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From : 
"hshields" <hshields@worldpath.net>
 
To : 
"CAROLINE SNYDER" <cgsnyder@post.harvard.edu>, "GARY SCHAEFER, ALABAMA" <GOSCHAEFER@aol.com>, "VIRGINIA - MIKE HARWOOD" <mikehar2@juno.com>
 
CC : 
"Hess, David E." <davidhess@state.pa.us>
 
Subject : 
PENNSYLVANIA -SLUDGE STORY - TINY DALY - SANDY SMITH - BUD GEORGE - CLARION NEWS
 
Date : 
Fri, 12 Jul 2002 09:43:01 -0400
 
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""We can't wait for more studies to be undertaken, reviewed, published, and
> reflected in laws years from now," says Tina Daley, sludge committee chair
> for the Pennsylvania Environmental Network.
>
> "We have too many sludge victims already," Daly said, referring to the
> deaths of two teenagers linked by some to sewage sludge projects near their
> homes. "There are many scholarly studies showing it is unsafe to land apply
> sludge. We are continuing to call for a ban.in Pennsylvania and nationwide.""
 
"> No public notices or public meetings are required before DEP grants approval
> to spread sludge, though municipalities and adjacent landowners must be
> informed before spreading begins. By that time, activists say, there is no
> legal way to challenge or stop such projects."
 
(UNWANTED SEWAGE SLUDGE IS BEING FORCED ON UNWILLING PENNSYLVANIA COMMUNITIES BY SLUDGE BULLIES -- THE STATE "REGULATORS" AND THE WASTE INDUSTRY.)
 
PA DEP:  ">
> Responding to comments that DEP promotes the use of sewage sludge, Wolf said
> the agency is only a regulator of sludge projects. "We simply follow EPA
> regulations."
>  
 
(EPA regulations and guidelines say sludge use or disposal is a LOCALdecision!)
 
 
 
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom DiStefano" <tdistefano@theclarionnews.com>
To: "Judy Rock" <vireo@csonline.net>; <FDaly1880@aol.com>; "Len Martin" <lcmartin@csrlink.net>
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2002 10:14 AM
Subject: sludge study story

