Natural health expert and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews Dr. David Lewis, a microbiologist with a PhD in Microbial Ecology who spent three decades working as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientist.
June 14, 2015 by Gary Chandler
Sick Wildlife The Tip Of An Iceberg Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is ravaging wildlife in many regions across North America. It’s part of a larger epidemic of neurological disease that is killing millions of people, wildlife and livestock around the world. Once again, wildlife are serving as the proverbial canary in a coal mine.
CWD is part of an incurable spectrum disease called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” Mismanagement of pathogens associated with the disease are contributing to a broader epidemic of neurological disease among wildlife, livestock and people.
Few, if any, mammals are immune to prion disease. There is no species barrier. It’s been found in dolphins, too, thanks to sewage runoff and sewage dumped at sea. It is likely contributing to the mass stranding of whales, too.
Published 12:10 am Saturday, February 28, 2015
By Josh Bergeron
Discussion over sludge being spread on farm fields has moved to the North Carolina General Assembly.
Filed in early February, a bill sponsored by three Republican state legislators could give more local control to county governments when outside entities request to spread biosolids on farm fields. Numbered House Bill 61, it’s got three primary sponsors — Reps. Carl Ford, R-76, Larry Pittman, R-82, and Michael Speciale, R-3. Ford and Pittman represent Cabarrus County, while Speciale is a house representative along the coast. One day after it was filed, the bill was referred to the Local Government Committee, which Ford is a chairman of. No action has been taken on it since Feb. 10.
A portion of the bill could require entities looking to bring biosolids, or sludge, into neighboring counties to incinerate the waste before spreading it on farm fields.
Pittman specifically cited opposition about a Charlotte Water — formerly Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities — proposal to expand its permit to spread biosolids on farm fields as a reason for the bill.
The bill is meant to allow county governments to address the public health concerns of their citizens in regard to the land application of potentially harmful substances in their community. “Presently, the local government authorities’ hands are tied. This bill does not require anyone to do anything, but simply allows county governments the option of taking action to protect their citizens if the citizens request that they do so and they are willing to do so.”
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 8:52 am
CONCORD, N.C. -- Opponents of proposed sewer sludge spreading permits came out in force to the Cabarrus County Commissioners meeting on Monday.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department (CMUD) and its contracted partner, Synagro, are seeking permits from the state Department of Energy and Natural Resources (NCDENR) to spread sewer sludge, or “biosolids,” on farmland in Cabarrus, Rowan and Iredell counties, including several sites in Gold Hill.
Biosolids are the solid materials left behind after wastewater is treated. CMUD treats an average of 81 million gallons of wastewater every day and produces about 100,000 wet tons of sludge annually, according to the agency’s website. The sludge is applied free of charge to more than 16,000 acres of private farmland in the region.
Residents of rural Cabarrus County are in an uproar over the prospect of sludge being spread on fields near their farms and residences. They fear negative impacts to human health, the environment and land values. They also say the sludge contains industrial toxins like PCBs and pathogens.
“There are no benefits in allowing the human waste to be dumped on our farmlands, which would lead to the contamination of ground and surface water,” said Rodney Kindley, who lives on St. Stephens Church Road near the proposed spreading area.
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.
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.