Appeal Court to allow them to continue in business--maybe a bond be posted worth millions of dollars? Although Brooke County Solid Waste Authority has an in-house council, it has been represented in this matter by attorneys Rex Burford and Silas Taylor of the W. VA Attorney's General Office [304-558-2021 ask for Silas Taylor]
The legal reason why Pasquale Mascaro's Corp. was closed is because it was a "Public Nuisance" i.e.affects public health,welfare and safety. For this reason alone PA DEP should not allow A&M Composting to have their permit renewed and for his present record of MANY violations in this Commonwealth.

2. Map: A&M Composting's location map which is a 7.5 U.S.G.S. Topo Map with a scale which 1" equals a 1,000' is all wrong.The quarter mile radius and the one mile radius, if measured with a ruler,would indicate that the quarter mile radius is approximately 600' in actuality where as a quarter of a mile is 1,300 feet and the mile radius is less then half a mile approximately 1,800 feet where as a mile is 5,280 feet.The map does not allow a one mile radius because it is too small thus not indicating all the wells within a quarter of a mile radius. At present it indicates only six wells with a quarter mile radius and there are probably thirteen wells at least. Due to this great map discrepancy many sensitive areas are not located. The Fish and Game Commission, National Diversity Inventory,State Game Lands,Chesapeake Bay Commission,etc. must be notified of this discrepancy as there are any more springs,wet lands and wells that drain into the Susquahana River.This area is also in the Chesapeake Bay Basin.Since this map is wrong, it certainly shouldaffect the surrounding homes and business water sources and health quality even more. I am also sure Mt. Hope Winery,Roadway, Carpet and Hampton Inns, along with the other businesses and residents should have reason to be concerned.
3.  According to Form D Environmental Assessment Process for Municipal Waste Management Facilities for A & M (1/11/01 p. 4) under H. Traffic, there are daily--does that mean 5, 6 or 7 days a week?--13-15 trucks arriving with an average load of 322 tons of NYC sludge. If this is to mean 5 days a week, it would add up to an average of 1,600 tons weekly of sludge,9,660 tons monthly and 83,720 yearly tons of NYC sludge into this small Manheim Composting plant. The environmental and health effect of this huge amount of sewage sludge is hard to imagine taking into consideration it HAS to effect air,water and land quality.
4. Above mentioned traffic on Mountain Road is stated in this same Form D that there is no problem. Reading from this Form D,"The Mt. Rd. segment of the approach route requires careful driving do to S type curves and a one lane bridge."Besides the narrow bridge,Mt. Rd. Is 21.5' wide and has 2' and NO shoulders in some areas it goes on to read. Also there are already churches, 15 private residences,Inns,Renaissance Fairground entrance,etc. Sounds like triaxial dump trucks and tractor trailers should pose not only a traffic problem but a HAZARD!
5. According to DEP's records, A&M sprays this toxic mixture regularly with chlorine to stop the bacterial growth. This spraying also must play havoc with the air quality.
6.  According to A&M Composting,Inc's. Administrative Procedure (p.5 12/23/96) in the PA DEP files, 4.6 CLASS A Sewage Sludge,subsection 4.6.1 states: "For the finished compost to be classified as Class A (1) Sewage Sludge, the pollutants may not exceed the concentrations listed below with one being Lead at 300 mg/kg. Also in the DEP Mascaro files are lab analysis from Bio-Chem Testing in WVA, reporting 433 mg/kg for lead. I have also read from the DEP records that A & M's compost was so high in lead that A&M was forced by DEP to  haul it away from the nursery he sold it to and landfill the high lead mixture.
7.  According to DEP's records, the sludge is mixed with wood chips (new, pressure treated, lead paint,etc.), shredded tires,water & air; in about 40 days sells it.The businesses are not required to label the stuff! This "compost" is used for golf courses, school yards,flower gardens,trees,topsoils,landscape, potting soil,farmland replenishment,wholesale & retail distribution. A&M's largest buyer is Gardenscape Products which makes Butterfield Farm and Garden Basics which are all sold in major stores. The citizens of Pennsylvania have a right to know and choose what they are buying and most would not choose NYC sludge packaged in any form! It seems like DEP is protecting Mr. Mascaro more than the citizens that are paying their salaries.
