Deadly Deceit
                                           CHAPTER 5


EPA/WEF's claim that there have never been any

documented cases of harm from land application of sewage

sludge is being refuted by the growing list of victims

requesting assistance from the organizations, Help for Sewage

Victims and the National Sludge Alliance.  They came to these

organizations for help because the local and state regulatory

agencies and EPA refused to address the adverse health

effects they or their animals were suffering from exposure to

the pollutants in contaminated sludge.  According to Sanjour,

people who go to the EPA for help will not find them an ally.

He says:

These are people who start out with a strong faith in

their country and its institutions, who had always

thought of the EPA as the guys in white hats who put the

bad polluters in jail.  "If there were anything wrong

with it," they say, "the government wouldn't let them do

it." To their surprise, these folks find that the EPA

officials, rather than being their allies, are at best

indifferent and often antagonistic.  They find that the

EPA view them, and not the polluters, as the enemy.

(p. 20)

EPA has not only refused to address any adverse health

effects from the spreading of sewage sludge, but it has given

money to the WEF to debunk victims claims of harm from

exposure to the pollutants in the sludge!  For the purpose of

debunking these, what they refer to as "horror stories", EPA

appointed John Walker and Bob Bastian to work with WEF.  In

their debunking project, "REST OF THE STORY," Walker and

Bastian enlisted the help of the WEF by giving them an

initial $300 thousand dollar grant.

In EPA memos dated 10-17-1994, 12-29-1994, and 2-27-

1995, WEF's contribution was discussed and Walker and Bastian

suggested a potential Writer/Coordinator, Dave Trouba, WEF

could hire for the debunking effort.  An additional $650,000

was given to the WEF one year later (WEB page, March 15,

1996).  While the announcement did mention a number of

research projects for the newly created WEF Research

Foundation, according to a memo from John Walker, EPA Project

Officer, to Nancy Blatt and Tim Williams, Co-Project Leaders

with WEF, it was clear that the primary purpose of the grant

and the WEF Research Foundation was to debunk the sludge

"horror" stories of people, animals and the environment which

had been harmed by the use of sludge/biosolids.

The EPAïs initial documented list of horror stories in

the EPA memos for WEF to debunk included:

1) Merco/NYC biosolids expose--TV Nations production--
 Law suit by TX Attorney General--Merco Lawsuit--

2) Linda Zander case--sick & dead cattle,
 worker health--Farm Bureau and Dairy Today stories.

3) Miami-Dade County biosolids causing loss of papaya
 trees on 100 acres of land--$7 million settlement in
 lawsuits by Miami--Dade -covered by United Press.

4) Pending Prime Time TV story on Torres Martinez
 (Thermal, Ca.)--corrupt contractor, biosolids
  mountain, and composting.

5) Tree kill in Washington State with King Co METRO
 biosolids on Weyerhauser land.

6) Miniature horse deaths in Oklahoma.

7) Bioaerosols--claim need for 2 to 5 mile barrier in

8) Banker Liability concerns--recent article in Banker
 magazine saying farmers do not use biosolids.

9) Pathogen regrowth during shipment--Merco.

10) Biosolids a cause of AIDS.

11) Biosolids used on ball fields causing Lou Gehrig's
  Disease--what it took to debunk this claim.

12) Maryland turf grass grower crop loss due to
  biosolids use--involved grower's use of a highway
  roller on his fields.

13) Raleigh, NC--dead cattle from nitrate poisoning due
  to forage with high nitrogen content. Forage
  was not mixed with other low-nitrate fodder as
  advised by the POTW.

14) BLM (Federal Bureau of Land Management) policy
  opposing use of biosolids on Federal lands: equating
  its use to hazardous waste dumping and landfilling
  raising SUPERFUND liability concerns.

15) Citizens irate over purchase of farmland for
  biosolids use--how land ought to be used is big
  issue--private developer conflicts--NIMBY-
  personality clashes--often does not involve health

According to Walker's memo, the EPA was controlling the

campaign to debunk the negative publicity of adverse health

effects, environmental damages and public concerns from the

use of sludge as a fertilizer. Walker wrote, "the target

audience may be the municipalities, contractors, WEF

spokespersons and other wastewater professionals, and maybe

the general public depending on the case."

