Recent Decision of New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Overruling Wheatfield Biosolids Ban

NYS agricultural officials have confirmed that biosolids application to farm fields is an effective and safe practice.

The town of Wheatfield and other communities in northern New York have been at odds with digestion companies producing products containing biosolids. In 2014, Milleville Brothers dairy farm proposed to apply Equate, containing biosolids, on land within the Town of Wheatfield.

In response to this request, Wheatfield adopted an amendment prohibiting “biosolids digestate or other liquid, solid or semi-solid waste, any of which contains human waste or any pathogenic organism, or which are derived from materials containing human waste, pathogenic organisms and/or municipal wastewater, at any location within the Town of Wheatfield”.  

The Department of Agricultural and Markets was requested to review the Town of Wheatfield’s Local Law banning the use of biosolids for compliance with Agriculture and Markets Law in relation to the Milleville Brothers proposed land application. The Department of Agriculture and Markets determined that, based on the course of its investigation, the Town of Wheatfield’s local Laws unreasonably restricted the Meadville Brothers farm operation and the town failed to demonstrate that public health or safety is threatened by the land application of Equate on the farm operation. This administrative decision made by the Department of Agriculture and Markets reflects the accepted safety of land application of biosolids. Check out the findings, determinations and order made by the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets in the attached document. 

New York State Determination re Land Application of Biosolids