As approved by National Governors Association (NGA) and EPA

The CWA citizen suit provisions, found in section 505(a), which authorize actions for alleged violations of CWA effluent
standards and limitations,
are not applicable under section 405. States are issuing sewage sludge disposal permits
pursuant to state law and these non-NPDES permits contain state effluent standards and limitations,
not CWA
standards and limitations
August 18, 2006

Mr. Jeffrey H. Larson, Manager
Permitting, Compliance and Enforcement
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
4220 International Parkway, Suite 101
Atlanta, GA 30354

    RE: NPDES Sludge Disposal Permits
    Columbia County - Reed Creek
    Crawford Creek, Little River and Kiokee
    Creek Water Pollution Control Plants
    Sludge Management Plan Approval

Dear Mr. Larson:

Thank you for your July 21, 2006 letter concerning the issuance of the four modified NPDES sludge Disposal Permits. I
am concerned about the statement, “The Environmental Protection Division has determined that the Columbia County
Sludge Management Plan (SMP) dated January 26, meets all regulatory requirements necessary for approval.”

As I understand the federal regulatory scheme, There is no requirement for compliance with federal laws by states or
municipalities. Sludge disposal by a Water Pollution Control Plant is self-permitting under Part 503, unless a permit is
issued by EPA or a
state with an EPA approved sludge management plan, which, according to EPA’s Robert
Bastian, Georgia doesn’t have.

This indicates the NPDES permits issued by you are a partial shield to protect the municipalities from lawsuits, while
implying to the farmers and public that they are being protected. As example, while your NPDES permits may limit a few
chemicals addressed in part
503, the municipalities may issue removal credits for extremely high levels of hazardous
inorganic and organic chemical under
appendix G, II, of 403 providing they are land applied. An example would be
chromium, which isn’t regulated at 100,000 parts per million for land application, but it is regulated at 600 parts per
million when disposed of in a part
503 surface disposal site where storm water from a 25 year, 24 hour event must be
collected and disposed of under a real NPDES permit

Governor John Hoeven (North Dakota), Chair and Governor Ruth Ann Minner (Delaware) Vice Chair, Natural Resources
Committee, National Governors Association (NGA), explains how the permitting scheme works and why the states have
put their citizens health and the environment at risk by failing to comply with federal environmental laws.

Governors Hoeven and Minner acknowledge, “The NODA [Notice of Data Availability] indicates that EPA is constrained
from adopting functionally equivalent state programs by the CWA and EPA regulations. Specifically, the NODA states
that section 402(b) of the CWA, and the corresponding regulations contained in 40 CFR Part 123, require that all
NPDES programs contain five elements: 1) federal enforceability; 2) public participation; 3) citizen suits; 4) five-year
permit terms, and 5) permit conditions and limitations designed to limit discharges. According to the NODA, in order for a
state program to be functionally equivalent, it would have to issue permits that meet all of these elements.”

The CWA standards seems to be pretty clear in, “g. United States v Kuhn, 165 F Supp 2d 639 (ED Mich, 2001). The
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan found --- First, the court determined that the terms
“discharge” and “disposal” were the same for purposes of double jeopardy. The court based this determination on the
definitions of those terms contained in the CWA and in other analogous federal environmental statutes. Second, the
court determined that the terms “sewage sludge” and “pollutant” were synonymous because the CWA’s definition of
“pollutant” expressly includes “sewage sludge.” Third, the court determined that a “treatment works” was the same as a
“point source”
Vol. 20, No. 2, 2002 Michigan Environmental Law Journal Page 9

It would appear that Governors Hoeven and Minner have been put in the rather embarrassing position of claiming states
do not have to comply with the federal laws because, “EPA currently sanctions functionally equivalent programs as part
of its sludge management program promulgated under section 405 of the CWA. Section 405 authorizes states, subject
to EPA approval, to operate their own permit program for disposal of sewage sludge.
While the implementing regulations
found in 40 CFR Part 501 contain extensive public participation provisions, including the right of citizens to intervene in
state civil or administrative enforcement actions, they do not require that states allow citizens to bring their own
enforcement action
. The CWA citizen suit provisions, found in section 505(a), which authorize actions for alleged
violations of CWA effluent standards and limitations,
are not applicable under section 405. States are issuing sewage
sludge disposal permits pursuant to state law and these non-NPDES permits contain state effluent standards and
not CWA standards and limitations.

The only sludge management program promulgated under section 405 of the CWA Section 405 is the RCRA/CWA
sludge co-disposal regulation part 258, as EPA notes in
part 503.4. Under § 258.3 Consideration of other Federal laws.
The owner or operator of a municipal solid waste landfill unit must comply with any other applicable Federal rules, laws,
regulations, or other requirements.

In effect, it is Governors Hoeven and Minner’s , as well as your contention, that while all federal laws must be complied
with when sludge is put in a legal landfill, it is perfectly acceptable to take sludge from a
CWA regulated point source of
pollution and dump the sludge on a non-point source of pollution (farms & home lawns).
RCRA prohibits the practice
because land disposal facilities are not capable of containing hazardous waste and landfill and surface disposal
(impoundment) should be the be the least favored method. I haven’t found anywhere the laws imply that dumping sludge
on farmland and lawns should be the favored method, even though the regulatory scheme does promote that option.

The governors are now in the embarrassing position of defying the intent of the CWA simply because EPA encouraged
the states to violate the RCRA’s open dumping provision and
CWA’s intent to stop the careless land disposal of
"(1) Purpose - This section was not intended to be [the] primary source of regulation of sludge but was intended as [a]
cautionary measure to provide additional protection against dangers to navigable waters caused by disposal methods
unregulated by section 1311 of this title, i.e. careless land disposal and deep ocean dumping of sludge from
vessels. ---"
(Title 33, part 1345, note 1)

As this old country boy understands your letter and the facts: 1) you have changed your solid waste laws concerning
the proper disposal of sludge; 2) you have issued
non- enforceable NPDES permits which violates the intent of the
regulations and environmental laws; 3) the
governor no longer requires you to comply with federal
environmental laws to protect public health or the environment; 4) you have no intention of putting limits on the
extremely high levels of hazardous chemicals municipalities may allow in sludge under part 403; 5) it is now the
policy of the state to ignore citizens rights and concerns about their water supply; 6) you have no intention of telling
farmers or other people exposed to the
deadly chemicals and viable, but non-cultureable disease organisms in
sludge that they could cause death, disease, cancer, etc., from exposure through the air, water or food chain, as
outlined in the
RCRA, CWA and part 503.9(t); 7) there is a complete disregard for the health of people harmed by
exposure to sludge: and, 8) the state will do anything and everything in its power to quite these voices in the
wilderness, except pay their doctor bill or funeral expenses.

While I’m sure you had little or no choice about issuing the permits, since you know Georgia citizens will be hurt, wouldn’t
this come under the heading of

Jim Bynum,
Help for Sewage Victims (a non-profit Washington corp.)
PO Box 682
Smithville, Mo. 64089
(816) 699-3975

Cc: Geary Davis, State Director for Georgia