Walker's memorandum to Nancy Blatt and Tim Williams of

the WEF explained to them how the "horror stories" should be


Some of the cases may be written up for more than one

audience, (i.e., differently for each different

audience)."..."Interestingly, many of us in the

regulatory and municipal arena do not have credibility

with local citizens.  We need to get those that do

supplied with "The Rest of the story".

Walker continued:

If the cases were (1) Merco/NYC, (4) Prime Time Torres

Martinez, (9) Pathogen regrowth, and (15) Citizens irate

over purchase; then one audience would be the

municipality." He added further, "The write up would

tell municipalities what went wrong and what to do with

respect to control and management oversight to maximize

public acceptance and minimize negative publicity and

rejection of the recycling that is planned or underway."

Walker's further instructions to WEF's Nancy Blatt were:

If the cases were (2) Zander, (4) Miami-Dade, (5) Tree

Kill, (6) Miniature horses, (7) Bioaerosols, (10) AIDS,

(11) Lou Gehrig's Disease, (12) Turf grass loss, (13)

Dead cattle in NC; then the audience might be the

general public who various anti groups tell the

"horrors" of these cases and to which we would tell the

rest of the story.

According to Walker:

The audience might also be WEF biosolids spokespersons

and/or the wastewater professionals who would be working

with the general public to tell the authoritive truth.

Some of the cases may be written up for more than one

audience, (i.e., differently for each different


Time and space restrain us from writing in detail about

how EPA/WEF debunked each of the stories on the list.  We

have selected excerpts from EPA/WEF Fact Sheets on Number 1,

Merco and Number 2, Zander to show how the debunking process


Number 1 on the list to debunk was the Merco/NYC

biosolids TV expose with EPA's Bob Bastian as the contact

person.  The first WEF/EPA fact sheet focuses on Sierra

Blanca, Texas where national attention was drawn by TV

Nation's program which followed a Merco sludge train from New

York to Sierra Blanca.  What worried WEF and EPA most about

the Sierra Blanca incident was the effect on the audience of

the appearance of EPA's own senior hazardous waste expert,

Hugh Kaufman, who said on the program:

What you have here is an illegal `haul and dump'

operation masquerading as an environmentally beneficial

project, and its only a masquerade---The fishes off New

York are being protected, the citizens and land of New

York are being protected, and the people of Texas are

being poisoned. Something is rotten in Texas. (Stauber,

John, & Rampton, Sheldon, (1995) Toxic Sludge Is Good

for You (p. 118)

An irate Merco sued Kaufman and TV Nation's producer,

Sony Entertainment Pictures, as well as Bill Addington, a

local merchant, accusing them of "defamatory and disparaging

statements....made with actual malice and reckless disregard

for truth" (Ibid, p. 118). Addington was dropped from the

suit at the last moment, mainly because he had nothing they

could take after his lumber yard was burnt.  Addington's

activities in opposing the sludge dumping also cost him his

wife and adopted son because of their fear of harm.

Since June 1992, New York sludge has been transported by

rail to a 128,000 acre ranch in Sierra Blanca, Texas owned by

Merco Joint Venture. Approximately 80 tons a day of Class B

sludge is spread on the ranch to fertilizer the grass. Due to

local opposition and national attention, EPA and WEF had to

create a public relations fact sheet extolling the Merco

project as an example of a successful beneficial sludge use


We have selected excerpts from a few of the WEF/EPA

major contentions and answered them with the rest of the

story which was not told in the fact sheets.

WEF/EPA Biosolids Fact Sheet 1



   Detractors have expressed concerns that the quality

of the biosolids may be poor or even hazardous.


   The fact is that New York City sludge is hazardous.

According to a New York City study (Wat. Sci. Tech.

(1987) Vol. 19, No. 9.p. 133, pretreatment by industry

would not help New York City control the toxic metals.

They say, "The 1970 to 1972 study of the sources of

these heavy metals in New York City waste-water

concluded that even with zero discharge by industry, 94

percent of the zinc, 91 percent of the copper, 84

percent of the cadmium and 80 percent of the chromium

being discharged would continue to be discharged by

sources virtually immune to treatment (Ref.  1)."

