40 CFR 503.9(t) Pollutant is an organic substance, an inorganic substance, a
combination of organic and inorganic substances, or a pathogenic organism that,
after discharge and upon exposure, ingestion, inhalation, or assimilation into an
organism either directly from the environment or indirectly by ingestion through the
food chain, could, on the basis of information available to the Administrator of EPA,
cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutations,
physiological malfunctions (including malfunction in reproduction), or physical
deformations in either organisms or offspring of the organisms.
Farmer's health was never a consideration in EPA's push to promote sludge dumping
on farmland as a fertilizer. Biosafety level 2 practices, containment equipment and
facilities are required for handling pathogens in a laboratory environment. Rather
than giving the farmer an honest chance at survival, EPA put together a public
relations campaign to change public perception about the dangers of handling
pathogen contaminate sludge/biosolids.
Not only that, but EPA readily acknowledges that, "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 monofills) 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 liners must be taken to ensure that ground water is
not contaminated." (FR. 58, 9259)
EPA also found that, "In ocean disposal, certain pollutants often associated with
municipal sludge, including mercury, cadmium, and polychlorinated biphenyls, can
bioaccumulate. High levels of these pollutants can interfere with the reproductive
systems of certain marine organisms, may produce toxic effects in aquatic life, or may
present public health problems if individuals eat contaminated fish and shellfish."
(FR. 58, 9259)
Nor did EPA acknowledge that all of the regulated hazardous substances (pollutants)
listed in part 503 for safe use on crops are listed by the National Institute for
Occupational Health (NIOSH) as a poison by inhalation, ingestion or other routes.
NIOSH also has data which not only shows the regulated hazardous substances in
sludge are poisonous, nine are cancer causing agents, and they will cause
Yet, the EPA "scientists" failed to address 116 of the priority toxic pollutants and
claim the 10 hazardous substances (toxic pollutants originally addressed in part 503)
and their compounds are safe at the ceiling levels allowed in sludge, when used as a
fertilizer. In any other case, the 10 pollutants are poisons:
Arsenic (NIOSH CC 4025000) by inhalation or ingestion-carcinogen-mutagenic data.
Cadmium (NIOSH EU 9800000) by inhalation and other routes-carcinogen-mutagenic
Chromium (NIOSH GB 4200005) by inhalation and other
Copper (NIOSH GL 5325000) by ingestion and other routes-carcinogen-mutagenic
Lead (NIOSH OF 7525000) by ingestion and other routes-carcinogen-mutagenic
Mercury (NIOSH OV 4550000) by inhalation and other routes-carcinogen-mutagenic
Molybdenum (NIOSH QA 4680000) by inhalation, ingestion and other routes.
Nickel (NIOSH QR 5950000) by inhalation, ingestion and other
Selenium (NIOSH US 7700000) by inhalation and other unknown routes-carcinogen
(causes blind staggers in cattle).
Zinc (NIOSH ZG 8600000) by ingestion and other routes-carcinogen.
Can you imagine a farmer knowingly working in fields loaded with cancer causing
chemicals and with unknown quantities of pathogenic disease causing organisms?
EPA had to change the perception of sludge. To do this, it had to allow the farmer to
harvest any of his crops after 30 days. Even if they have been sprayed with sludge.
503.33(b)5(iv) Food crops, feed crops, and fiber crops shall not be harvested for 30
days after application of sewage sludge.
503.9(l) Food crops are crops consumed by humans. These include, but are not limited
to, fruits, vegetables, and tobacco.
The public perception is that a farmer has to wait a minimum of 14 months to harvest
above ground crops.
40 CFR 503 sludge requirements?
In 1989 EPA published a list of 25 primary pathogens in sewage sludge. Federal
Register FR), 54, P.5829
e-CFR Data is current as of March 16, 2005
Subpart D—Pathogens and Vector Attraction Reduction
(b)(5) Site restrictions
(i) Food crops with harvested parts that touch the sewage sludge/soil mixture and are
totally above the land surface shall not be harvested for 14 months after application of
(ii) Food crops with harvested parts below the surface of the land shall not be
harvested for 20 months after application of sewage sludge when the sewage sludge
remains on the land surface for four months or longer prior to incorporation into the soil.
(iii) Food crops with harvested parts below the surface of the land shall not be
harvested for 38 months after application of sewage sludge when the sewage sludge
remains on the land surface for less than four months prior to incorporation into the soil.
(9)(i) Sewage sludge shall be injected below the surface of the land.
(ii) No significant amount of the sewage sludge shall be present on the land surface
within one hour after the sewage sludge is injected.
(iii) When the sewage sludge that is injected below the surface of the land is Class A
with respect to pathogens, the sewage sludge shall be injected below the land surface
within eight hours after being discharged from the pathogen treatment process.
(10)(i) Sewage sludge applied to the land surface or placed on an active sewage
sludge unit shall be incorporated into the soil within six hours after application to or
placement on the land, unless otherwise specified by the permitting authority.
(ii) When sewage sludge that is incorporated into the soil is Class A with respect to
pathogens, the sewage sludge shall be applied to or placed on the land within eight
hours after being discharged from the pathogen treatment process.
(11) Sewage sludge placed on an active sewage sludge unit shall be covered with soil
or other material at the end of each operating day.