EPA HAS DOCUMENTED THE LONGTERM MURDEROUS INTENT IN THE DISPOSAL OF SEWAGE SLUDGE AS IT CONCERNS CADMIUM AND OTHER TOXIC METAL.
In 1993, EPA issued part 503 as a self-implementing blanket permit (federal authorization) for the release of hazardous substances [pollutants] in sludge on lawns, gardens and food crop production land. This federal permit gives immunity for creating superfund sites as well as spreading death, disease, cancer etc, among sludge users, their customers and their neighbors.
To accomplish this, EPA leaders had to lie about the science, ignore protection of public health and the environment, federal laws, the intent of Congress, and claim a commercial fertilizer exclusion under the CERCLA, which provided for the clean up of superfund sites. (FR. 58, 32, pp. 9326, 9263, February 19, 1993).
Which brings up the question, Is the beneficial sludge use Section of the 1993 guideline 40 CFR 503 a result of murderous intent, or absolute stupidity, on the part of EPA leaders and the people who backed the decision to spread death, disease, cancer, etc., on farms, lawns and gardens and parks? Many of them have Ph.D's so it's not likely that they are stupid. These people have had all this information.
According to the preamble to part 503, the only justification for the beneficial use Section of 503 was so pollution removal credits for ten toxic metals could be issued to polluters, if the highly contaminated toxic sludge was land applied as a fertilizer. Only three metal are available for removal credits when disposed of in a part 503 surface disposal site .
EPA has two sludge disposal options that fulfill the requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and The Clean Water Act to protect public health and the environment. The guidelines to fulfill these requirements are given in 1979 guideline 40 CFR 257 and the 1991 guideline 40 CFR 258. EPA also has two sludge disposal options which partial fulfill the requirements of Section 405 of the Clean Water Act: 1) the land application section of part 257 which puts very strict controls on Cadmium, and 2) the surface disposal section of part 503 which has very strict controls on arsenic, chromium and nickel. Both allow production of food crops under limited conditions.
These are toxic pollutants under the NPDES guideline part 122.2. Toxic pollutant means any pollutant listed as toxic under section 307(a)(1) or, in the case of "sludge use or disposal practices," any pollutant identified in regulations implementing section 405(d) of the CWA.
Why do you think it is that a solid waste sludge land application site under part 257 must be at a pH 6.5 for the sludge/soil mixture when it contains Cadmium at over 2 mg/kg? Not only that, but why can only 0.5 kilogram of Cadmium be disposed of annually where food crops such as leafy vegetables, root crops or tobacco are grown? Why is it that if those two provisions are not met, the sludge must be placed one meter (three feet) underground if food crops are grown on the sludged ground? (40 CFR 257.3.5)
The intent of EPA leaders and the people who support the beneficial sludge use program can be seen in the fact that the part 257 land application requirements still apply to sludge from an industrial wastewater treatment plant. Yet, If residential sewage and hospital sewage, with the accompanying deadly disease organisms, are added to the industrial wastewater mixture and treated in a municipal wastewater treatment plant, the 2 mg/kg requirement land application is ignored and the beneficial sludge use Section of part 503 allows 89 mg/kg cadmium in sludge for food crop production with no control of pH. Not only that, but the annual cadmium disposal rate per hectare jumps from 0.5 kilogram to 1.9 kilogram for food crop production land with no pH control.
The murderous intent of EPA leaders can be seen by the fact that the part 503 allows 89 mg/kg of cadmium in Class A sludge. Part 503 does not mention "exceptional quality" Class A sludge which does not require that any records be kept. EPA claims the monthly average concentration of cadmium in sludge at 39 mg/kg would make the sludge "exception quality" for fertilizing lawns and gardens as well as food crop production, without any pH control. At this level of cadmium, the "exception quality" sludge would have to be three feet below the surface in a part 257 landfill land application site where food crops are grown.
Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach and tobacco, as well as certain staples such as potatoes and grain foods accumulate the highest level of cadmium. Tobacco studies gives us an idea of how contaminated our food could be: "Actually, United States Department of Agriculture studies (1974) indicated there could be very serious problems with tobacco grown on land where toxic sewage sludge was used because of the high uptake of Cadmium. "Chaney et al. (84)--- observed Cd (Cadmium) content in tobacco to be 15 to 20 ppm at 1 ppm in the soil, and 45 ppm with 2 ppm Cd in the soil." (1) North Carolina State University studies found, "3. The bottom leaves of tobacco consistently had the highest Cd concentrations. With tobacco grown on Norfolk soil at Ph 5.2 and 1.8 ppm Cd in the soil, the Cd content in the lower leaves averaged 73 ppm compared to 26 ppm in leaves higher up the stalk." (1)" http://www.penweb.org/issues/sludge/112.htm
Tobacco grown on sludge would have some very high numbers of cadmium - 89 ppm x 20 = 1780 ppm 39 ppm x 20 = 780 ppm
In 1989, EPA stated that cadmium was a "probable human carcinogen [by inhalation] based on sufficient animal data and suggestive human data." EPA also stated, Arsenic, Chromium and nickel are "human carcinogens [by inhalation] based on sufficient epidemiological data." (Federal Register vol. 54, P. 5777)
How is the decision made to dispose of sludge in a semi-safe surface disposal site or dump it as a fertilizer? In 1993, EPA made the choice ease when it stated, "When sewage sludge is not used to condition the soil or to fertilize crops or vegetation grown on the land, the sewage sludge is not being land applied. It is been disposed of on the land. In that case, the requirements in the subpart on surface disposal in the final part 503 must be met." (FR. 58, 32, p. 9330)
Sludge couldn't be used on a farm until 503.13 was revised allowed high levels of contamination on a beneficial sludge use site with no runoff controls and part 503.32 (iv) was revised to allow all Food crops, feed crops, and fiber crops to be harvested 30 days after application of sewage sludge
The murderous intent of the EPA leaders can also be seen by the fact that the highest contaminated sludge can be disposed of as a fertilizer 10 meters (about 30 feet) from any water course. Yet, it can not be disposed of at the same high levels that close to a part 503 surface disposal boundary. In fact, despite the extremely low level of contamination allowed on a surface disposal site under 503.22, under the 503.24 Management practices. (g)(1) Run-off from an active sewage sludge unit shall be collected and shall be disposed in accordance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements and any other applicable requirements. (2) The run-off collection system for an active sewage sludge unit shall have the capacity to handle run-off from a 24-hour, 25-year storm event. (k) A food crop, a feed crop, or a fiber crop shall not be grown on an active sewage sludge unit, unless the owner/operator of the surface disposal site demonstrates to the permitting authority that through management practices public health and the environment are protected from any reasonably anticipated adverse effects of pollutants in sewage sludge when crops are grown.
There is a good reason for these strict controls. EPA has said, "...If sewage sludge containing high levels of pathogenic organisms (e.g.,viruses, bacteria) or high concentrations of pollutants is improperly handled, the sludge could contaminate the soil, water, crops, livestock, fish and shellfish" (Preamble to 503, FR. 58, 32, p.9258).
