Residents concerned about potential sludge near homes

Dan Yesenosky, WCNC 6:08 a.m. EST November 10, 2014

Gold Hill, N.C. -- Concern is rising in Cabarrus County over the potential of sewer sludge being dumped on farms. A few farmers want to use it for their crops, but their neighbors worry about the consequences.

A two-hour meeting in Gold Hill Sunday night had over 100 people in attendance, all searching for answers on how the sludge could affect their quality of life. Applications are in, and now Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities and the company Synagro are waiting on permits to spread the biosolid sludge.

Many at the meeting feel the same as Dr. Lance Riley.

"We don't want it in our soils, we don't want it in our water, we don't want it in our ground water, we don't want it in our water reservoirs," Riley said.

The reason people don't want it is because they believe it's harmful to their health, but the whole reason it's an option in the first place is because certain farmers in Cabarrus and surrounding counties have applied and requested to have Synagro spread the sludge on their land. Myra Dotson with the Sewage Sludge Action Network says what people do on their own land is their choice, but this impacts others.

television report and story

Rowan, Cabarrus gathering opposes plans for farmlands to accept sludge from Charlotte

Mark Wineka/Salisbury Post Danny Knight, who lives on Old Beatty Ford Road next to acreage proposed for the land application of sewer sludge from Charlotte-Mecklenbur Utilities, picks up some of the hand-out information in Gold Hill Sunday.

GOLD HILL — Danny and Angela Knight live on Old Beatty Ford Road next to acreage proposed for the land application of sewer sludge from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department.

They don’t want it, because they are fearful the biosolids could contaminate nearby streams and be harmful to groundwater, poisonous to breathe and uncomfortable to smell.

The Knights also have concerns that Shive Elementary School is about a half-mile from the proposed site, as the crow flies.
Attending a community meeting Sunday at the Gold Hill Fire Department, Angela Knight asked how individuals could fight large companies and big government who are responsible for spreading the sludge.

“Me, as an individual, I’m not big enough,” Angela Knight said. “Nobody wants this next to their place. ... I don’t want it there.”

Synagro, which handles CMUD’s land application program, has applied for numerous permits from the N.C. Division of Water Quality to spread biosolids from the waste treatment process on farmland in Rowan, Cabarrus, Stanly, Anson and Iredell counties.

The permits have yet to be approved, according to Dr. Lance Riley, who organized Sunday’s meeting.
“We’re in the sweet spot now where nothing’s going on,” Riley told about 75 people from Rowan and neighboring counties. “Let’s keep it that way.”

Representatives from CMUD and Synagro have scheduled a community meeting themselves to explain the proposed land application program. That meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Stephens Lutheran Church.

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By Jim Bynum

"Ebola Patients Brought to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta", after The Federal Public Health Service had assured the public that it is a Biosafety Level 4 treatment center as required by CDC. It appears to meet the CDC standard for containment of aerosols in hospitals, but offers no safety for aerosols generated during sewage treatment to plant workers, sludge (biosolids) haulers, or those exposed to Filoviruses (ebola) in reclaimed sewage effluent used as irrigation on parks, school grounds and food crops as well as the users of sewage sludge (biosolids) used for the same purposes.

Laboratories are required to disinfect all hazardous pathogenic (infectious) waste before releasing the waste into the environment for Disposal however, in this case some misinformed Military Officer within the Federal Public
Health Service (yes, it is a military organization embedded within every federal health protection agency) assured the doctors that general waste management practices at a sewage treatment plant will kill any virus in blood, shit or urine that’s flushed into the waste water system.

It would appear several federal laws have been ignored such as 42 U.S. Code § 6903 in disposing of waste in sewers.
[(5) The term “hazardous waste” means a solid waste, or combination of solid wastes, which because of its quantity,
concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may—
(A) cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating
reversible, illness; or
(B) pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored,
transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed.]