Furthermore, the study found p.  142), "For land

application, the Task 4 Report used NYDEC criteria

(Table 5).  It concluded that because of

metals concentration, 94% of New York City Sludge is

presently unacceptable for land application.  After

pretreatment, either through local limits or categorical

standards, 83% to 84% of New York City Sludges would

still be unacceptable for land application.  The reason

for this is that non-domestic sources of pollutant

loading, not industrial sources, are primarily

responsible for interfering with this sludge use.

   According to information furnished to the Texas

Department of Natural Resources in 1992, New York City

did have a major sludge problems: 1) 12 of 14 treatment

plants failed copper limits; 2) 1 plant failed the

cadmium limit; and 3) 3 of 14 plants failed arsenic


  New York City had a much greater problem under the

proposed regulation with organics: 1) the sludge was so

contaminated that 11 of the 14 plants failed on PCBs

because they could not get a clean sample.  The test

equipment detection levels were well above the proposed

regulated level in part 503; 2) the same was true for

Toxaphene at 4 of the 14 plants; 3) 1 plant failed on

Diemethyl Nitrosamine because of the detection level; 4)

9 of 14 plants failed on DDT/DDE/DDD levels because of

high equipment detection limits.

  Yet, Texas still welcomed the sludge which was too

contaminated to be used as a fertilizer in New York

State.  In fact, according to the fact sheet, by the

time the sludge got to Texas it was magically

transformed into Exceptional Quality (PC) Biosolids.

What actually happened was that EPA/WEF did a little

creative lying in the fact sheet.


   Biosolids are analyzed and tested routinely for

pollutants and disease causing organisms using Toxicity

Characteristic Leachate Procedure (TCLP) tests.


   The TCLP test method can only be used to detect a

few of the estimated 500,000 chemicals which can be

found in sludge. The TCLP test method can not be used

for detection of disease causing organisms in sludge.

The TCLP test simulates, in a laboratory, the potential

for a percentage (approx. 5%) of a hazardous substance

to leach out of a given sample under mismanaged landfill

conditions.  There is no direct correlation between TCLP

test results and the Total Metals Test used for the Part

503 regulation. In fact, based on the problems New York

City had with the detection limits, there may be no

relationship between the Total Metals Test results and

the actual quantity of a pollutant in the sludge.

   The Total Metals Test, which is normally used by

POTWs, is a cheap test. It supposedly measures the total

amount of metals in a given sample.  As an example, in

column 1 of Table 1, in the fact sheet, the EQ or PC

federal limit for lead is 300 ppm which is derived from

the standard Total Metals Test methods.

   The lead level of 193 ppm in column 2, for Merco,

according to the fact sheet, is derived from the TCLP

hazardous waste test method.  The 193 ppm is only that

part of the lead which would leach out of the hazardous

waste under mismanaged landfill conditions at a rate of

1 part in 20.

   This indicates that had the total metals test

method been used, the Part 503 EQ limits of 300 ppm

would have been exceeded by approximately 3,560 ppm.

This would also have exceeded the New York State ceiling

limit of 840 ppm for lead by approximately 3,020 ppm.

   Actually the numbers indicate that New York City's

pretreatment program must have improved the quality of

the sludge at least by half since the Water Science

Technology study of 1987, which showed the average level

of lead in the NYC sludge was 6,400 ppm.

   If this sludge was so clean, as the fact sheet

indicated, why wasn't it spread on farmland in New York

State?  Why did New York City pay Merco $800 a ton to

take sludge out of State when the average instate cost

(according to a Pima Gro Systems letter to Imperial

County, dated May 17, 1996), for municipalities to

recycle sludge in a comparable State like California

ranges "from the high teens and low twenty dollar per

ton for biosolids?"

  The disturbing fact is that this Class B sludge sent

to Texas may be the least hazardous portion (27%) of the

NYC sludge. The major portion (67%) is processed into

Class A sludge by the New York Organic Fertilizer

Company where there are no records or labels required to

leave a paper trial when the product leaves the plant.