> Federal study recommends new rules and studies for sewage sludge use
> By Tom DiStefano, CLARION NEWS Writer
> July 11, 2002
>
> WASHINGTON D.C. - New rules and health studies are needed for the spreading
> of sewage sludge as fertilizer, according to a new government study, and
> environmental groups are calling for a halt to the practice.
>
> The use of sewage sludge has been an issue in Highland Township.
>
> The National Research Council, part of the National Academy of Sciences,
> recently announced completion of an 18-month study commissioned by the
> federal Environmental Protection Agency on whether EPA's rules on sludge
> were protective of human health.
>
> The report, "Bio-solids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices,"
> concludes that the rules for using sewage sludge as fertilizer are based on
> out-dated science and more needs to be known about the effects of sludge on
> human health.
>
> EPA should update its standards using methods that better assess health
> risks, according to the report, and should further study whether sludge
> causes health problems for workers and near-by residents.
>
> The study notes there is no documented evidence that EPA rules haven't
> protected human health, but also noted the EPA hasn't done enough to
> investigate reports of health problems.
>
> "There is a serious lack of health-related information about populations
> exposed to treated sewage sludge," said Thomas A. Burke of Johns Hopkins
> University, chairman of the committee that conducted the study.
>
> "To insure public health protection, EPA should investigate allegations of
> adverse health effects and update the science behind its chemical and
> pathogen standards," Burke said.
>
> But environmental groups say more studies are not enough and are calling for
> a ban on the using sewage sludge as fertilizer on farms and mine reclamation
> sites.
>
> "We can't wait for more studies to be undertaken, reviewed, published, and
> reflected in laws years from now," says Tina Daley, sludge committee chair
> for the Pennsylvania Environmental Network.
>
> "We have too many sludge victims already," Daly said, referring to the
> deaths of two teenagers linked by some to sewage sludge projects near their
> homes. "There are many scholarly studies showing it is unsafe to land apply
> sludge. We are continuing to call for a ban.in Pennsylvania and nationwide."
>
> But the study states that it was not intended to determine whether EPA
> should continue promoting sewage sludge as fertilizer. The report is only
> meant to find out how EPA rules can be improved in light of the latest
> information on the chemicals and disease organisms in sludge and the threat
> they might pose to health.
>
> The study makes four major recommendations:
>
> ?Procedures need to be set up to investigate reports of health and other
> problems from sewage sludge, as well as techniques that have been successful
> in preventing problems. Short-term studies of reported problems should be
> carried out along with pre-planned studies of exposure to sludge and whether
> or not such exposure caused disease.
>
> ?New ways of assessing risk have been developed since EPA set its rules
> nearly 10 years ago, and those new methods should be used to set new rules
> and contamination limits.
>
> ?A new survey of the chemicals and disease organisms found in sludge should
> be done, and sludge management practices should be carefully examined to se
> if they reduce risks well enough. The information should then be used to
> improve management practices.
>
> ?More funding and staff resources are needed for EPA's sludge program.
> Resources are needed to conduct research and, based on that research, to
> revise regulations as needed. EPA should give more authority to states to
> regulate sewage sludge spreading.
>
> The study cited many problems in EPA's study and regulation of sewage
> sludge.
>
> The rules on disease organisms are based on the methods used to control
> them, not on actually monitoring the number of organisms in the sludge at
> different points in the process. Treatment can reduce the number of
> organisms present when sludge is tested, but those organisms can reproduce
> and increase to dangerous levels while the sludge is stored or applied as
> fertilizer.
>
> The study noted the EPA knows little about how long organisms can survive
> when carried on the wind, and EPA did not place enough importance on the
> inhalation of pathogens as a potential threat to health.
>
> EPA regulates 10 inorganic chemicals found in sludge, but needs to include
> more. Entire categories of organic chemicals, such as odorants and
> pharmaceuticals, should be included in regulations. The study noted that EPA
> is still considering whether to include regulations for dioxin, a highly
> toxic, long-lived organic pollutant.
>
> EPA needs to study both short-term high-level exposures to sludge as well as
> long-term, low-level exposure.
>
> Stakeholders, those most likely involved in spreading sludge and those
> mostly affected by sludge, should be involved in the process of determining
> the risk of a sludge-spreading project.
>
> Anti-sludge activists in Pennsylvania often point to the lack of public
> involvement in the state DEP's regulation of sewage sludge.
>
> No public notices or public meetings are required before DEP grants approval
> to spread sludge, though municipalities and adjacent landowners must be
> informed before spreading begins. By that time, activists say, there is no
> legal way to challenge or stop such projects.
>
> Municipalities in Pennsylvania are not allowed to ban sewage sludge, but
> some are trying to discourage the practice and toughen health standards by
> requiring fees and testing.
>
> Sludge spreading contractors are filing suit against these municipalities;
> anti-sludge activist Len Martin points to a federal suit filed by Synagro,
> the state's largest sludge spreader, against Rush Township, in Clearfield
> County.
>
> And state lawmakers are pushing legislation, Senate Bill 1413, that would
> further limit municipalities' efforts to oppose sludge projects.
>
> But state Rep. Camille "Bud" George, a Democrat and minority chairman of the
> house Energy and Environmental Resources Committee, blasts Senate Bill 1413,
> and two years ago called for a suspension of sludge spreading in the state
> after the federal Centers for Disease Control determined workers handling
> sludge could be exposed to disease.
>
> "While the DEP ignores the mounting evidence and the public outcry against
> sludge, Senate Bill 1413 would harm hard-fought efforts by municipalities to
> restrict sludge," George said.
>
> And the NRC study has led George to again call for a suspension of sludge
> spreading.
>
> "This latest study highlights the unstudied hazards in sludge and makes it
> imperative that the DEP suspend applications while working with the sludge
> industry to make it safer," George said.
>
> Sludge opponents say the best way to prevent problems from sludge,
> particularly the less-regulated Class B sludge, is not to make it safer, but
> to ban it entirely. Sludge spreading is not about reusing a waste product as
> fertilizer, they say, but is about cheap waste disposal without regard for
> human health.
>
> "People who live and work near fields and mines where municipal sewage
> sludge is stockpiled and spread have reported they are suffering from Health
> problems," Daly said, "and it is really because of inappropriate and
> dangerous waste disposal.
>
> "Spreading sewage sludge.is not about fertilizer, it is about dumping on
> those least likely to protest," said PEN anti-sludge activist Sandy Smith of
> York County. "Land application of sewage sludge is about getting rid of
> sewage sludge cheaply."
>
> And George complained that DEP is promoting sludge instead of protecting
> against its dangers.
>
> "Most Pennsylvanians should be aware by now that the DEP is in the business
> of promoting sludge, not warning the public of its dangers," George said.
>
> "However, this latest study raises the ante on DEP's gamble on the safety of
> sludge. It's a gamble no Pennsylvanian should be subjected to until we know
> conclusively the dangers inherent in sludge.
>
> "I can't state the case against sludge any better than the EPA
> microbiologist who said, 'The worst thing about sludge is not what we know
> about it, it's what we don't know about it.'"
>
>
> DEP agrees with federal findings
> By Tom DiStefano
> CLARION NEWS Writer
> July 11, 2002
>
> HARRISBURG - The agency that enforces sewage sludge rules in Pennsylvania
> says it agrees with a federal study that calls for more research into using
> the controver-sial material as fertilizer.
>
> Department of Environmental Pro-tection spokeswoman Kristen Wolf said the
> agency has done a preliminary re-view of the report from the National
> Research Council on problems with federal regulation of sewage sludge.
>
> "We agree that we should use the latest science, information and
> technol-ogy," in developing regulations for spreading sewage sludge, Wolf
> said. "And we support the recommendations for more research."
>
> The agency will now take a more careful look at the report, which is about
> 200 pages long. DEP does some of its own research on sewage sludge,
> particularly on odor problems, not being done at the federal level, Wolf
> said.
>
> DEP regulates sewage sludge in Pennsylvania, but must follow federal
> Environmental Protection Agency guidelines and regulations, Wolf said.
>
> Any changes in the regulations based on the new report or further re-search
> must come from EPA, Wolf said. EPA has six months to review and re-spond to
> the NRC report.
>
> Whatever changes EPA may make to "biosolids" rules, DEP must follow, she
> said.
>
> "Biosolids" is the name DEP and EPA give to sewage sludge that is suit-able
> for spreading as fertilizer; there are two types: Class A has been heavily
> treated so it includes lower levels of pathogens and chemical contaminants
> and is subject to less stringent rules. Class B is treated to a lower
> standard and is more heavily regulated.
>
> DEP cannot suspend or ban the use of sludge on farmland and mine
> recla-mation projects on its own, Wolf noted.
>
> Responding to comments that DEP promotes the use of sewage sludge, Wolf said
> the agency is only a regulator of sludge projects. "We simply follow EPA
> regulations."
>
>
>
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