FDA Tests Confirm Suspicions about PFAS Chemicals in Food

(6/3/19) - “A recent investigation by the Food and Drug Administration found toxic per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in food, including meat, seafood and dairy products; sweet potatoes; pineapples; leafy greens, and chocolate cake with icing.” PFAS can migrate into food through packaging used as well as water that irrigates crops or soil where crops are grown.
Chemicals that Tainted Bucks, Montco Drinking Water Found in Lettuce, Beef, Even Chocolate Cake

Source: https://www.ewg.org/news-and-analysis/2019...

This Product is Fertilizing Local Farms, but Report Claims EPA Can’t Say for Sure it’s Safe

Lehigh Valley, PA (12/19/18) - This article shows two sides of the contentious OIG’s biosolids report. It shares parts of the report that raise alarm for the safety of biosolids while pointing out that EPA representatives of the claim the report biased and that professionals in the biosolids industry have supported continued research biosolids while the EPA has not continued to develop its regulations in accordance with the continued research.

Source: https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/news/2018...

Loudoun to Assemble Sewage Fertilizer Team for Public Outreach

Loudoun, VA (12/13/18) - The Loudoun Board of Supervisors’ finance committee has recommended the creation of a special team to make sure Loudouners know when the state receives an application to spread biosolids and to make sure the state considers the special circumstances of each property when considering permits.

Source: https://loudounnow.com/2018/12/13/loudoun-...

Proposed Sewage Sludge Treatment Plant Reps Call for Vote in Slate Belt

Slate Belt, PA (12/13/18) - Synagro is planning to submit its final response in writing by Jan. 1 for preliminary land development and subdivision approval for the Slate Belt Heat Recovery Center. The response will include reports, studies, commission meeting transcripts, and responses to the township engineers' and zoning officer's review letters. Synagro´s lawyer expects a decision would be presented Feb. 13 to the Township Board of Supervisors, which would vote whether to grant approval.
Poll: Should Plainfield Twp. Planners Approve a Proposed Sludge-Processing Plant

Source: https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/slate-bel...

Report: EPA Unable to Assess the Impact of Hundreds of Unregulated Pollutants in Land-Applied Biosolids on Human Health and the Environment

EPA, National (11/15/18) - The report from the EPA's Office of Inspector General's review on the EPA’s Biosolids Program has been released. “The EPA identified 352 pollutants in biosolids but cannot yet consider these pollutants for further regulation due to either a lack of data or risk assessment tools. Pollutants found in biosolids can include pharmaceuticals, steroids and flame retardants.” There is a podcast that accompanies the report on the page linked in the title.
EPA Lacks Data for More Than 300 Pollutants in Treated Waste; La Crosse Spreads 12 Million Gallons a Year on Fields
EPA Watchdog Questions Safety of Sewage Used as Fertilizer
LETTER: Canada lags behind on rules for biosolids

Source: https://www.epa.gov/office-inspector-gener...

Report: EPA Unable to Assess the Impact of Hundreds of Unregulated Pollutants in Land-Applied Biosolids on Human Health and the Environment

EPA, National (11/15/18) - The report from the EPA's Office of Inspector General's review on the EPA’s Biosolids Program has been released. “The EPA identified 352 pollutants in biosolids but cannot yet consider these pollutants for further regulation due to either a lack of data or risk assessment tools. Pollutants found in biosolids can include pharmaceuticals, steroids and flame retardants.” There is a podcast that accompanies the report on the page linked in the title.
EPA Lacks Data for More Than 300 Pollutants in Treated Waste; La Crosse Spreads 12 Million Gallons a Year on Fields
EPA Watchdog Questions Safety of Sewage Used as Fertilizer
LETTER: Canada lags behind on rules for biosolids

Source: https://www.epa.gov/office-inspector-gener...

EPA Electronic Reporting Training for Biosolids Generators

EPA, National (11/26/18) - This information comes from our West Coast colleague at Orange County. At our MABA meeting, we learned that the EPA has seen many mistakes with public agency electronic submissions of Part 503 Annual Reports. What is more, the system is still under development. The EPA has organized trainings to assist biosolid users to electronically report their annual Biosolids data. The 2018 Biosolids Electronic Annual Program Report Training will provide participants with an overview of Biosolids Annual Report and background information to the eRule and how it affected the development of the Electronic Biosolids Form.  The training will explain access request process as well as provide a demo of how to complete the Electronic Biosolids Form.

Two things:

  1. EPA database training is coming up for their new online form (updated 2018). See dates below. I haven’t seen anyone communicating this info, but I may have missed it, so I just wanted to make you aware.

  2. Training sessions are important, especially this year because EPA has added an additional reporting requirement for POTWs to put in third-party handling data:

This is my biggest concern with the new EPA report form. We pulled some text from the new Biosolids User’s Guide and pasted it below. I read it to mean a BIG change from previous electronic reporting year’s where POTWs entered ONLY our own biosolids analytical data, and now they want us to enter the land app / composter’s data also! We have mentioned this to Lauren Fondahl when I noticed this new section in the EPA beta test form. We were hoping it would become optional, but it doesn’t seem optional based on the info below. This will add a LOT of work to completing the forms, no mind the duplicative work since many POTWs will be entering the Same data plus the composters are also entering their data.

Facilities that use a third-party handler, preparer, or applier will need to obtain the reporting data to successfully complete the Annual Biosolids report. For example, if a POTW selects “Land Application / Agricultural Land Application / Bulk / Third-Party” it will be required to enter data for the compliance monitoring events. The POTW may need to contact the third-party handler, preparer, or applier to complete the report.

