Sludge has been applied, usually in the spring and summer, to the same area near my home in Xenia, Ohio, for the past 4 years. The 5-acre site where the sludge is being applied used to be a hog farm. After the hog farm discontinued operations, the property changed ownership and has been used since then primarily for sludge disposal.
When the sludge is brought in, they use semi-trailers hauling 30 or 40 tons a load, which run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., one right after the other. Sludge spreading usually occurs on weekends. Thousands and thousands of tons of sludge have been deposited on this small tract of land over the past 4 years. The most recent sludge disposal activity occurred this past summer, 2000.
I am a farmer and I am familiar with agronomic rates -- the amount of nitrogen needed to grow a crop. It appears huge amounts of sludge are being disposed of on this site, far in excess of nitrogen needs of any crop. This is not a reclamation site where the purpose is to reestablish vegetation after mining or other disturbance of the land.
About 4 years ago I called the US EPA about this sludge site. They came and talked to me, but nothing changed. I called the Health Department in Green County. They said it was none of their business, that they had no control, and that this was up to the US EPA.
I went to my Township Trustees about this sludge site. The Trustees said it was none of their business, the same as the Health Department told me.
My experience in seeking help from federal and local authorities is that no-one would listen to me and no-one would respond to my concerns.
HEALTH EFFECTS I have experienced since this sludge activity began include nasal irritation, burning of the nose, and difficulty in breathing when the winds blowing over the sludge site in the direction of my home.
(Telephone statement taken on November 26, 2000 by Helane Shields from Lloyd Combs, 1040 Gultice Road, Xenia, Ohio 45385
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