The Biosolids Fact Sheet 1 noted that, "Merco handles

27% of New York City biosolids.  About 67% goes to the

New York Organic Fertilizer Company, where they are

pelletized.  Pelletized biosolids have been used on dry

wheat farms in Colorado, irrigated cotton and grain

farms in Arizona, and Citrus orchards in Florida. The

remaining six percent is landfilled." (p.5)


   After treatment in New York City, Merco voluntarily

tests the biosolids to further ensure compliance with

metal and pathogen requirements before they are loaded

into sealed containers for shipment to Texas. The City of

New York also conducts its own tests.


   In spite of all these tests, according to their own

Fact Sheet, In September 1993, a series of human errors

in New York City and in Texas led to the application of

nine rail containers of biosolids that had failed to

meet the detention requirement for PSRP (time for

pathogen reduction) . (p. 3)

   Regardless of what the cause was, it was still put

on the land without meeting the Pathogen reduction

requirements in Part 503.  The EPA/WEF fact sheet

claimed tests for pathogens done on the soil showed the

pathogen levels had dropped to acceptable levels. The

problem is that while there is a pathogen standard for

sludge there is no pathogen standard for soil.

    According to their own fact sheet, pathogen

reduction has been a problem, especially pathogen

regrowth.  The fact sheet says, "In Texas, the regular

testing for the presence of pathogen indicators has

occasionally revealed varying levels above the federal

and state regulatory limits, causing concern about

pathogen regrowth during transport."   The excuse for

the regrowth, which the fact sheet claimed was verified

by an independent analysis by Alternative Resources,

Inc., of Stroudsberg, Pa., was "variations were most

likely caused by inconsistencies in the sampling and

analytical methods at the five separate labs conducting

the analysis. (p.  3)

   We are supposed to believe that five separate

laboratories, who follow approved EPA procedures, can

not perform a simple fecal coliform test, which is done

routinely by municipal treatment plants.  If these

inconsistences are occurring in five separate

laboratories how can we place any confidence in any of

the results of tests done to detect pathogens? Who are

Alternative Resources, Inc.? Is it a laboratory?  Was

any pathogen test actually performed by Alternative

Resources for comparison, if not, why not?


   Several stricter-than-normal measures, either

imposed by Texas or volunteered by Merco were

implemented. These included: a biosolids application

rate at less than agronomic rate; an initial 2-year

delay before grazing cattle on biosolids-applied land.


   An agronomic rate as defined in the fact sheet is

"the rate of biosolids application that is designed to

provide the amount of nitrogen needed by a crop or

vegetation to attain a desired yield by minimizing the

amount of nitrogen that will pass below the root zone of

the crop or vegetation to the ground water."

If the agronomic rate is needed to provide the right

amount of nitrogen to the crop, why have they applied

the sludge at levels below the agronomic rates?

How will the sludge applications benefit the soil if

they fail to meet the nitrogen requirements?

For what reason have they chosen to apply at these

rates? Is it because they fear acute adverse health

effects or environmental damage at even agronomic rates?

If sludge is as safe as they claim and if the test

results show the sludge to be so `clean' as indicated in

the Table 3 on page 4 of the fact sheet, why are they

preventing cattle from grazing on the sludge site for 2-

years?  EPA's Part 503.32(b)(5)(v) says, Animals shall

not be allowed to graze on the land for 30 days after

application of sewage sludge.


   Texas A & M research indicates that there is no

significant airborne movement of organic material from

the biosolids site (such as pathogens and/or plant

materials) and particulate matter (other organic matter

and inorganic matter, such as dust or metals).

Was it possible that the reason for the low application

rates were to prevent the pathogens from leaving the

site during the air sampling period?

   No mention is made of organic chemicals in the

samples collected. Is that just an oversight or was it

possible they were not testing for the chemicals--

dioxins, Furans, PCBs which are detected at low levels.

Dioxins have been detected even in the parts per

quadrillion. Is it probable that no tests were conducted

on any organic chemicals because they are not regulated

in Part 503?

Number 2 on the list to debunk is Linda Zander. Linda,

a very caring and compassionate person, created a non-profit

organization called Help For Sewage Victims to offer any

victims of sewage sludge--advice, information, a data base,

and a sympathetic ear.  Since its inception, Help for Sewage

Victims has been very effective in combating the spreading of

sewage sludge.  Zander's story and stories of others harmed

by sewage sludge have been reported in over 30 mostly small

newspapers and 4 farming magazines since 1991 as well as in

John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton's book, TOXIC SLUDGE IS GOOD

FOR YOU!  (1995)

Through Zander's efforts and those of other tireless

workers in grassroots movements across the United States, the

harmful effects of land application of sewage sludge, sewage

sludge composting and pelletizing are coming to light.

