Biosolid n. (1977):
MABA Joins in Filing Briefs as a Friend of the Court in the Gilbert Case
MABA joined 10 other organizations in filing briefs on April 24 as "friends of the court," supporting a Pennsylvania court decision last December that biosolids is a normal farming practice protected by Pennsylvania's Right-to-Farm Act. The briefing filed by MABA, prepared by Randy Hurst, an environmental attorney long affiliated with the wastewater profession in Pennsylvania, was joined by the Pennsylvania Water Environment Assocation and the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association. This document is available for review here. The main document to support the justice's findings in favor of biosolids was prepared on behalf of Synagro and its client farmers by Jimmy Slaughter, Beveridge and Diamond, an attorney who has distinguished himself in his many successful efforts to withstand legal challenges to biosolids recycling across the United States. Contact MABA offices for a copy of Slaughter's position paper.
William Toffey of MABA Rebuts "Land Application of Treated Sewage Sludge: Community Health and Environmental Justice"
An article published 3-11-2013 in Environmental Health Perspectives by a group (Amy Lowman, Mary Anne McDonald, Steve Wing) at University of North Carolina and an environmental justice activist (Naeema Muhammad) distorts the epidemiological connection between biosolids and community health. Furthermore, the article was announced in a UNC news release in a way that more grossly misrepresents the health risk of biosolids, and subsequent coverage by radio, print and online media raises concern among wastewater treatment professionals that the article is being sensationalized. MABA provides an overview of the shortcomings of this study on its News page and outlines the principal distortions of ths work.
A key aspect to the report's shortcoming is that the authors fail to fulfill on their funding proposal to the NIH to conduct a scientific inquiry. Instead, the authors report on unsubstantiate interviews with a small (34) set of self-reported individuals selected by a team that includes biased researchers.
MABA and its allied professional groups have for long championed sound science in describing the low risks of adverese health effectts from exposure to biosolids. The report issued by the Viriginia Department of Health and a recent synopsis by nationally-renowned environmental health researchers give a far more scientifically valid overview of this topic than this the one from UNC.
This episode is reminiscent of a similarly slipshod and biased report published in 2008 by researchers at the University of Toledo of such poor quality as to compel a group of pre-eminent researchers to issue a rebuttal (download here).
CASA's Greg Kester Responds to Nanoparticle Reports
Greg Kester, the biosolids program manager at the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, reminds us that we need to read closely environmental fate research on nanoparticles. A number of researchers leap to erroneous conclusions about the fate of nanoparticles when they fail to put them through the processes typical at waste water treatment plants. See his blog and review the papers to which he refers.
Support Biosolids: Sign the Petition!
Biosolids Buzz author, Deirdre Bingham, Orange County (CA) Sanitation District, authors a "Better with Biosolids!" Blog and is now seeking signers of a petition "Support Biosolids Recycling." No time like the present to do it now! Let Deirdre know that you appreciate her leadership in the new world of social media.
New Postings to the Research Page
See Dr. Sally Brown's summary of technical papers on the role of biosolids in urban agriculture. Also, there is a link to a paper recently published that claims that land application of biosolids is a significant source of nitrogen to the Chesapeake. Read it and see if you agree! So take a look today here.
Court Decides the Gilbert Case
The State Court issued a summary judgment in favor of Synagro and its customers, finding that biosolids application is a normal farming practice. To read a summary of the court's finding, click here. To download a copy of the court's ruling, click here.
MABA Members: A Web Site Just for You
The business of MABA committees and access to a director of agencies and companies is available at your new personal webpages for MABA. Just go here and start by entering your email address (which is already in the system) and the initial password "Password1"
MABA Membership: Join or Renew Now!
MABA is encouraging its member organizations to process their 2013 renewal invoices.
This year, a program of active participation by biosolids specialists in MABA member organizations is being unfurled. Four participation areas are being offered: Biosolids Land Appliers Training; Communications and Social Media; Research and Technology; and Conference and Event Programming. With these, whatever the forte and proclivities of biosollds experts may be, a program of engagement in MABA is availlable.
The Mid Atlantic Biosolids Association is offering additional valuable services in 2013.
Watch for New Features on the MABA Members Web Site
Your webpages already give you access to a comprehensive database of biosolids experts. These come from all walks: agencies, engineering firms, equipment suppliers, regulatory agencies and universities. Your MABA web pages includes the business of MABA, its board and committees, where you can track its agenda, minutes, notes and calendars. Each employee of member organizations will be enrolled in a Community of Practice group which will allow you to easily share information of common interest and breaking news, research, events networking opportunities. Your webpage will also have a link to a comprehensive mapping and inventory of biosolids production at POTWs across the region.
Please give it a shot and let Bill or Brett know how it goes...
"Challenges and Solutons for Managing Biosolids Nutrients"
The symposium was held on November 20, 2012, at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. Dr Brian Reed and the Engineering Department graciously hosted the session at the University Center Ballroom.
Presentations from the symposium are posted in the Documents webpage.
MABA Elects a New Board and Officers for 2013
Associated with the nutrient symposium was the meeting of the General Membership and the Board of Trustees. Trudy Johnston, President of Material Matters, will serve as the 2013 President of the Board of Trustees. The other officers include Ersin Kasirga, Atkins, as Vice-President; Almad Razik, Maryland Environmental Services, Treasurer; and Fred Updegraff, Gannett-Fleming, as Secretary.
The list of the 2013 Board of Trustees and Officers is available here.
Maryland Publishes New Nutrient Management Regulations
The new Maryland Nutrient Management Regulations were published today The rules become effective on October 15. Whereas many programs are in mid-season with biosolids applications and are operating under prior approvals of the Maryland Department of the Environment, managers are in a quandry as to how to move forward to ensure compliane. Program managers are calling for a meeting among parties to develop a strategy for coordination. Contact Synagro's Lisa Williams if you would like to be part of a coordination program.
Biosolids in the Age of Autism
A breaking biosolids news item is the call for signatures on a petition to the White House. Here is a link to this initiative. This is linked to a joint project of well-known anti-biosolids activists. Background on this is available on the NEBRA web site, courtesy of Ned Beecher, who has a well-prepared background piece posted (Click here for the link.)
Get involved with MABA: A call for Blog Posts for the MABA blog
The Mid Atlantic Biosolids Association (MABA) invites you to submit posts for our blog! Topics can range from nutrient management, innovative dryer technologies, the competition between bioenergy and soil amendment, the fate of pharmaceuticals, odor control, health effects on neighbors... any issues in biosolids management and the wastewater treatment industry. We want to hear from you! If you are interested in participating, please contact Brett @ bgoldman@
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