It is important to note that you should select “Off-Site Third-Party Handler or Applier” or “Off-Site Third-Party Preparer” in scenarios where you generate sewage sludge, but another separate entity provides a service to handle or prepare your sewage sludge. This is often done by commercial enterprises offering services for sewage sludge handling and preparing (e.g., composting) and/or management (e.g., land application, surface disposal, incineration, or other management practice such as disposal in municipal solid waste landfill). A key distinction used in the form is that the third-party handler or preparer is an entity that takes full possession of the sewage sludge from the POTW and makes decisions independent of the POTW regarding the handling, preparing, and ultimate management of the sewage sludge received from the POTW.

MABA’s Annual Meeting and Symposium November 14, 2018

Edison, NJ (11/14/18) – More than 50 wastewater and biosolids practitioners from the Mid-Atlantic will convene in Edison, NJ for MABA’s Annual Meeting and Symposium. It will be an intentional discussion of regional solutions to biosolids challenges for growing new facilities. We welcome a diverse range of speakers presenting on, public outreach challenges, successful treatment approaches and regulatory issues with a panel discussion featuring state regulators.

We share with you, MABA’s Executive Director, Bill Toffey’s, opening presentation “Framing the Regional Issues: Bringing Global Perspectives to Local Challenges”.

An update will be sent out when all of the presentations from this year’s Annual Meeting and Symposium become available on the MABA Members site.

ReNEW Water Project Measures Water, Nutrients, Energy Recovered By U.S. Utilities

Water Environment Federation (10/5/18) - The Water Environment Federation’s project, ReNEW, analyzes resource recovery by U.S. water utilities Water Project by using data “from national and state databases, publications, and a utility survey, which represents about 25 percent of municipal wastewater flow and about 20 percent of biosolids produced in the U.S…. The first step was establishing the baseline for current resource recovery practices. Later this fall, WEF will announce goals for water utilities to increase resource recovery from baseline levels. New data will be collected on a biannual basis and expanded to Canadian water facilities.”

Source: https://www.wateronline.com/doc/renew-wate...

Kingston to Appeal Decision in Sludge Lawsuit with Pellet Maker Aslan

Kingston, NY (10/4/18) - The city of Kingston has been trying to sever a contract with the Aslan Environmental, the company leasing pellet-making equipment for use at the city's wastewater treatment plant. The system began operation in 2007 and in 2015 the system failed when the main shaft stopped working correctly. While in the process of hiring an engineer to design and manufacture a new main shaft, the city took legal action for breach of contract. The city also claims the company engaged in fraud and bid-rigging when it obtained its contract in 2004. This article explains the details of the court’s ruling. The city will appeal this decision.

Source: https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/local-ne...

Stench of Sewer Sludge Raises Concerns in Loudoun Co.

Leesburg, VA (10/3/18) - Neighbors of a farm that recently applied biosolids on its fields in Loudoun County are complaining about odors and an drastic increase in flies lured to the application site. Members of the county board of supervisors expressed interest in developing legislation that would enable more local control over the application of Class B biosolids.
County Board Summons Virginia DEQ About Biosolids Sites
'It A Smell of Human Feces:' Loudoun County Residents Raise a Stink Over Bio-solid Fertilizer
Concerns Over Biosolids in Loudoun Feels Like a ‘Science Experiment’
Farm Neighbors Renew Objections to Use of Biosolid Fertilizer

Source: https://wtop.com/loudoun-county/2018/10/st...

Are Colorado Crops Being Fertilized with Human Waste?

Colorado (9/22/18) - This article highlights the use of biosolids on farmland in Colorado. It cites a study by the USGS with the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District as well as some reporting from the Colorado Sun “Where Does Our Poop End Up? Probably Spread On Farmland in Eastern Colorado”.

Source: http://kool1079.com/are-colorado-crops-bei...

Plainfield Township Appeals DEP's Ruling on Proposed Sludge Treatment Plant

Plainfield Township, PA (9/14/18) - “Plainfield Township officials say they disagree with the state's decision to waive permits for a former quarry collecting stormwater near a proposed sewage treatment facility.” The quarry is currently used as a sedimentation basin for the landfill and will continue to be used in that manner. Those that are in objection are worried that continued use of the basin and adding fill to the quarry will cause contamination of the water.

Source: https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/slate-bel...

Orege Signs SLG Solution Agreement with Town of Hammonton, New Jersey

Hammonton, NJ (9/24/18) - “Orege announced the signing of a 10-year SLG® Solution lease agreement with the Town of Hammonton, New Jersey.” Hammonton is located between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, in a region where biosolids management is a sensitive environmental challenge.

Source: https://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/orege...

Whanganui Tannery Pulls Chrome Out of Wastewater

Whanganui, New Zealand (9/7/18) - Whanganui company Tasman Tanning plans to commission a plant to remove chrome from its wastewater going to the Whanganui wastewater treatment plant. The plant had received no pressure from the Whanganui District Council and  has instead taken this initiative with a vision for being more environmentally friendly. This action also improves the quality of the dried sludge produced at the treatment plant and opens the possibility of the plant producing a biosolids fertilizer rather than landfilling the material.

Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/new...

Push on to Break Down Stinky Stigma of Human Waste as Council Offers Free Biosolids to Growers

Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia (8/13/18) - Bundaberg Regional Council is running a trial program for farmers offering them free biosolids. One farmer producing macadamia nuts used the biosolids to rebuild soils previously depleted from a monoculture of sugarcane. The trees treated with biosolids have grown faster than other trees and the soils where biosolids were applied are more open and capable of higher water retention.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-08-1...