Seeking recompense for the harm done them, Linda and Ray and

their family filed suit against the sludge hauler, Western

Services Inc., the district of Birch Bay, the towns of

Lynden, Everson, Nooksack, and Sumas, Whatcom County, and Van

Dalen in 1991.  When Linda went to the courts seeking justice

for the terrible wrongs that were done to her and her family,

she learned the painful truth that the justice system in the

United States can be subverted by legal and procedural


The suit against Whatcom County and the municipalities

were dismissed under the Public Duty Doctrine by summary

judgment. The Whatcom County Superior Court on October 8,

1993, held that the county had no duty to protect the

Zanders, only a duty to the general public and they were

individuals.  The Zanders' claim against the various

municipalities was dismissed when their attorneys, Bricklin

and Collins, failed to comply with the municipal claims

statute 40 CFR Part 135 which states a 60 day notice has to

be given before a suit can be filed under the Clean Water

Act.  When the Zanders appealed the decision to the

Washington Court of Appeals, the Court affirmed the trial

court decision on July 31, 1995.  The Zanders' legal battle

was halted when the Washington Supreme Court refused to

review the decision.

When they brought a malpractice suit against Bricklin

and Collins, the Superior Court of the State of Washington

granted summary judgment of dismissal to the defendants,

Bricklin and Collins. Although the judge noted that the state

did have a responsibility to protect the individuals, the

cities involved had a duty to dispose of the sewage sludge--

and they were only doing their job. The Zanders' are

appealing the decision of summary judgment based on

malpractice which the judge concurred with, nuisance,

trespass, inverse condemnation and damage to property and


The Zanders' have never had their day in court

where they could address the sludge issues.  Powerful

entities (Washington State Department of Ecology and King

County Department of Metropolitan Services, the EPA, AMSA and

WEF) have conspired to prevent this from ever happening.

According to documented evidence, on February 22, 1993, two

State Department of Ecology Representatives, Al Hanson, and

Kyle Dorsey, four King County Metro representatives, Mark

Lucas, Carol Ready, Steve Gilbert, Dan Sturgill and their

legal counsel, Salley Tenney, of the Metro Legal Services,

Mel Kemper of the City of Tacoma, Hal Thurston, an attorney

representing the cities that were involved in the Zanders'

lawsuits and four individuals also associated with the Zander

law suit, met in a closed meeting to discuss the Zander Case.

According to Keith A. Bode, as recorded in the Zander Action

Summary, the legal cost to stop her will exceed $500,000


Bode warned those in attendance at the meeting that

Zander had to be stopped. He said that she had identified 18

medical experts (including physicians, immunologists,

toxicologists, and nutritionists), 9 veterinarians, 2

property valuation/devaluation experts, 3

soil/hydraulic/geologic experts and 1 testing lab who would

testify about the dangers of sewage sludge use to humans and

animals. Bode warned that there would be extra-regional

impact and "This action must not be settled". He reminded

those present:

The public persona of biosolids is precarious, at best,

and each member of WEF and AMSA can be assured that

Zander appears dedicated to capitalizing on every

available opportunity to publicize her scare story...and

remember, with respect to land application, the farming

community comprises less than 2% of the population, so

she need only reach a narrow population to cripple land

application. It is essential that her soapbox be removed

and her credibility challenged before our regional

problem has any more effect (than she has now)

nationally or internationally on land application of


Linda's active fight against the land application of

sewage sludge and sewage sludge sold as a fertilizer for

lawns and gardens made her a target of both the EPA and WEF.

