As the last federal salesman promoting toxic sludge and hazardous waste as a safe fertilizer
(contrary to federal Homeland Security law against creating nonpoint sources of pollution),
Rufus Chaney is a perfect example of a federal employee whose power to influence federal
rules and defy Congressional Policy crosses Agency boundaries

Many of us involved in the toxic sewage sludge issue have known for a long time that
government sludge scientists have no respect for human life, the environment or the law,
especially those lives with little political power or with little understanding of science or the law.
The exception has been a few whistleblowers such as William Sanjour, Hugh Kaufman and
David Lewis, which the government has attempted to destroy. What we didn't understand was
that the real political power rested in the hands of a few low level individuals who could twist the
laws, other federal Agencies and the rules to their own ends.  

Recently, the CDC was questioned about the fact that toxic sewage sludge met the criteria for
a biological weapon under Homeland Security's 2002 Bioterrorism law as outlined in the new
CDC and USDA regulations to control biohazardous disease organisms in transportation and
on farmland. CDC stated that USDA Agronomist Rufus Chaney assured it that the bioterrorism
rules concerning the disease organisms did not apply to sewage sludge.  Agronomist is a fancy
term for a person that is suppose to be an expert in the science and economics of crop
production land or farm land management. So, why would the disease experts at CDC  defer to
an Agronomist with no claimed expertise on disease organisms in sludge or the law?

The USDA does have some expertise on the disease organism Salmonella in sludge. In 1973,
the USDA's John Walker reported to EPA that mixing lime with sludge only made Salmonella
non-detectable for about 30 days, then there was an explosive regrowth of the disease
organism. Which is of course why no risk assessment was contemplated or ever will be.

Chaney has been deeply involved in the EPA's program to put the health of our farmers and
farmland, as well as their neighbors at risk with the uncontrolled dumping of toxic contaminated
sewage sludge. He claimed to be an expert on metals when he served on the 503 Peer Review
Committee, yet he doesn't seem to understand that using lime to raise the  pH to 11 or 12 to
make the disease organisms undetectable also changes Chromium 3 to the deadly Chromium
6 which is readily taken up by crops.  Still Chaney claims that pollutants including disease
organisms are not taken up by plants. Yet, he knows that pollutants (cadmium) will be taken up
in tobacco at the rate of 20 ppm to 1 ppm in the soil.

Chaney did help revise the sludge rule to remove all references to the disease organisms in
sludge as well as the 21 cancer causing organic and inorganic pollutants in sludge. Five of the
inorganic pollutants are known cancer causing agents when inhaled in dust. Yet, Chaney's
name is on a document which states the 10 inorganic pollutants included in the sludge rule
where not considered to cause or induce cancer.

The revised rule also authorized the harvesting of crops and grazing of animals 30 days after
sludge was applied, just as the Salmonella is in the explosive regrowth stage. Yet, the
government  can't seem to understand why food contamination has dramatically exploded from
6.5 million case in 1990 to 81 million case in 1997 and now hovers around 76 million cases with
deaths running from an estimated 5,000 individuals annually -- up.

As a government scientist, according to the transcript of a recent sludge safety debate in
California, Chaney could not seem to comprehend the facts about sludge or answer the
questions truthfully.

On Wednesday, March 30th, 2005, Retired professor Caroline Snyder, Georgia attorney Ed
Hallman and US Department of Agriculture soil scientist Rufus Chaney appeared on Chanel 17
in Bakersfield, California to debate the safety of toxic sludge use as a fertilizer.

After reading the transcript of Chaney's side of the debate, the question has to be asked, Is
Chaney a pathological Liar or is he suffering neurological damage due to toxic sludge
exposure and doesn't understand what he is doing? USDA's Beltsville Research Center has
been a toxic Superfund site since the 80s. It includes chemicals know to cause neurological

However, since sludge does meet the criteria for a biological weapon under the CDC and
USDA bioterrorism rules, the question has to be asked, Is there have some criminal intention in
promoting toxic sludge dumping on farmland as well as home lawns and gardens?

For the transcript and documentation go to