John Walker, a key player in getting States to accept sewage sludge as a fertilizer has retired from EPA. However, his
legacy will live on as more and more health and environmental damages from toxic chemicals and disease organisms
are reported. As a USDA employee, Walker was one of the first people to report to EPA that sludge treatment processes
didn't work. So, he went to work for EPA selling sludge as a safe fertilizer.

Walker was an unusual person. At the same time he was leading a team to debunk the horror stories caused by the use
of sludge as an unlabelled fertilizer, he was publishing a Part 503 Risk Assessment Guide which stated that EPA had not
considered any chemicals in sludge could or would cause cancer for any of the 14 pathways of exposure it evaluated..
Yet, at the same time EPA stated in part 503.9(t) that exposure to any of the pollutants (chemicals and disease
organisms) in sludge by direct exposure or through the air, water or foodchain, could cause death, disease and cancer,

Thomas Jefferson could have been talking about the EPA when he said: "It is an axiom in my mind that our liberty can
never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of
the people alone."

Walker's story is a perfect example of this axiom.

Congress never intended for the Clean Water Act to be the primary enforcement tool for the regulation of sludge: "(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)

Yet, EPA's Office of Water used the Clean Water Act (CWA) to put farmers and consumers health at risk under a policy
for land disposal even though "The jurisdictional scope of the CWA is ``navigable waters," At EPA Office of Water's
insistence, many states changed their solid waste laws to conform to the EPA's open dumping policy. This effectively
transferred liability to the states because '' Congress recognized ``the primary responsibilities and rights of States to
prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution, to plan the development and use (including restoration, preservation, and
enhancement) of land and water resources " In effect, the EPA has encouraged the states to change their laws to
promote food and waterborne epidemics through pollution.

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified (129) Priority Pollutants in regulations that deal with
municipal and industrial wastewater (EPA, 1984) due to their toxicity to humans and the aquatic environment. These
Priority Pollutants are divided into four classes; (1) heavy metals (oftentimes referred to as trace elements or trace
metals) and cyanide, (2) volatile organic compounds, (3) semivolatile organic compounds, and (4) pesticides and
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). In addition, nontoxic organic compounds in wastewater can be transformed into
potential toxic chlorinated compounds, such as trihalomethanes, when chlorine is used for disinfection purposes
(National Research Council, 1980)." (National Research Council Study, Use of Reclaimed Water and Sludge in Food
Crop Production. 1996)

"Trust Us, We're Experts", said EPA's Robert Bastian, Alan Rubin, and John Walker. Congress
said OK, but made its intent concerning the environment very clear, "Under RCRA solid waste
do not cease to be solid waste simply because they are being used, re-used, recycled or
reclaimed. Rather, use, re-use, recycling, resource recovery and reclamation are ways of
managing solid waste, which, if properly conducted, can avoid environmental hazards, protect
scarce land supply, and reduce the nation's reliance on foreign energy and materials
---Congress' "Overriding concern" --elimination of "the last remaining loophole" in
environmental regulation" ( 4).

Farmers have long been blamed for polluting the nations waterways and Rubin, Walker and
Bastian have been harping on the subject. However, in spite of their program to dump toxic sludge on farmland, they are
now blaming the problems on animal manure. The situation has changed very little since EPA report on agricultural
runoff in 1984.

The EPA Journal of April, 1984 reported that "National studies suggest that agricultural nonpoint source pollution
adversely affects portions of over two-thirds of the nation's river basins."
According to the article:
About 63 percent of non-federal land in the United
States is used for agricultural purposes, including crop
and livestock production. It is not surprising,
therefore, that agricultural activities constitute the
most pervasive cause of water quality problems from
nonpoint sources. Indeed, it is considered the most
serious cause in most EPA regions." (p. 28)

In 1973, EPA was warned by USDA's John Walker that in the field, it takes about 30 days for the bacterial spores to
dissolve and the germs become active again. There is no way to keep this toxic soup spread on crops out of our food
chain. Even if corn was the only crop grown and it was used for ethanol production-- gluten is a byproduct of ethanol
used in animal feed and human food.