8.    According to the testimony of David L. Lewis, presently assigned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) to the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, as a visiting scientist under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA). Under approvals granted by the EPA and the University of Georgia, for the  N. Hampshire court case concerning the Death of Shayne Conner,I am commenting on A&M's strong use of lime resulting in a high pH,Paste of 12.35 as list from the same lab report in number (6) above. Dr. Lewis states: ; " Illnesses suffered by workers at municipal wastewater and recycling plants are attributed to microorganisms and irritant chemicals. According to the NIOSH report ; cited in my previous Expert Witness Report, microorganisms in land applied sewage sludge cause illness upon ingesting or inhaling pathogens and endotoxins from gram negative bacteria (Burton, N. and Trout, D. Bio-solids land application process. Centers for Disease Control, Health Hazard Evaluation Report No. 98-0118-2748. LeSourdsville, OH, 1999). ; Irritant chemicals, which contribute to or exacerbate the symptoms reported by people inhaling dust from sewage sludge, dissolve in the thin films of water that bathe mucous membranes and tissues lining the respiratory system. Irritant chemicals in lime-stabilized sewage sludge include lime dust, certain gases such as ammonia, trimethyl amine, and organic sulfides, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Inhaling and ingesting these chemicals causes inflammation of the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. This irritation greatly enhances the probability of infection." If not, DEP, who is protecting the surrounding public and Mascaro's workers?
9.  March 14th I attended the public session and beginning of the Research Council Committee of Toxicants & Pathogens in Biosolid Fertilzers at the National Academy of Sciences [NAS] in Washington,D.C.Nancy Burton and Frank Heart from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) spoke on their review of the reported health problems at the Biosolids Land Application Process Plant in LeSourdsville, Ohio. Worker's complained of headaches and diarrhea.NIOSH took sludge samples, collected air samples at the plant and in the field.Their findings of the five workers exposed to Class B biosolids during and after field application:The sludge was classified as Hazard ID#10.(1)Hand-washing stations with clean water, mild soap, and paper (disposable) towels should be readily available whenever contact with Class B biosolids may occur. In the case of workers in the field, portable equipment,including clean water and soap,should be provided.(2)Shoes should be taken off before entering a house or truck.(3)Clothes should be cleaned at uniform cleaners not home laundries due to possible infection.(4)Trucks hauling sludge should have windows up and special air filters along with air conditioning.(5)Class A sludge is still a good seeding for bacteria.Dewatered filtered cakes will still grow bacteria after prolonged storage. I remind the DEP that it is Class B sludge when it arrives in PA. Albert Page (Un. of California at Riverside) chairman from the NAS first 1994-1996 Use of Reclaimed Water and Sludge in Food Crop Production Committee.He spoke for the entire committee. Some points made: (1.)Cadmium,molybdemum and selenium are in sludge,absorb into plants and are harmful.(2)Sludge IS NOT "a real good" fertilizer as you have to use too much of it (3)The food processors that were part of the committee were concerned about growing food on sludge and thus chose not to. Their main reason was if a load of sludge had to be recalled,so would their food and this was too much of a risk (4)He brought out that the U.S. EPA asks--What is the most pollution the soil can take?The 503 addresses the max pollutants in soils.(5)The closing of his committee's comments were: The risks of sludge,"if properly used,could be negligible".For farmers,the costs does not justify the use of sludge.[I don't think they realized that farmers were being paid to use the stuff until I mentioned it.] They[EPA] have no information on organic compounds and think they should.Once the sludge limit is reached, we do not know the consequences.Lead is a real problem and it is in sludge.No studies have been done with how heavy metals relate to the food chain.We don't know how badly sludge will impact our natural resources.
I ask the PA DEP, with all of the above information on the dangers of sludge and its ingredients, do you really think you are protecting the people and environment of Pennsylvania by renewing A&M Composting's contract to P. Mascaro when the entire state of W. VA has closed him down? Thank you!
BLO fecit 20010720