June 1, 2000 - David Hess, deputy secretary of PA DEP, appeared on PCN Call-IN (Pennsylvania Cable Network) along with PA Rep. Bud George. The show focused on Sewage Sludge and the health risks associated with its use. During the show David Hess openly admitted the PA Dept. of Health identified the pathogen responsible for Tony Behun's death as Staphylococcus. Hess insisted and stood behind DEP's theory that this pathogen is not known to be found in Biosolids.
The PA Department of Health and PA DEP's theory of Staphylococcus aureus is not known to be found in Class B Sludge is inaccurate. Staphylococcus aureus is one of the pathogens of concern identified by the U.S. EPA for land applied sewage sludge (Page 4-4 of "Pathogen Risk Assessment Methodology for Municipal Sewage Sludge Landfilling and Surface Disposal" EPA/600/R-95/016 August 1995). reference ** To open this document you must manually copy and paste (or type) the above web address in the address location area - after opening the document - go to the bottom the page to "specify page"... type in 40.... click on "go to page".. this will get you to 4-4 where the EPA identifies Staphylococcus aureus in sludge. Please review Pages 37 through 40 (4-1 - 4-4) **
June 11, 2000 - According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. EPA corroborate that Staphylococcus aureus can be found in sludge. reference;I don't know why it couldn't be," said Nancy Burton, an industrial hygienist who has investigated complaints of sludge-related illness for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. "It occurs in the human body. It just depends on what's flowing into the waste water in the treatment plant." "Whether it was in a particular sludge at a given time all depends on what was going into the waste water, what was coming out of the hospital, what kind of people were living there at a certain time," said James E. Smith, an EPA environmental engineer. "I wouldn't want to say it couldn't be. I wouldn't want to say it could be."
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