Not only that, but "Sewage sludge with high concentrations of certain organic and metal pollutants may pose human health problems when disposed of in sludge only landfills (often referred to as mono-fills) or simply left on the land surface, if the pollutants leach from the sludge into ground water. Therefore, the pollutant concentrations may need to be limited or other measures such as impermeable liner's must be taken to ensure the ground water is not contaminated" (FR. 58, 32, p.9259)
Yet, EPA put together a public relations campaign to use the highest contaminated sludge as a fertilizer. Then, after a full fledged public relation campaign promoting the safety of sludge use based on the scientific Risk Assessment claim for part 503, EPA actually stated in the part 503 Risk Assessment that these same metals or any other toxic metal, did not cause or induce cancer by any of the exposure pathways it evaluated. (Chapter 6, p. 110)
Under the Clean Water Act, Cadmium is classified as a hazardous substance (part 116 & part 258) and a priority toxic pollutant. That is why in 1979, EPA gave a very good reason for the carefully control off Cadmium disposal in the preamble to part 257: "The kidney is considered the main target organ for chronic exposure to Cadmium, although chronic respiratory effects have been observed in longterm occupational settings. Upon ingestion or inhalation, the metal gradually accumulates in the kidney cortex. According to both clinical-epidemiological and Model-calulation data, the critical concentration of cadmium in the kidney cortex is approximately 200 micrograms per gram (ug/g), wet weight, in the average human. At that level, renal tubular dysfunction, characterized by proteinuria, is expected to occur. This condition is manifested by the excretion of B2 -microglobulin, which is the earliest discernible laboratory evidence of organ damage. Although mild or moderate increases in excretion of B2 -microglobulin, per se, are not life-threatening, the condition is often irreversible, and continued excessive exposure to cadmium can lead to other renal function adnormalities (such as glycosuria, amino-acid uria, and phosphaturia). Several autopsy studies have been performed to determine cadmium content of various types of body tissue, such as kidney and liver. These studies confirmed that the kidney is the organ which contains the highest concentration of cadmium and that the concentration increase with age." (Federal Register vol. 44, p. 53450)
"Inflammation in the glomeruli is called glomerulonephritis, or simply nephritis. Many diseases can cause this inflammation, which leads to proteinuria. Additional processes that can damage the glomeruli and cause proteinuria include diabetes, hypertension, and other forms of kidney diseases." "Proteinuria is also associated with cardiovascular disease. Damaged blood vessels may lead to heart failure or stroke as well as kidney failure." http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/proteinuria/ "Hypertensive people who develop proteinuria stand a significant chance for kidney failure. African Americans are 20 times more likely than Caucasians to develop hypertensive-related kidney failure. Proteinuria in people with diabetes may be a sign that kidney disease is worsening. Microalbuminuria is often cited as a risk for coronary artery disease (CAD) and is often diagnostic of it and related cardiovascular conditions." http://www.nephrologychannel.com/proteinuria/
EPA give a good example of the problem with cadmium in the preamble to part 257: "Various models have been established to calculate the daily level of exposure which will result in a cadmium of 200 ug/g in the kidney cortex, i.e., the concentration at which tubular proteinuria can be expected to occur. EPA scientists reviewed these models and have reached the following consensus. Ingestion of 440 micrograms of cadmium per day over a 50-day period is a reasonable estimate of the amount of cadmium necessary for 50 percent of the individuals within the population to develop proteinuria. It is significant to point out, however, that there are many individuals who may develop proteinuria at lower levels. The metabolic model, developed by Friberg, shows that ingestion of 200 micrograms per day over a 50-year period is the level at which most sensitive individuals accumulate 200 ug/g cadmium in the kidney cortex. The dose-response model, developed by Kjellstrom and Norberg, reflects a non-threshold dose-response. Using this model, daily cadmium exposures in the range of 100 to 125 micrograms would produce renal dysfunction in about 5 to 8 percent of the population after some 50 years of exposure. These model calculations are based on the assumption that all cadmium intake is through the diet. Therefore, allowances are necessary for non-dietary routes of cadmium intake," (Federal Register vol. 44, p. 53450)
Anyone involved with the EPA's current sludge disposal program under 40 CFR 503 knows that any type of exposure (direct, or through air, water or foodchain) to the chemicals and pathogens (pollutants) in sludge could cause death, disease, cancer, physical and mental problems as well as birth defects to the unsuspecting public. That is a given, otherwise EPA would not have included that statement of fact in part 503.9(t) and a more emphatic statement in the Clean Water Act (CWA).