Walker made it clear in Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Recycling Municipal Sludges and Effluent on Land, July
9-13-1973, pp. 39-47. Sponsored by EPA, USDA, and National Association of State Universities and Land Grant
Colleges, that there would be serious prblems with the EPA's beneficial sludge use program.
In the discussion section of the proceedings, John Walker of the USDA Research Station at Beltsville, Maryland, (now
with EPA) discovered that EPA actually knew very little about the nature of limed treatment destroying disease
organisms in sludge or making the metals less available to plants. (USDA didn't either, Beltsville Research Station was  
declared a Superfund site in the 80's.

Walker commented that, USDA had made tests to determine the fate of disease organisms over
time with limed treated soil and limed treated sludges at pH's of 8 to 11 1/2.

At first, USDA's results were identical to those reported by Dean. However, after about a month,
the pH dropped in the limed soil and salmonella was found. Similarly, when limed sludge was
mixed with soil, the pH dropped and salmonella was found even at the highest limed rates. Dean
then acknowledged that this was found very frequently and that a stabilized limed sludge, if
stored too long, would also putrefy.

Furthermore, even as EPA was giving a scientific report on how great limed sludges were, it had
a contract with Batelle Northwest of Richland, Washington to follow the behavior of limed
sludges, yet, it didn't have any information on the regrowth of salmonella. (p. 46).

After part 503 was developed, it had to be Peer Reviewed. Representating EPA on the Peer Review Committee were:
Dr. John Walker, a physical scientist, who has built his
career around promoting the use of sewage sludge as a
fertilizer, first with USDA, and then as an EPA employee.
Walker's expertise on the committee included processes,
management practices and metal bioavailability. Walker failed
to note he  was aware by 1973 that the lime treatment process did not
destroy pathogenic organisms.

The EPA released "A Guide to the Biosolids Risk Assessments for the EPA Part 503 Rule" in
September 1995 which acknowledged that the risk assessment was a sham. The only cancer
risk assessment was based on a few organics that were banned or no longer manufactured, but
were never regulated.

According to the writers, EPA's John Walker, Linda Stien, Robert Southworth and James Ryan,
as well as USDA's Rufus Chaney, "--the Part 503 metals were considered noncarcinogens (they
do not cause or induce cancer) for the exposure pathways evaluated." (pp. 110-11). The
government has known for years that these metal were carcinogens. The fact is that no federal
agency offers any rules to protect the farmer -- OSHA only protects employees in the
commercial workplace.

While John Walker first reported the "regrowth problem in 1973, scientists at the Institute for
Environmental Science, Murdoch University Murdoch 6150 Australia, were still duplicating the
study in 1997.

They say, "In a soil amendment trial biosolids were mixed with sandy soil and monitored for 37
weeks. In two storage trials biosolids were stored in piles 1m high and monitored for <60 weeks.
Included in the monitoring programme were tests to determine the concentrations of faecal
coliforms, faecal streptococci and salmonellae. In both the soil amendment trials and biosolids
storage trials, concentrations of indicator organisms and salmonellae decreased through an
extended hot, dry summer period. Although these organisms were not detected in the majority of
samples taken during the summer, repopulation of faecal coliforms and salmonellae occurred in
the trials following rainfall at the beginning of the winter. In the case of one of the storage trials
repopulation occurred following a period of 50 weeks when salmonellae and faecal coliforms
were not detected. When repopulation occurred, faecal coliform concentrations increased to
higher than those at the beginning of the trials. These results suggest that faecal coliforms and
salmonellae were at undetectable concentrations through the summer period but were able to
grow when provided with favourable conditions. From this limited trial it was concluded that soil
amended with biosolids could not be considered free from pathogens for at least one year
following amendment." (Water Science and Technology Vol 35 No 11-12 pp 269275 © IWA
Publishing 1997 )

