Sludge Disposal: Sanitary Landfill-Open Dump-Superfund Site?
For Original Paper click here
Journal of Proceedings of the New Mexico Conference On The Environment, sponsored by Governor Bruce King,
September 13-15, 1992. The Proceeding were published in February 1993

[14 years after this paper was written, based on the proposed part 503, it is still current]
Conference Proceeding - New Mexico Governors Conference on the  Environment,
Vol, 2., New Mexico Environmental Department, February 1993

Sludge Disposal: Sanitary Landfill--Open Dump--Superfund Site?
by: James W. Bynum


This paper examines the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) policy of sanctioning the beneficial use of
sewage sludge on farmland as a cheap fertilizer and soil conditioner in light of recent revelations of human and
animal health problems associated with the use of sludge.  Some environmental organizations and scientists are
concerned with its deleterious effects on public health.  The paper looks at the existence, nature and causality of
the illnesses and fatalities that can arise from the use and disposal of sewage sludge under current EPA   

The body of the paper focuses on the confusion between the current EPA guidelines, which allows the dumping of
sludge with toxic and hazardous levels of contaminates on farmland, and the EPA interim sludge strategy which
requires that sludge sites be regulated by the States or EPA under the more stringent requirements of the solid
waste regulation.  It looks at why the EPA's 1989 proposed sludge regulation had to be revised in 1990 to parallel
the hazardous waste regulations. [As long as hazardous waste is called a fertilizer, there are no regulations]

Moreover, the paper clarifies the difference between toxic non-hazardous and toxic hazardous sludge.  In addition,
it examines the difference between the standard Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Procedure (TCLP) test for
priority pollutants in sludge and the new nonstandard TCLP test for the dry weight sludge which has no legal
hazardous level standard.

The paper also looks at the scientific models in the proposed sludge regulation 40 CFR Parts 257 and 503 which
are used to assess the individual exposure health risk to carcinogenic agents from food, water and air.  It points
out the limitations, as well as the lack of a model to assess the individual exposure from deadly pathogenic

The paper concludes that sludge can not be safely disposed of on farmland because: 1) only 28 out of 400 toxic
pollutants are proposed for regulation, 2) 15 out of 25 toxic inorganics on the superfund list are not included, 3)
Thirty-three pollutants considered hazardous for land disposal are not included.

Help for Sewage Victims

Sludge Disposal: Sanitary Landfill--Open Dump--Superfund Site? [With 2006 comments]

Congress mandated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) and later the Hazardous and
Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA) to prevent the development of new toxic waste sites such as the toxic
waste dump site in New York that was converted into a housing development called Love Canal. The site had to
be evacuated, of course, and by 1979 the clean up cost had exceeded twenty-seven million dollars.  Area
residents had filed suits for health and property damages in excess of two billion dollars. Unfortunately, the RCRA
and the HSWA have not prevented the exposure to toxic waste from a new direction. This new danger is toxic
contaminated sludge.
[Now toxic contaminated sludge sites are be converted to housing developments]

According to the RCRA the term "Sludge" means any solid, semisolid or liquid waste generated from a municipal,
commercial or industrial waste water treatment plant, water supply plant or air pollution control facility or any other
such waste having similar characteristic and effect" (40 CFR 257.2).  For many years sludge has been spread on
farmland as an inexpensive method of disposal for cities and as a cheap fertilizer for farmers.  Its application was
considered to be both safe and beneficial to the farmer. However, recently both experts and concerned citizens
have questioned if sludge is safe.

According to Dr. Don Lisk (1988) of the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Toxic Chemical
Laboratory, sludge is not safe. In his paper The Issue of Sludge Deposit on Land, he states: "Municipal sludge will
contain all of the waste products of industrial and domestic users.  Typically, well over 100 to 200 industries may
flush waste into a single treatment plant.  Therefore, literally thousands of chemicals may be present in a single
sludge. In addition, numerous altered derivatives of these compounds formed during sewage treatment and being
either more or less toxic than the parent compound can expectedly also be present. The final hazard from sludge
use, therefore, will be determined by the combined effects of all of these.  Municipal sludge in the United States
may be among the worst since the density and spectrum of industries (and therefore synthetic pollutants) is
among the greatest in the world" (p. 1).

In the March issue of FARM JOURNAL, Ed Haag (1992) discusses this new danger in his article titled "Sludge
Under Suspicion."  He cites several examples of farmers adversely affected by sewage sludge applied on or near
their farmland.  In Lynden, Washington within a year after the Western Services Waste Management began
spreading sludge adjacent to their farm, dairy farmers Linda and Raymond Zander reported changes occurring in
normally healthy dairy cows.  Some of the cows developed arthritis and liver damage, a number of their calves
were born with tendon abnormalities, and milk production dropped by 17 percent.