If Filoviruses such as Ebola are In Sewage, it will survive in the Effluent == Reclaimed water and Sludge products

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New Resource Page: Sewage Sludge (Biosolids) — land application, health risks, and regulatory failure

June 25, 2014

Sewage sludge (also known as ‘biosolids’) refers to the semi-solids left over from municipal waste water treatment. It contains highly variable mixtures of household and industrial pollutants. These include radioactive material, pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, antibiotics, and heavy metals, excess nutrients (e.g. N and P), and human pathogens. Its safe disposal has been problematic for municipalities and EPA since the inception of modern large-scale water treatment facilities (1).

Despite its documented harmful impacts, the U.S. EPA and others vigorously promote land application of sewage sludge — to farmers and ranchers as a fertilizer and to households as organic compost.

Many scientific experts argue that the risks of land application are not adequately addressed by EPA’s current 503 sludge rule. They believe the short and long term health of the public as well as the environment are at risk. The Bioscience Resource Project has just added Sewage Sludge (Biosolids) — land application, health risks, and regulatory failure to its resource pages. This page summarizes and links to key scientific papers that provide an overview of the current health, environmental, and political issues around land application of sludges. Included are suggestions for reformulating the problem to ensure clean water without toxic sludge production.

To access the new page see: Sewage Sludge (Biosolids) — land application, health risks, and regulatory failure.

(1) For an illuminating non-technical introduction to the origins of sewerage systems and the creation and disposal of toxic sludge see: Civilization & Sludge: Notes on the History of the Management of Human Excreta by Abby A. Rockefeller.

How EPA Faked the Entire Science of Sewage Sludge Safety: A Whistleblower’s Story

by Dr. David Lewis
June 9, 2014
Independent Science News

US EPA’s 503 sludge rule (1993) allows treated sewage sludges, aka biosolids, to be land-applied to farms, forests, parks, school playgrounds, home gardens and other private and public lands. According to a recent EPA survey, biosolids contain a wide range of mutagenic and neurotoxic chemicals, which are present at a million-fold higher concentrations (ppm versus ppt) compared with their levels in polluted air and water (1). Biosolids contain all of the lipophilic (fat-soluble) chemical wastes that once polluted our rivers and lakes, but which now settle out at sewage treatment plants and become concentrated in sewage sludges. Most biosolids contain ppm concentrations of heavy metals, including chromium, lead, and mercury. They contain similarly high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and semi-volatiles, such as bis (2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate, Benzo(a)pyrene), and polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners (PBDE flame retardants). Most biosolids also contain pathogenic agents and ppm levels of many common drugs, including ciprofloxacin (Cipro), carbamazepine (Tegretol, Equetro), and fluoxetine (Prozac).

While working at EPA Dr David Lewis published evidence that teenager Shayne Conner (of New Hampshire) died and other neighbors were harmed from living near land applied with sewage sludge (Lewis et al 2002). He furthermore became involved after dairy herds of two Georgia farms (McElmurray and Boyce) were poisoned after grazing on sludged land. He testified in lawsuits following each incident, against his employer (EPA), which is where many of the following depositions were obtained. The following article is an excerpt from Chapter 4 (Sludge Magic) of his new book (Science for Sale: How the US Government Uses Powerful Corporations and Leading Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top Scientists, Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profits). The lawsuits referred to are Lewis v. EPA 1999; Lewis v. EPA 2003; and USA, ex rel. Lewis, McElmurray and Boyce v. Walker et al. 2009. The depositions below piece together an unprecedented and coordinated multi-agency scientific scheme involving EPA, USDA, local and city municipalities, Synagro Technologies (a waste management company), various universities, and the National Academies of Science. The effort was intended to misleadingly present sewage sludge as scientifically safe, to hide the evidence that it was not, to deliberately misreport the contents of municipal sludges, and smear David Lewis with a scientific misconduct charge after he blew the whistle.

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Clearfield County residents' stand against biosolids pays off

By Chris Togneri

Published: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, 10:55 p.m.

Clearfield County residents got their wish, at least for now, when state officials agreed on Friday to stop spreading biosolids, or treated sewage sludge, on game lands near their homes.

“We feel really good,” said Allison Gould, who was among Bell Township residents who met with a state Game Commission official at her home. “They're going to stop; they're not going to spread here anymore.

“But this is not over,” she said. “This is a national problem, (and) I will always let people know how I feel about biosolids.”


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