The National Sludge Alliance (NSA) Fact Sheets have documented how the EPA/WEF
partnership eliminated pollution for public wastewater works, by creating the part 503 permit
and dumping sludge on farmers and unsuspecting homeowners who bought sludge as a
fertilizer. NSA also documented the WEF managed sludge victims debunking program, funded
by EPA and supervised by EPA's John Walker and Robert Bastian. NSA has also documented
the astronomical increase in annual food poisoning incidents between 1990 (6 million) and
1997 (80 million). Various government estimates have indicated annual deaths from food
poisoning at 5 to 9,000. However, it now appears that those numbers are only the tip of the
iceberg when we look at health effects and deaths related to toxic organic dust. (4)
EPA has not only refused to address any adverse health effects from the spreading of sewage
sludge, but it has given money to the WEF to debunk victims claims of harm from
exposure to the pollutants in the sludge! For the purpose of debunking these, what they refer
to as "horror stories", EPA appointed John Walker and Bob Bastian to work with WEF.
In their debunking project, "REST OF THE STORY," Walker and Bastian enlisted the help of the
WEF by giving them an initial $300 thousand dollar grant.

In EPA memos dated 10-17-1994, 12-29-1994, and 2-27- 1995, WEF's contribution was discussed
and Walker and Bastian suggested a potential Writer/Coordinator, Dave Trouba, WEF
could hire for the debunking effort. An additional $650,000 was given to the WEF one year later
(WEB page, March 15, 1996).

While the announcement did mention a number of research projects for the newly created WEF Research Foundation,
according to a memo from John Walker, EPA Project Officer, to Nancy Blatt and Tim Williams, Co-Project Leaders with
WEF, it was clear that the primary purpose of the grant and the WEF Research Foundation was to debunk the sludge
"horror" stories of people, animals and the environment which had been harmed by the use of sludge/biosolids.

The EPAïs initial documented list of horror stories in the EPA memos for WEF to debunk included:

1) Merco/NYC biosolids expose--TV Nations production--
Law suit by TX Attorney General--Merco Lawsuit--

2) Linda Zander case--sick & dead cattle,
worker health--Farm Bureau and Dairy Today stories.

3) Miami-Dade County biosolids causing loss of papaya
trees on 100 acres of land--$7 million settlement in
lawsuits by Miami--Dade -covered by United Press.

4) Pending Prime Time TV story on Torres Martinez
(Thermal, Ca.)--corrupt contractor, biosolids
mountain, and composting.

5) Tree kill in Washington State with King Co METRO
biosolids on Weyerhauser land.

6) Miniature horse deaths in Oklahoma.

7) Bioaerosols--claim need for 2 to 5 mile barrier in

8) Banker Liability concerns--recent article in Banker
magazine saying farmers do not use biosolids.

9) Pathogen regrowth during shipment--Merco.

10) Biosolids a cause of AIDS.

11) Biosolids used on ball fields causing Lou Gehrig's
Disease--what it took to debunk this claim.

12) Maryland turf grass grower crop loss due to
biosolids use--involved grower's use of a highway
roller on his fields.

13) Raleigh, NC--dead cattle from nitrate poisoning due
to forage with high nitrogen content. Forage
was not mixed with other low-nitrate fodder as
advised by the POTW.

14) BLM (Federal Bureau of Land Management) policy
opposing use of biosolids on Federal lands: equating
its use to hazardous waste dumping and landfilling
raising SUPERFUND liability concerns.

15) Citizens irate over purchase of farmland for
biosolids use--how land ought to be used is big
issue--private developer conflicts--NIMBY-
personality clashes--often does not involve health

According to Walker's memo, the EPA was controlling the campaign to debunk the negative publicity of adverse health
effects, environmental damages and public concerns from the use of sludge as a fertilizer. Walker wrote, "the target
audience may be the municipalities, contractors, WEF spokespersons and other wastewater professionals, and maybe
the general public depending on the case."

Walker's memorandum to Nancy Blatt and Tim Williams of the WEF explained to them how the "horror stories" should be

Some of the cases may be written up for more than one
audience, (i.e., differently for each different
audience)."..."Interestingly, many of us in the
regulatory and municipal arena do not have credibility
with local citizens. We need to get those that do
supplied with "The Rest of the story".

Walker continued:

If the cases were (1) Merco/NYC, (4) Prime Time Torres
Martinez, (9) Pathogen regrowth, and (15) Citizens irate
over purchase; then one audience would be the

He added further,
"The write up would tell municipalities what went wrong and what to do with
respect to control and management oversight to maximize
public acceptance and minimize negative publicity and
rejection of the recycling that is planned or underway."