The Zander's also experienced health problems traced to their contaminated well water. While Linda experienced
mycoplasma pneumonia, chemical induced brain damage and immune system damage, Raymond suffers from
hypothyroid and nickel toxicity.

Robert Ruane of Vermont experienced similar problems as the Zanders when he allowed the City of
Rutland to spread toxic contaminated sludge on his farm.  His animals began turning up with arthritis and liver
damage, cows aborted and new born calves couldn't straighten their legs. The death rate of his cows jumped from
an average of two to thirty-four and his milk production dropped by thirteen percent.

Because of the Zander's concern that other farmers not have to experience what they have experienced, they
have started a nation wide support network. Since the network began, Zander has been contacted by farmers,
environmental organizations, county agents, lawyers and others that are concerned with the deleterious effects of
toxic contaminated sludge application on farmland.
[Zander still has to fight a legal system determined to
stop her]

The EPA's own research, which is stated in the preamble to the new proposed (Coded Federal Regulation Section
40, Parts 257 and 503) sludge regulation, has documented in addition to the toxic heavy metals, a list of 25
primary pathogens in sewage sludge.  Among these are: 1) five bacteria pathogens (Campylobacter, Escherichia,
Salmonella, Shigetla, and Vibrio Cholerae), 2) nine viruses pathogens (Entroviruses, Poliovirus, Coxsackieviruses,
Echovirus, Hepatitis A, Norwalk and Norwalk like viruses, Reovirus, and Rotavirus), 3) five helminth pathogens
(among them are Hookworms, Tapeworms, and Nematode worms), 4) five protozoans pathogens (Toxoplasma
gondii, Balantidium, Entamoeba histolyca, Giardia lambia, and Crytosporidium), and 5) one fungi pathogen

Most of these pathogens are very deadly to humans and animals. Although the bacteria pathogens
Campylobacter Jejuni and Escherichia primarily cause a relative mild case of diarrhea, Salmonella, Shigetla and
Vibrio cholerae effect the gastrointestinal tract and can be fatal. Of the nine viruses, Entroviruses or
Picornaviruses (152 species) pathogens can cause gastrointestinal problems, respiratory problems and can also
be fatal. Poliovirus (3 species) pathogens cause inflammation of the grey matter of the spinal cord.  
Coxsackievirus A (23 species), B (6 species) pathogens are mostly mild, but they can cause inflammation of the
heart in newborns. While Echovirus (31 species) pathogens primarily cause inflammation of the heart, spinal cord
and brain, Hepatitis A virus pathogens cause liver problems and can lead to death. Norwalk viruses and Norwalk
like virus pathogens cause mostly diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and Rotavirus causes acute

The five Helminth pathogens (primarily, Hookworms, Tapeworms and Nematode Worms) cause damage to vital
organs, brain, retina vessels, liver, lung and heart.  The five Protozoan pathogens cause intestinal, respiratory,
and liver problems.  The one fungi pathogen, Aspergillus, causes inflamed tissues in bronchi, lungs, aural canal,
skin and membranes of the eye, nose or urethra (Federal Register (FR), 54, P.5829 & Thomas 1988).

The EPA has also identified twenty-one carcinogens (cancer causing agents) in the proposed sludge regulation.  
Five of these are carcinogenic when inhaled, Arsenic, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium IV and Nickel
(FR 54, p.

While the EPA has recognized the possible damage to both public health and the environment from the presence
of heavy metals, pathogens, and carcinogens in sludge, it has not adequately enforced the regulations to prevent
their occurrence.  Why has the EPA abdicated its responsibility for implementing and enforcing the current Solid
Waste Regulation 40 CFR 257 for the disposal of sludge?  Why has this happened when there are specific
statutes for the safe disposal of sewage sludge to protect public health and the environment?  There are several
legislative mandates (RCRA, HSWA) already in place in the Federal regulations, primarily under subtitle D of the
RCRA and Section 405(d) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) codified in 40 CFR 257.  According to Federal regulation
40 CFR 256, EPA approved sludge management disposal plans are required by all States who issue permits for
the disposal of sludge.  Moreover, since 1987 under 40 CFR 122 all National Pollution Discharge Systems
(NPDES) permits issued or reissued for Public-owned treatment works (POTWs) must address: 1) compliance with
existing Federal regulations (specifically 40 CFR 257), 2) be subject to reopening and revision to comply with 40
CFR 257/503 when it becomes law, 3) notify EPA of any change in sludge practice, and 4) monitor the quality of
[The current part 503 only addresses nine hazardous - toxic metals for which removal credits
are allowed to industrial corporations under part 403 by municipalities if the sludge/biosoilds are
disposed of as a fertilizer or soil amendment]