She became number 2 on the EPA's hit list of sludge "horror

stories" which they paid the Water Environment Federation to

debunk.  They had to coverup any damage to human health and

the environment. After all their propaganda said sludge was

perfectly safe and there had never been any documented cases

of any adverse health effects from land application of sewage


Using a "blame the victim" strategy, the writer of the

EPA/WEF Biosolids Fact Sheet on Linda stated that "Poor

operating conditions, faulty equipment and corroded piping at

the Pangborn well may explain high levels of zinc and other

metals found in some samples of the well water." When Linda

read the EPA/WEF Fact Sheet, she was astounded at what links

they would go to challenge her credibility. Determined to

expose their deliberate lies and fabrications, she wrote a

detailed rebuttal refuting one by one all of their major

points which would have put the blame on her and her family,

the victims, rather than where it should have been put--on

the sludge that had caused them harm.

In answer to their assertion that corroded pipes, and

faulty equipment had caused the well contamination,  she

wrote: "There were no corroded piping. New pipe had been in

place for a number of years.  The equipment was not faulty.

Farmer's Equipment monitored and serviced it regularly. They

found it in good condition."

Other "blame the victim" statements made in the WEF/EPA

Fact Sheet, she refuted include the following:


   The Zanders' cattle clearly grazed around the well,

which suggests the cows left manure around the well.

Corn was grown with fertilizer in the field surrounding

the well, as close as 30 feet to the wellhead.  The

Zanders applied dairy waste and manure to the field next

to and uphill from the well.


   In order to avoid any contamination of the well

from manure, we used a 100' setback to the concrete

enclosed well when annually applying cow manure. We have

applied cow manure for years with no contamination. The

well was contaminated with metals, cesium, radium, and

organic tin, which comes from hospital wastes, toilet

bowl cleaners, and not manure!


   Investigators for the Whatcom County Health

Department found the well in disrepair as early as 1990.

While sampling for contaminants, state hydrologist, Dave

Garland, observed that the wellhead and well-house were

unsanitary and unsecured. The 250-gallon, galvanized-

steel tank potentially could have leached zinc into

water drawn from the Zander taps.


   The Whatcom County Health Department came only once

when the well equipment was being repaired, at the time

the county was pushing chlorination on all the community

well associations.  Washington State Department of

Ecology, Dave Garland, who is not a qualified

hydrologist, observed rain on the ceiling of the well

when it was opened for repair and stated "Rat feces,

that's what contaminated the water."

   The well was not normal in July 1990 and August

1990.  It was not potable then.  Well samples were not

taken from the steel tank, but from the well as required

by the Federal law.  Obviously the writer knows nothing

about well-sampling procedures.


   The members of the Pangborn Water Association

removed the Zander well from their system in April 1991,

claiming water from the well was corrosive and the well

was running dry.


   The Pangborn Water Association discontinued and

abandoned the well, after contamination and at the

advice of the State Department of Health.


   The Zander's lawsuit claimed that several of their

150 dairy cows were sick and experiencing abortions and

sluggish reproductive habits due to biosolids

applications.  Washington State University veterinarians

concluded that the cattle received poor-quality feed and

that some cattle deaths were misreported by the Zanders.


   Contrary to what was written in the EPA/WEF Fact

Sheet, Washington State University veterinarians did not

conclude that poor quality feed and some cattle deaths

were misreported. Feed tests and forage and grain

rations were provided to the WSU vets. These rations

were balanced by Land O'Lakes Cenex nutritionist on a

regular basis. No report by WSU vet ever stated that

the cows reported dead were suspect; diagnoses for cause

of death were documented for most.


   WSU veterinarians blamed poor management of

Zanders' herd for excess deaths.


   No WSU veterinarian ever blamed poor management of

the Zander's herd for the excess deaths.


   The veterinarians reviewed that data and examined

the herd, determining that low production rates and

diarrhea were associated with poor quality grass silage.

Grass silage was fed as the cows' only forage for at

least four weeks in 1990, and problems with the herd

stopped when silage rations were discontinued. Some

cattle illness and deaths also may have been the result

of noncompliance with vaccination strategies, food rot,

poor bedding of cows and milking hygiene, or force in

assisted calvings.


   At no time that I can remember [in 26 years] was

only silage fed to our cows. Our rations always included

alfalfa hay, and grain which was balanced by a

nutritionist. Our herd problems stopped the day the cows

were shipped out. Forty cows were sent to slaughter. As

to vaccinations and milking hygiene, herd health

(including vaccinations) and udder health records were

kept.  Mastitis tests were done monthly. Bedding was

changed regularly.