Walker's further instructions to WEF's Nancy Blatt were:

If the cases were (2) Zander, (4) Miami-Dade, (5) Tree
Kill, (6) Miniature horses, (7) Bioaerosols, (10) AIDS,
(11) Lou Gehrig's Disease, (12) Turf grass loss, (13)
Dead cattle in NC; then the audience might be the
general public who various anti groups tell the
"horrors" of these cases and to which we would tell the
rest of the story.

According to Walker:

The audience might also be WEF biosolids spokespersons
and/or the wastewater professionals who would be working
with the general public to tell the authoritive truth.

Some of the cases may be written up for more than one
audience, (i.e., differently for each different

In a memo dated October 17, 1994, EPA's Robert E. Lee was promoting a grant request for WEF and suggested to
EPA's John Walker and Bob Bastin that uses for the grant money include fact sheets to debunk the "Sludge Horror
stories" of people harmed by the use of sewage sludge as well as "PCB's in biosolids" and as he says, "What about one
with a watershed twist --ways to utilize biosolids in watersheds to mitigate other environmental problems. Give it to a
group like score in NJ." Not only that but, he continued, "Bob B. maybe we should put one or some $ in for the wetlands
work in watersheds also."

The WEF announced the receipt of the $650,000 grant in their Water Environment WEB March 15, 1996. Contact
persons listed in the announcement were Nancy Blatt and Dave Trouba. Walker's memo did not explain to WEF's Nancy
Blatt how to handle "(14) BLM policy opposing use of biosolids on Federal lands: equating it(s) use to hazardous waste
dumping and landfilling raising SUPERFUND liability concerns."

EPA is spending 1.2 million dollars to debunk the horror stories (death and diseases) associated with sludge used as a
fertilizer and promote the use of sewage sludge on watersheds? (Walker, 1994).

On the other hand, EPA's Office of Water sludge advocates and researchers, John Walker, Alan Rubin and Robert
Bastian, who knew of Cornell's research in the 80s which proved that the chemical toxicants in sludge would kill without
leaving a trace, have enhanced their careers at EPA by spending millions of dollars on a public relations campaign to
promote toxic sludge as a safe, cheap fertilizer. Walker and Bastian also ran a tax funded debunking campaign to cover
up the environmental and health damage caused by their toxic Sludge. The main purpose of the PR campaign of lies
was to change public perception about the disposal of toxic sludge on food crops. They even changed the name to
biosolids so farmers would accept the toxic waste as fertilizer.

To counteract the sound science by Cornell and others, EPA cosponsored a workshop at Duke University
April 16-17, 1998 with a focus on odors from manure.  The other cosponsor was the National Institute on
Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The result of the workshop, "Potential
Health Effects of Odor from Animal Operations, Wastewater Treatment and Recycling of
Byproducts" was published in the Journal of Agromedicine in 2000.

According to the chief architect of the EPA/WEF debunking program, John Walker and Susan S. Schiffman the
articles lead writer, who is affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry at Duke, and Tyler S.
Lorig , who is affiliated with the Department of Psychology at Washington and Lee University,
say "The most frequently reported health complaints include eye, nose, and throat irritation,
headache, nausea, diarrhea, hoarseness, sore throat, cough, chest tightness, nasal
congestion, palpitations, shortness of breath, stress, drowsiness, and alteration in mood." (5)
4. National Sludge Alliance Fact Sheets,
5. Schiffman SS, Walker JM, Dalton P, Lorig TS, Raymer JH, Shusterman D, Williams CM:
Potential health effects of odor from animal operations, wastewater treatment facilities, and
recycling byproducts. J Agromed 2000, 7(1):1-80

Most scientists are not independently wealthy and unable to conduct research in their field without sponsorship by
grants or employment by government agencies, corporations, private foundations, and university research centers.

Scientists, who obtain grants or are employed by the EPA know at the beginning that the results of their research project
is expected to support the sponsor's special interest--the beneficial use of sewage sludge (biosolids). In a memo of
February 28, 1995, John Walker of the EPA listed goals that were to be discussed at a meeting with the USDA for better
research and risk assessment.