Before a State or any local entity can legally issue a permit for sludge disposal, the State must have a signed
EPA/State agreement for sludge disposal.  When a State does not take responsibility for sludge disposal, the EPA
is responsible for issuing the sludge disposal permit. Some States have signed the EPA's State Interim Sludge
Management Agreement which requires compliance with 40 CFR 257.  Yet, many States are still only complying
with the regulation when sludge is disposed of in a designated sanitary landfill. Under the EPA's beneficially
sludge use policy, the regulation is being ignored when sludge is applied to farm and ranch land.
{Only 7 states
have agreed to take responsibility for issuing sludge permits for these open dumps]

When Congress amended the CWA in 1987 40 CFR 257 was still included. It states, "The determination of the
manner of disposal for use of sludge is a local determination, except that it shall be unlawful for any person to
dispose of sludge from a public-owned treatment works or any other treatment works treating domestic sewage for
any use for which regulations have been established pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, except in
accordance with such regulations."  Section 405(d)(5) also provides that nothing in this section is intended to
waive more stringent requirements in the CWA or any other law (FR 54, p.5758).
 [Part 503 has no relationship
to the CWA, RCRA sections 1008(a)(3) and 4004(a) or any other law -- it is based on exclusions in CWA,
RCRA and CECRLA or SARA. Part 258 is the only regulation that meets the requirements of Section 405

The final Revised Solid Waste Regulation 40 CFR Part 257 and 258 published in the Federal Register October 9,
1991 was promulgated under the RCRA and CWA. It still classifies sewage sludge as a solid waste.  The preamble
to the revised regulation reiterates the point that a facility or practice that meets the criteria of Part 257 is
classified as a "sanitary landfill"  while a facility that fails to meet the criteria is considered an "open dump" for
purposes of State solid waste management planning. Practices which fail to meet the criteria constitute "open
dumping" (FR 56, p. 50979).
[§ 503.4   Disposal of sewage sludge in a municipal solid waste landfill unit,
as defined in
40 CFR 258.2, that complies with the requirements in 40 CFR part 258 constitutes
compliance with section 405(d) of the CWA.]

Although the regulations are there, the EPA has not enforced 40 CFR 257 as it pertains to sludge because of its
differentiation among the definitions of domestic sewage, domestic sewage sludge and non-hazardous sludge.  
Non-hazardous sewage sludge has been referred to by some local EPA Offices as domestic waste or domestic
sewage sludge and herein lies the problem.

Domestic sewage is not regulated under the RCRA because it refers to the waste in the sewer lines between
residential housing and the treatment works.  This confusion concerning the definition of sludge has effected the
enforcement of the current regulations because the EPA's Regional Offices have no firm guidance from
Washington and have left the States and Cities to their own implementation and monitoring of sludge disposal
under the EPA's beneficial use policy.

As an example of the confusion, Mr. L. B. Ferguson, Chief, Water Compliance Branch of EPA's Region VII wrote
this investigator, "Sludge from a public owned treatment works is regulated as part of the NPDES (National
Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permit program based on legislative history and a domestic waste
exclusion in the RCRA Solid Waste regulations" (L. B. Ferguson, personal Communication, April 9, 1990). This
investigator was even sent a copy of the "Committee Print" from the first session of the 99th Congress by the
EPA's Region VII Sludge Coordinator. According to him, "solid waste does not include solids or dissolved materials
in domestic sewage" as part of the definition of Solid Waste, Yet, the first sentence in the definition states the term
"Solid Waste" means any garbage, refuse, SLUDGE from a waste treatment plant, water treatment plant, or air
pollution control facility (J. Dunn, personal communication, April 12, 1990).

According to the EPA, non-hazardous sludge does not contain the maximum concentrations of contaminates that
exhibit the characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity and of EP toxicity as stated in the hazardous waste
list.  Therefore, it contends that the states are able through routine tests to determine the difference between non-
hazardous and hazardous sludge.
[EPA has not determined a safe non-hazardous level for infectious
disease organisms in sludge or soil]

Although some EPA and State Compliance Offices may have assumed that sludge from the treatment of domestic
sewage was also excluded from all regulations, this is not the case.  The current Solid Waste Regulation 40 CFR
257.1(c)(3) states, "The criteria do not apply to the land application of domestic sewage or treated domestic
sewage", it also adds however,
"The criteria do apply to the disposal of sludges generated by the
treatment of domestic sewage."
In effect the regulations do not cover the land application of raw sewage or
the effluent (treated liquid) from the treatment plant, but the regulations do cover the land application of sludge
from the treatment plant.  Furthermore, 40 CFR 257.1(b) also provides guidelines for sludge utilization and
disposal under section 405(d) of the Clean Water Act, as amended.  To comply with section 405(e) the owner or
operator of any publicly owned treatment works must not violate these criteria in the disposal of sludge on the
land. "Disposal" means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste or
hazardous waste into or on any land or water so that such solid waste or hazardous waste or any constituent
thereof may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any water, including ground
waters" (40 CFR 257.2).