According to Congress, "(13) The term "toxic pollutant" means those pollutants, or combinations of pollutants, including disease causing agents, which after discharge and upon exposure, ingestion, inhalation or assimilation into any organism [living entity], either directly from the environment or indirectly by ingestion through food chains, will, on the basis of information available to the Administrator, cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutations, physiological malfunctions (including malfunctions in reproductions) of physical deformations, in organisms [people or animals] or their offspring." (Title 33, part 1362)
Every sludge expert knows that the beneficial use section of part 503 is a simple federal permit to give immunity to those people who spread death, disease, cancer among the public through the air, water and food chain. The term biosolids was invented as a public relations tool to change the public perception about the dangerous nature of sludge and imply that all pollutants have been removed during the treatment
The State of Washington claims biosolids are something different from sludge. According to its website, "By definition, sludge is a solid waste, but biosolids are not a solid waste and are considered a valuable commodity."
The difference according to the website is, "Modern sewage-treatment plants are technologically advanced facilities that require a great deal of knowledge and skill to operate. While many people think only of the effluent that is discharged back to a river or bay, the biosolids portion is an important second product. Up to forty percent of a sewage treatment plant's construction and operating costs can be attributed to the systems that produce and treat the biosolids.
Treatment plant operators wanted a term that better characterized the time, expertise and expense that goes into the product. The term was adopted after a nationwide challenge to select a better name. Washington was the first state to adopt and recognize the term in law (1992). Http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/biosolids/faq.html
However, Washington State could only do this under the federal authorization to release hazardous substance granted by EPA leaders, who ignored the laws. Congress has not changed the laws yet. According to EPA, under RCRA, when pollutants are removed during the treatment of domestic sewage, the effluent which goes through the treatment plant is still treated domestic sewage and is released under a CWA NPDES permit. "However, during the treatment of domestic sewage, solids and dissolved materials are removed from the sewage and collected as sludges." "The language of Sections 1004(27) and 1004(26A) indicates that sludge generated by a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility is a solid waste for purposes of the Act." This is of course why part 258 was created in 1991, which according to part 503.4 is the only disposal method that complies with Section 405 of the Clean Water Act.
503.4 Relationship to other regulations. Disposal of sewage sludge in a municipal solid waste landfill unit, as defined in 40 CFR 258.2, that complies with the requirements in 40 CFR part 258 constitutes compliance with section 405(d) of the CWA.
To understand how badly the public has been misled we need to go back to 1979 when EPA issued 40 CFR 257 the Criteria for Classification of Solid Waste Disposal Facilities and Practices. The criteria was based on a "state solid waste management planning effort supported by EPA under subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA, or the Act)."
EPA issued the guidelines under Section 4002(b) of the Act in 1979 as 40 CFR 256. However, when last checked, no state has every submitted a solid waste manage plan to EPA for approval under that regulation.
"The criteria established the level of protection necessary to provide that "no reasonable probability of adverse effects on health or the environment will result from operation of the facility."" The facilities that did not meet that criteria under Section 4004 are open dumps under the Act and prohibited by Section 4005(c) of the Act.
"The criteria also provide the standard to be applied by the Federal District Courts in determining whether parties have engaged in acts that violate the prohibition of open dumping, also contained in Subtitle D of RCRA. The criteria also partially fulfill the requirement of Section 405 of the Clean Water Act to provide guidelines for the disposal and utilization of wastewater treatment plant sludge." (Federal Register vol. 44, p.53438)
Since part 503 is a self-implementing federal authorization to dispose of hazardous substances contaminated sludge based on the need to issue pollution removal credits under part 403, Appendix G, for the original ten listed toxic metals, there is no provision for addressing or allowing a citizens suit to protect the environment and/or human health. Many states have taken advantage of the self-implementing federal authorization granted by 503 to change state law to give immunity to those people who are spreading death, disease, cancer, etc, among the public at large.
Since the Federal and State Environmental people, as well as municipalities, have known this information all along, it would appear they have had a murderous intent toward the public, just to save a little paperwork. This is now a political situation infecting state legislative bodies as well as Congress and the Senate who have already had Hearings, and agreed sludge was not safe.