One of these goals was to "provide for more higher quality biosolids [sludge] research by municipalities, universities,
and others." For this purpose the EPA had "earmarked some 104 (b)(3) funds aside for assisting in accomplishing this
research." Through their grant program, awarded mostly to agronomists and soil scientists, EPA has ensured that they
will have scientific spokespersons for their public relations campaign. Dr. Tackett calls EPA's sludge science "selective
science". He states:

EPA has supported the land spreading of sewage sludge
for over 25 years through manipulation for research
money and the application of "selective science."
Millions of dollars have been made available through EPA
and other federal, state, and local agencies, for
"beneficial use" research. Agronomists and other soil
scientists have had a virtually unlimited money pool
available to conduct the "beneficial use" research.
Toxicologists, public health scientists and medical
researchers have not had a similar money pool available
to study potential dangers and adverse health effects of
sewage sludge.

In the WEF brochure, BIOSOLIDS RECYCLING AND BENEFICIAL USE, WEF assures the public that:

"Biosolids are managed by a two-tier network of
regulations. The federal Part 503 regulation, in
conjunction with the state regulations, ensure that
biosolids recycling is a safe and integral part of this
country's water quality and waste management programs."

Although WEF Director, Albert Grey, assured millions of viewers on CNN's "Hazardous Harvest" that sludge was: 1) a
material (sludge) that is carefully processed, and 2) tightly regulated, 3) carefully monitored, and 4) fully controlled
precisely for the purpose of protecting public health, the opposite is true.

There is a wide disparity between what the WEF brochure claims is happening in both the EPA and state biosolids
programs and what is actually happening. Once the Part 503 was released and the public relations campaign for
disposal of toxic sludge on farms, lawns and gardens was on track, EPA began to cut back on its involvement. To
accomplish the transfer of the liability to the states, EPA created its "gang of 10" EPA and WEF stakeholders to rewrite
the federal rules to make it easier for the states to accept responsibility for the sludge program.

The "gang of 10's" formation was reported in the August 1, 1995, issue of SLUDGE. The article noted that the rewriting
of the Code of Federal Regulations on state delegation requirements would be given to "John Walker of EPA's Municipal
Technology Branch who would submit it by September 1 for the agency review and comments." The major change in the
Code would be that the states' attorney general could simply certify that state rules were in place to regulate sludge,
thereby, bypassing the current approval process of states' legislative bodies. There was a qualifier, the states' rules
could not be any more stringent than EPA's rules.

In spite of EPA initiating the partnership, in a May 15, 1995 letter, Perciasepe, thanked Pollen for suggesting the
EPA/WEF partnership. He wrote, "we need to explore develop an innovative relationship... to streamline
authorization process." An EPA team, for the partnership WEF had in mind, had been assembled, and John Walker had
been appointed the biosolids team leader.

Furthermore, Pollen acknowledged that it was EPA's Walker and Dr. Albert Grey, Deputy Executive Director of WEF,
"who was instrumental in creating this and other proposals for joint WEF/EPA cooperation."

In 1995, a special committee, the Biosolids Public Acceptance Subcommittee was created and entrusted with a two-fold gain public acceptance of sludge use and to convince states to accept delegation, that is, to take responsibility
for administering the Part 503 rule. This committee was composed of various stakeholders, 1) John Walker, of EPA's
Office of Water, 2) state representative, Lisa Rogers of Utah. Div. of Water Quality, which was the first state to accept
delegation for Part 503), 3) municipalities' representatives, Steve Frank of Metro WW Reclamation District of Denver
(who is now accepting radioactive hazardous waste leachate from the Lowery superfund site, which will be included in
the sludge used on Denver's 50,000 acre farm, where wheat is grown for human consumption), George Hall of Metro
Reclamation of Greater Chicago and Mike Moore of Orange County Sanitation Dist., 4) Sludge Disposal Companies'
representatives, Jane Forste of Bio Gro Systems, Inc, and Scott Wienands of Nutri-jet Systems, Inc., (Nutri-jet was fired
by Kansas City, Missouri for applying excessive amounts of sludge at its sludge site), and 5) associated groups who also
profit from biosolids (engineering)--Lynn Green of Black & Veatch, and (agricultural studies)--Billie Harrison of The Ohio
State University. According to a memo dated July 28, 1995, Pete Machno of the King County Department of Metropolitan
Services (Seattle) is directing the Biosolids Committee.

