News from Within the MABA Region
Santabarbara Introduces Sewage Sludge Facility Legislation
Fultonville, NY (5/11/18) - New York State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara continues to push for increased regulations on sewage sludge facilities. Santabarbara introduced new legislation, that if passed, will require the state Department of Environmental Conservation — in cooperation with the Department of Health — to immediately undertake a review of potential environmental and health risks associated with biosolid sewage sludge processing facilities.
The bill would also require “DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos to prepare and deliver a report to the New York State Legislature that includes the latest data, research and studies along with its findings and recommendations. The bill calls for a one-year moratorium to complete the report with additional one year extensions as needed.”
New from Beyond the MABA Region
St. Petersburg City Council Learns Nothing Solid About Biosolids
St. Petersburg, FL (5/4/18) - The city of St. Petersburg has planned to convert wastewater byproducts into methane gas at the Southwest Water Reclamation Facility. That biogas would then be integrated into the natural gas distribution system for TECO Peoples Gas. The utility planned to set up infrastructure so the city could then use this byproduct to power its sanitation trucks and the Southwest sewage plant. Since this original plan with a completion date set for April 2019, many uncertainties have been discovered with the feasibility of the project and the saving they predicted.
Rep. Tommy Hanes Says He’s Drafting a New Bill on the Usage, Transportation of Biosolids from Out-of-State
Jackson County, AL (5/4/18) - Congressmen in Alabama are fighting to get the use of biosolids on an election ballot. State Representative Tommy Hanes, R- Scottsboro, proposed a bill that would let the voters decide on biosolids use the passed through the house, and Senate committee meeting, but the bill was moved and was never voted on. “Representative Hanes said his new goal is for the state to vote on the usage of biosolids and if other states are able to transport their waste to Alabama. He says this new bill will be drafted for legislative session next year. If it passes through, it would be two years before the bill would be placed on the ballot.”
Why You’re Not Likely to Read News Reports of a Minnesota Poop Train Stranded in Alabama
Minnesota (5/7/18) - According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency there are no reported freighters transporting biosolids out of the state. Instead 61 percent of biosolids are incinerated, 21 percent are used as farm fertilizer and 18 percent are landfilled. “While there are a few agreements for using poop as fertilizer across state lines, such as in Wisconsin, the majority of biosolids generated in Minnesota are are managed or reused here, says Sherry Bock, biosolids program coordinator for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Is Your Food Grown In Sewage Sludge? Here’s How To Avoid It
Alternative Daily (5/8/18) - This anti-beneficial biosolids use piece raises the common concerns involving land application of biosolids.
Is It Really Safe to Eat Food Grown in Urban Gardens?
TreeHugger (5/14/18) - An aspiring urban gardner interviews Cornell University professor Murray McBride, Robert Hale from Yale University and University of Washington professor Sally Brown to find out what is in biosolids and to determine if there is any need to be worried about using it as a fertilizer.
A Recycling Effort that Shouldn’t Go to Waste
Des Plaines, IL (5/16/18) - Since summer of 2017, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has been selling its exceptional quality compost to the general public for $10 a cubic yard plus tax at the Harlem Avenue Solids Management Area in Forest View and Calumet Solids Management Area in Chicago. This week, the Kirie Water Reclamation Plant in Des Plaines will give away compost as part of a larger open house the MWRD will have at six plants.
EMB to Farmers: Check Septic Sludge Before Using
Santiago, Isabela, Philippines (5/12/18) - “According to EMB regional director Cesar Siador, reports showed that sludge being sold or dumped by septic tank drainers or collectors are being used by several farmers as organic fertilizers.” Siador advised the material be checked by the Department of Agriculture to ensure it is of sufficient quality.
Project Groundswell to be Discontinued
Queenstowns Lakes, New Zealand (5/3/18) - Plans to develop a solar sludge drying facility have been discontinued after agreement was reached between Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and the plant’s developer, Fulton Hogan. The agreement to develop the facility was initially signed in 2012, “with commercial negotiations between QLDC and Fulton Hogan beginning after consents were issued in 2014. However, as more detailed information became available it was clear that the initial proposal wasn’t cost effective for either party and late last month both parties agreed to terminate the agreement… Waste from Wanaka and Queenstown’s sewerage treatment plants (Project Pure and Project Shotover) will continue to be transported to the Kings Bend Quarry in Winton where it is mixed with lime and used as a stabiliser.”
Sewage Sludge Going to Winton
Mamit Lake Landowner Says Dam is Fine, but LNIB Can't Get to Rock on His Property
Mamit Lake, BC, Canada (5/7/18) - A landowner states that authorities and the Lower Nicola Indian Band can access a dam, previously thought to need maintenance, but do not have permissions to access rock that was dumped on his property that is now sought to be used as rip-rap for the dam. The landowner, Gordon Garthwaite, says his resistance is due to the band’s support for a moratorium on the spreading of biosolids, something he says he has done on his property for decades. "We even have letters from the Indian band, back in the 1990s, saying that biosolids are the best thing for the land. Then they put up a roadblock because they were in bed with Friends of the Nicola Valley. We can't get any biosolids anymore. So I said, 'If we're not getting any biosolids then you're not getting on our property to get that rock,'" said Garthwaite.
Workers Prevented from Accessing Mamit Lake Dam by Angry Landowner
Council Does Not Go Through the Motions as Pitches from Wallace, Singh Fail
Kamloops, BC, Canada (5/16/18) - A motion to include public consultation and third-party testing in biosolids land application was defeated in a Kamloops City Council meeting.
Singh Wants Public Dialogue, Third-Party Testing Tied to Biosolids Use
Biosolids Dilemma Leads to Formation of City, Neighbourhood Groups
Kamloops, BC, Canada (5/6/18) - The City of Kamloops held its first stakeholder committee meeting which was comprised of city staff and council, along with representation from the TNRD, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, Interior Health, First Nations Health Authority, Kamloops Stockmen’s Association and the Fraser Basin Council. Wightman said a long-term plan will include a range of applications. The committee aims to find a long term solution to biosolids management. In addition, the city is working with Stantec Consulting to develop a long-term management strategy. The public can go online and subscribe to receive updates from the committee about how planning is progressing and what the committee is doing. A group of residents in Barnhartvale have taken matters into their own hands. They have assembled a 490-signature petition and are taking it to ranches that use biosolids to plead the landowners stop the practice.
News from Within the MABA Region