The reaction to the advent of the Food Quality Protection Act which was by Congress in 1996 has been dramatic: 1)
Almost a quarter of the States rushed to enact food slander laws to prevent vocal complaints against adulterated food
products; 2) EPA prevailed on the National Academy of Science's National Research Council (NRC) to release an
unedited (and very flawed) scientific study on the positive benefits of using sludge as a fertilizer on food crops; and 3)
EPA quickly changed the Sludge Use and Disposal Regulation (40 CFR 503) by removing the reference to regulating
the extremely high toxic Chromium limits from the beneficial sludge use tables in part 503.13. The basic premise of the
"food slander laws" is that the media will not carry any "horror" stories about contaminated food products that have not
been proven scientifically.

The People vs. EPA & the Courts    NSA Fact Sheet # 106  February 28, 1997
Leather Industries of America, Inc., claimed EPA did not consider any treatment plants accepting sewerage from the
leather industry in its National Sewage Sludge Survey (NSSS) of 479 treatment plants out of 11,407 nationally.
According to the ruling, EPA claimed to have performed sampling and analysis at 208 of the 479 treatment plants -or-
was the number 180? Both numbers were given by the EPA, so the Court was not sure which was correct. The maximum
chromium noted in the NSSS was 3750 mg/kg whereas, tanneries generate chromium concentrations in excess of
30,000 mg/kg. (40 F.3d, 92, pp. 395, 401

according to the Court, was; "--- The AMSA challenges the risk-based caps in Table 3. It argues that the assumptions
about the rate and duration of sludge application underlying the risk-based caps in Table 3 are irrational with respect to
heat-dried sludge, which is applied at lower rates for shorter duration. For what ever reason, the EPA chose not to
respond to this particular claim, and the AMSA has been less than totally clear about what parts of the regulation are
allegedly infected (sic) by the use of these assumptions. We are, accordingly, somewhat handicapped in evaluating the

EPA now makes it possible for Publicly Owned Treatment Works treating tannery sewerage to "beneficially" use sludge
with the tannery chromium in excess of 30,000 mg/kg on lawns, gardens and food crop production land, which can not
be disposed of in a part 503 landfill.  
[EPA raised the level to 100,000 ppm in 1999}

The Sludge Gets Deeper     NSA Fact Sheet #107,  March 10, 1997

EPA arbitrarily removed chromium from the regulation based on an Federal Appeals court ruling that the "Exceptional
Quality" sludge pollutant levels in Table 3 of 503.13(b) were not risk based as it applied to Milwaukee's "Milorganite"
heat-dried sludge fertilizer. (Leather Industries of America, Inc. v. EPA. Nos. 93-1187, 93-1376, 93-1404, and 93-1555 -
40 Federal Reporter, 3d Series p. 392 - Public Facts #106)

While there are
65 toxic pollutants listed in part 403 Appendix B, only 10 are addressed in part 503. There was a
pressing need to remove sludge from the safety provisions of the CERCLA because removal credits for the 10 toxic
pollutants (hazardous substances) addressed in part 503 can only be granted to industrial users, providing, the sludge
is used as some form of fertilizer for land application to grass, lawns, gardens or food crop production lands.
G to part 403)

Furthermore, only 3 pollutants, arsenic, Chromium and Nickel, are eligible for removal credits when sludge is disposed
of in a part 503 surface disposal landfill. These are the same 3 pollutants that prohibit sludge fertilizer from being
disposed of in a part 503 landfill. (1985 editions, appendix G to part 403 -part 503.13, 503.23 Tables)

EPA has been using an exclusion which doesn't exist. In a letter dated Feb. 7, 1986, from, The (EPA) Administrator, to
the Honorable Thomas P. O'Neil, Jr., Speaker. U.S. House of Representatives, is stated: "The purpose of the Domestic
Sewage Study was to evaluate the impacts of waste discharged to public owned treatment works (POTW's) as a result of
the Domestic Sewage Exclusion. The Domestic Sewage Exclusion, (specified in Section 1004(27) of RCRA) provides
that a hazardous waste, when mixed with domestic sewage is no longer considered hazardous. Therefore, POTW's
receiving hazardous waste in this manner are not subject to the RCRA treatment, storage and disposal facility
requirements. The premise behind the Domestic Sewage Exclusion is that RCRA management of wastes within a POTW
is unnecessary and redundant since this wastes are regulated under the Clean Water Act's regulatory programs."

"Sludge means any solid, semi-solid, or liquid waste generated from a municipal, commercial, or industrial wastewater
treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air control facility exclusive of the treated effluent (clean water) from a
wastewater treatment plant." (Public Laws. (1987). "The SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL ACT, AS AMENDED BY, THE
OF 1986 (PUBLIC LAW 99-499)." 99th Congress, 1st Session. Committee Print for S. Prt. 99-215)