In a 1995 letter, Walker explained the focus of the biosolids acceptance committee:

EPA has a mandate to promoting the beneficial use of biosolids. For this to occur States need to understand the risk
assessment/science basis of the Part 503 rule so that their rules will not be overly stringent and so that state authorities
can knowledgeably recommend to their public that alternatives which make beneficial use of biosolids are safe and
desirable. (John Walker's confirmation letter to Tanya Moll, Manager, NBMA. June 1995).

The potential liability has bothered some bankers since the final Part 503 regulation was released on February 19,
1993. On November 29-30, 1993, The Springfield District Farm Credit Council, Springfield, Massachusetts, held a
symposium, Minimizing Risks and Sharing Liability From Application of Sludge and Sludge By-Products on Agricultural
Land, to address this problem.

The symposium was attended by all sectors of the sludge industry, environmentalists and other interested persons,
except farmers. The number one, "Point of Agreement: [was] Under current law, landowners, farm operators, and
lenders are potentially liable for risks arising from the application of biosolids, unless someone else assumes such risks
through a clear and legally enforceable mechanism." (p. 5)

In a footnote, the report states, "* Since the symposium, word has been received from Dr. John Walker that EPA finds "...
that farmers (and their lenders) who use biosolids {sludge} in accordance with the Federal regulations are protected
from CERCLA liability and any enforcement action from EPA."

In a letter dated November 10, 1997, to USDA's Deputy Secretary, Richard Rominger. EPA's
Assistant Administrator, Robert Perciasepe's letter to Rominger emphasized the past support of USDA in developing
Part 503 and the need for USDA to continue supporting the regulation with technical information. He wrote, "The
authoritative support by your Department is most helpful to our program. It is [was] vital to the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA's) ability to promulgate scientifically valid regulations for biosolids (sludge) use and to provide
technically correct information."

Perciasepe added further:

Assuming that the organic standards rule is corrected so
that practices which can cause disease are omitted, I
request that high quality biosolids [sludge] be included
as a recognized suitable material for organic food
production. EPA has a policy that promotes the recycling
of biosolids [sludge] to land and your Department, EPA,
and the Food and Drug Administration issued a policy
statement as far back as 1981 that endorsed the use of
biosolids [sludge] for production of fruits and
vegetables (copies enclosed).

[If EPA/WEF are to accomplish their purpose to spread
sludge on organic crops, they have to eliminate the
competition. The primary competition is manure.]

In Perciasepe's letter to Rominger, he requested his
assistance in prohibiting or severely limiting the use of
manure in organic farming. He wrote:

I am writing this letter to request your assistance in
another important matter. I have significant concerns
about a rule that I understand is about to be
promulgated in final form by your department. This rule
will provide standards to the farming community that
produce organically grown foods. It is my understanding
that this National Organic Standards Rule would permit
the application of raw unprocessed animal manures to
soils to support "organic production" of vegetables and
fruits. It would seem unwise to permit such a practice
in light of the recent revelations of human diseases
that apparently have resulted from the use of such
improperly treated and/or used manures. A demonstrated
occurrence of human disease from such organically grown
foods after promulgation of the National Organic
Standards Rule could have major negative consequences
for the organic food industry.

Perciasepe essentially outlined how the biased
stakeholders group was setting manure up as a scapegoat for
all the problems created by unregulated, unmonitored, and
unenforced use of sewage sludge.

In the letter to Rominger,
he wrote:

Dr. John Walker, of my staff, just attended an
excellent U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture
Research Service-Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
(USDA-ARS- BARC)-stakeholders meeting in Beltsville,
Maryland that outlined specific instances of human
health problems that were associated with the use of
animal manures for the production of foods and efforts
that a team of scientist there are proposing to develop
basic information which should help overcome these
problems. At that meeting Dr. Walker suggested that the
biosolids treatment, site access, and crop harvesting
restrictions which have been successful in protecting
public health from diseases when biosolids are recycled
might also be helpful with the management of pathogens
when recycling animal manures. ARS scientists at that
meeting indicated that they share his views.