In the same EPA/WEF Fact Sheet, the "blame the victim"

strategy was again used to explain the cause of deaths and

diseases of the dairy cows of another dairy farmer on the

other side of the country, Robert Ruane, of Rutland, Vermont.

According to the Fact Sheet, "Ruane possessed few herd

records, silage quality was poor, the recommended feeding

program was largely ignored, and feeding practice did not

meet National Research Council recommendations for lactating

dairy animals, the Vermont Department of Agriculture found."

(p. 8)

When we asked Bob Ruane to comment on the statements

made about him in the EPA/WEF Fact Sheet on the Zanders',

where he was accused of causing the death and disease of his

own cattle because he didn't follow the recommended feeding

program for lactating cows, and the silage he fed was of poor

quality, he was astounded. He didn't know he was written up

in a Fact Sheet.

As to the charge in the Fact Sheet that he was not

following the recommended feeding program for lactating dairy

cattle, he said he fed his cows a mixed ration of silage and

grains three times a day--at 4:00 in the morning, at 8:30 in

the morning and again at 4:30 in the afternoon. He said the

misunderstanding might have arisen when he told the State

agent what he fed the cattle at each feeding instead of the

total amount fed each day. As to the quality of the silage,

it is no doubt that it was of poor quality since it was grown

on the sludge-amended ground. It wasn't until he started

feeding silage from unsludged fields that his cattle

improved.  Until his herd's health was damaged, he was

unaware that the silage was not only of poor quality, but

that it contained toxic elements that caused death and

disease in his herd.

It is obvious that the writer of the EPA/WEF report was

not raised on a farm or he wouldn't have made such asinine,

and ridiculous statements. I was reared on a farm in the

midwest where we raised beef cattle and swine as well as

grains. My dad came from a long line of farmers. Manure was

used as a fertilizer on crops including home gardens with no

adverse health effects ever. Of course then the manure was

"exceptional quality". Cattle were not ingesting crops grown

on sludge-amended soil with its organic chemicals and heavy

metals which could taint the manure. The Zanders, nor any

farmers, would ever be so stupid as to put manure where it

could contaminate the water that not only the animals drink,

but they also drink.  Farmers are not the ignorant hayseeds

and country bumpkins EPA/WEF made them  out to be.  They are

intelligent people who practice good agricultural procedures.

If your livelihood depends on the health of your animals, you

will not compromise their health by feeding them poor quality

food and not complying with all requirements such as

vaccinations.  A sick herd doesn't earn any money.  Even

before computers, farmers kept detailed and well documented

records on their livestock and other farming operations.

Farmers are also subject to IRS audits where they have to

produce records.

If the writer had ever seen a calf or pig or other

animal born, he would have known that only on rare occasions

(breach birth) do you ever have to assist in its birth. It

doesn't take a rocket scientist to make a connection between

the land application of sludge and illness on these dairy

farms where there were never any problems until they were

exposed to the pollutants contaminating the sludge. It is

sludge not poor farming practices that are too blame for

these farmers woes.

Incidence Response Team

To placate the public, EPA has created an Incidence

Response Team to investigate public concerns associated with

the use of sludge under the leadership of Bob Brobst, who

is/was the sludge coordinator for Region Eight. According to

Perciasepe, Brobst "will be asked to update his protocol on

when and how the Incidence Response Team will work."  Why

does EPA need an Incidence Response Team, if the statement

made by Alan Rubin, Ph.D. on November 2, 1995 is factual?

Rubin said, "Biosolids that have been land applied under

state and Federal requirements have never been documented to

cause any negative human health or ecological impact."

