KERN COUNTY VOTERS BAN SLUDGE
Article Launched: 6/07/2006 12:00 AM


Kern County: L.A. to weigh options after voters ban imported sludge

BY KERRY CAVANAUGH, Staff Writer
LA Daily News

Kern County residents overwhelmingly voted to bar Los Angeles from sending its sewage sludge north for use as a
fertilizer.

Approval of the measure, which was passed by 85 percent of voters Tuesday, disappointed but did not surprise Los
Angeles officials.

Most rural Kern County residents abhor the thought of metropolitan Los Angeles spreading 750 tons per day of treated
human waste on farmland, and Measure E was expected to pass with overwhelming support. The ban should to take
effect in six months.

Los Angeles now spends $7 million a year to truck its sludge to Kern County. It could cost the city up to $21 million more
per year to truck its sludge to Arizona.

Los Angeles is evaluating its options, according to the Department of Public Works, which had defended the use of
treated sewage sludge, or biosolids, as safe and responsible.

California Senator Dean Florez, who led the campaign to ban L.A. biosolids, said the Kern vote was common sense.

"Voters here came to the correct conclusion that if sludge was good for people, Southern California communities
wouldn't be clamoring to send it north to us."

kerry.cavanaugh@dailynews.com

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