The High Road

By January 1998, in the draft Statement Summary requesting additional funding, Perciasepe wrote Harman about how Al
Rubin and John Walker Plan to take the high road on the USDA National Organics Rule:

* With the Statement that the rule is a marketing rule
and is not risk based;

* That the rule should be science based--otherwise using
raw manures and composts without regulation or
guidance can and is causing diseases;

* That the criteria used for chosing what is acceptable
for use to produce organic grown food should be science based;

* That the rule should be subject to Peer Review

* And that biosolids are safe for use and are highly

The Cornell scientists' in-depth appraisal of EPA's Part 503 sludge rule, raised the wrath of the USEPA and USDA who
accused them of being unscientific in an article in Biocyle, the publication that supports land application of sewage
sludge, in December, 1997. In the article an excerpt from a memo by John Walker, leader of EPA's Biosolids Program
Implementation, to Regional Biosolids Coordinators and other (biosolids) interested parties was cited. It stated that "The
bottom line is both the USEPA and the USDA disagree with these papers and find that there is a considerable lack of
understanding of the science and risk assessment upon which the EPA Part 503 rule was based."

According to John Walker's memo (cited in the article in Biocycle of December 1997) in spite of EPA's efforts to
dissuade them, these scientists remained firm in their critique of Part 503. He wrote:

This lack of understanding persists even though much
effort has been made to explain this information to the
papers' authors via a series of ten meetings in New York
State over a year's period of time, and supplying the
three individuals with a number of relevant

In answer to the article in Biocycle in December of 1997, where they were accused of being unscientific by the EPA, the
authors wrote a rebuttal letter that was printed in Biocycle in February of 1998. In the letter they stated:

As published, the headline and article are patronizing
and insulting, implying that Cornell ignores both fact
and science, and is needing "comfort". The reality is
that our publication and efforts are based on research
and review of the literature, including a careful
analysis of the EPA technical support documents for the
Part 503 sludge regulations.

The letter goes on to say:

We would welcome discussion on the specific points
raised in our work. We have been disappointed that in
their responses, EPA, the Water Environment Federation
and others who disagree with our recommendations and
concerns have not specifically addressed the scientific
issues we raise such as potential impacts to ground and
surface water or the diet of the home gardener.

According to the 1997 Biocycle article that bashed
Cornell, Walker's memo was accompanied by several
letters from Bob Persiasepe, the EPA Assistant Administrator
for Water, that were written in response to questions about
the scientific basis for the EPA Part 503 regulation
concerning biosolids use. The article cites an excerpt from
Perciasepe's letters which, although he attacks the report
"because of its scientific inaccuracies" reveals the real
reason EPA was so upset--it would affect the promotion of
biosolids {sewage sludge}. He refers to "the potential
negative impact on the many benefits that New York citizens
can realize from the beneficial use of biosolids." He says,
"It could unnecessarily alarm citizens about the threats to
public health and the environment that the draft claims may
occur from the use of biosolids."

According to Perciasepe, "the position adopted by the
three authors of this paper is in sharp contrast with the
position of experienced biosolids researchers who consider
that the science behind the rule is sound." Persciasepe cited
the National Research Council (NRC) report Use of Reclaimed
Water and Sludge in Food Crop Production as proof that the
science behind the 503 sludge rule is sound.

He stated:
After the issuance of the rule, there was a three-year
review by the National Research Council of the National
Academy of Sciences whose findings reaffirmed the
soundness of the science and the risk assessment
relative to food crop production on biosolids amended

That statement was not true. Plus --
The National Academy of Science 's (NAS) Committee report on toxicants, states
that it is impossible to do a risk assessment to prove sludge use under part 503 is safe. The scientific statement is very
blunt: FINDINGS,"-----the remaining uncertainty for complex mixtures of chemical and biological agents is sufficient to
preclude the development of risk-management procedures that can reliability result in acceptable levels of risk." (5)
(5) National Research Council, July 2002,

In effect, the Committee agrees with part 503.9(t) that due to the multitude of chemicals, pathogens and radioactive
material, EPA's waste disposal policy could be killing more people than the law allows.