The first effort of the Team, according to Perciasepe,

"involves the Denver Metro site where {radioactive hazardous

waste} effluent from a Superfund site {Lowery landfill} is

scheduled to go into Denver Metro POTW and biosolids would go

onto their municipal owned {50,000 acre} ranch where wheat is


Joel Bleifuss, in his article, "The First Stone,

Radioactive Sludge", which was published April 28, 1997 in IN

THESE TIMES, reported EPA's plan to pipe the radioactive

waste from the Denver owned Lowery Landfill Superfund site

into Denver's treatment plant. Since the Lowery Landfill had

been declared a Superfund site in 1986, EPA and the City of

Denver had the responsibility to clean up the site. Denver,

who owned the landfill in which it dumped its own garbage,

and the Atomic Energy Commission contractors (Coors and

Rockwell International) who had placed radioactive waste in

the landfill, would normally share the major cost for the

clean up. Bleifuss says that he was tipped off to the story

by EPA's Hugh Kaufman who said "Follow the money...If you run

it through the city's waste-water treatment plant, then the

financial liability transfers from the parties responsible

for putting waste in the landfill to Metro--which means to

the taxpayers of Denver and suburbs--Coors and others are off

the liability hook." (p.12)

According to the article,  Adrienne Anderson, who

teaches environmental ethics at the University of Colorado at

Boulder, who had been appointed to the Metro board to serve

as an advocate for the sewer district workers, discovered EPA

had secretly approved the plan without going through the

public hearing process as required by federal law. After

going public with her claim of plutonium contamination at

Lowery landfill, she was hassled by her fellow board members.

She has been called a troublemaker by fellow board members

and threatened with censure if she doesn't precede all her

public comments with the disclaimer that she is speaking

only for herself.

Anderson drew the anger of the board when she notified

members of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Local, who

worked at the Metro treatment plant, as well as leaders of

anti-sludge farming groups such as Family Farmers for

Environmentally Safe Use of Property (FES UP). When Anderson

complained to the U.S.  Department of Labor and invoked the

federal laws protecting whistleblowers, it ruled in her favor

and ordered the board to rescind two letters containing the

threat of censure.

According to Bleifuss, Denver sells its sludge as a

fertilizer to the public under the brand name MetroGro at $2

per 20-pound bag or $20 a ton.  He reports that sludge not

sold to the public as a fertilizer, will be applied to

Denver's 41,000 acre wheat farm near Deer Trail, Colorado.

According to neighbors of this site, Lylamae and Richard

Price, the pollutant contaminated runoff from the sludge site

"runs straight into the reservoir from which the Price's

cattle drink."

Bleifuss warns, "If the EPA's precedent-setting disposal

plan in Denver is allowed to stand, an already intolerable

situation will get worse. We can expect to see the industrial

poisons from the nations 1,255 other Superfund sites piped

into local sewers systems, turned into fertilizer, and

introduced into the food chain." (p.13)

According to CNN's June 1997 expose "Hazardous Harvest"

this is already happening--Superfund sites are already being

cleaned up by turning the hazardous waste into fertilizer.

According to the EPA's Regional Administrator, Marc Herman,

who manages the superfund sites clean up, this was "--not

precedent-setting -- it is being done at Superfund sites

across the country."

So now a new ingredient--radioactive waste--has been

added to the toxic soup of sewage sludge, along with disease

causing organisms (e.g., bacteria, viruses, and parasites),

dangerous heavy metals (e.g., cadmium, lead, mercury), and

deadly organic chemicals (e.g., dioxins, furans, PCBs, etc.).

The only other incidence mentioned in Perciasepe's

statement involved dead cows. He wrote, "His study [Brobst)

also is involving public acceptance and dead cows at another

site alleged to be associated with biosolids use, but is


It is obvious from Perciasepe's statement that the

purpose of the Incidence Response Team is not to impartially

investigate any claims of adverse health effects and/or

financial damage to victims or damage to the environment from

the use of sewage sludge. If the Team hasn't conducted the

investigation yet, how could Perciasepe state, the dead cows

were not associated with the use of sewage sludge.  We have

documentation of deaths of cows from exposure to pollutants

in sludge from Vermont to North Carolina, to Missouri, to

California and to Washington.

After what has been revealed in Perciasepe's statement,

where he requested more staff support for assistance because

of "emerging issues of concern associated with pathogens,

vectors, metals, toxic organic, odors, bioaerosols, and the

development of improved methodologies for monitoring the

levels of pathogens and pollutants in biosolids," it is

obvious this Team will be very busy. Since sludge has/is

being spread on farmland and sold as fertilizer to be spread

on lawns and gardens mostly unregulated and unmonitored there

will be many, many more victims and more "horror stories" for

the Team to debunk.  Yours could be one of them .

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