Moreover, facilities and practices which fail to satisfy the criteria of the RCRA, sections 1008(a)(3) and 4004(a),
pose a reasonable probability of adverse effects on health or the environment and will be considered open dumps
for the purposes of State solid waste management planning under the Act and is prohibited under section 4005 of
the Act (40 CFR 257.1(a)(1)(2). Congress has tried to be very clear about its concern for the public's health and
the environment. This was reaffirmed in 1980, "Congress' "Overriding concern"--the safe handling of hazardous
waste (H.R. Rep. at 3) and the elimination of "the last remaining loophole" in environmental regulation (H.R Rep at
4) --must prevail" (FR 45-33092). No serious action was taken by the EPA to close those loopholes and in 1984
Congress mandated the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act.  Furthermore, in the Water Quality Act of 1987 (Pub.L.  100-4, February 4, 1987), Congress again reaffirmed
its directive that EPA develop comprehensive sewage sludge regulations (for toxic pollutants not covered in 40
CFR 257) and set forth a schedule for the Agency to do so.

Although the new Proposed Sludge Regulation 40 CFR Parts 257 and  503 was promulgated in 1989 (FR 54-
5746) by EPA's Office of Water under the Clean Water Act, Section 405(d), there were several inconsistences
between the proposed sludge regulation and the hazardous waste regulations.  The two major inconsistencies
were: 1) The proposed sludge regulation had not been correlated with the Hazardous and Solid Waste
Amendments mandated by Congress, and 2) the proposed regulation would allow the disposal of sludge with
potential hazardous (elevated) regulatory levels of heavy metals in it. When these inconsistences were pointed
out to the EPA through the office of Congressman Tom Coleman of Missouri, the Assistant Director of the EPA
Office of Water, LaJuana Wilcher, wrote Congressman Coleman that "the Office of Water will continue to
coordinate the development of the final sewage rule with the (EPA) Office of Solid Waste to ensure that the
scientific basis of the sludge rule closely parallels that of the hazardous waste rule" (5-4-1990). This revised
sludge regulation paralleling the hazardous waste rule should be even more restrictive than the solid waste rule in
40 CFR 257.
[Actually, 503 parallels the hazardous waste policy of disposing of hazardous waste as a
fertilizer. EPA authorize municipalities to issue removal credits to industrial  corporations for
extremely hazardous-toxic chemicals under part 403 which it does not mention in part 503]

Another major criticism of the proposed regulation is that the EPA is only proposing numerical limits on 28 of the
400 pollutants it acknowledged will be detrimental to public health and the environment. Moreover, only 10 of the
25 inorganic priority toxic pollutants on the EPA Superfund list are even acknowledged in the new sludge
regulation.  In effect the EPA is allowing the creation of new Superfund sites which will then have to be cleaned up
at taxpayer's expense.
[There were 250 municipal solid waste landfill superfund sites by 1999]

Although the proposed sludge regulation has been revised to parallel (not comply) with the hazardous waste rule,
there is a major problem with current disposal rates of heavy metals in sludge.  As an example, the EPA is still
allowing up to 1,622 milligrams of total lead per kilogram (1,000 grams) of dry sludge to be disposed of on farm or
ranch land with little or no safety precautions.  According to the hazardous waste rule, this level of lead
contamination is probably hazardous at approximately 6.95 milligram per liter (1,000 grams) depending of course
on who does the test. The EPA classifies lead contamination as hazardous at 5.0 milligrams per liter using the
standard Toxic Characteristic Leach Procedure (TCLP) test.
{Lead is also a known cancer causing agent]

The EPA has introduced a new type of dry weight measurement in the proposed sludge regulation, milligrams per
kilogram (1,000 grams), that can not be referenced to any legal standard in existence to determine the hazardous
nature of the toxic pollutant in question even though it claims to use the standard TCLP test.  It is confusing
because the old legal measurement and new dry weight measurement both use the milligrams per 1,000 grams as
a basic unit of measurement.
[Conversion factor from total to leach rate is about 20 to 1 - but generally
reports do not state which test has been used. EPA currently allows up to 100,000 ppm of chromium in
sludge/biosolids - a known cancer causing agent]

A second point of confusion is that sludge is generated from the treatment plant at approximately one percent
solids. A test at this point may not show hazardous levels of contaminates. However, sludge is generally applied to
land application sites at four to twenty-five percent solids. A non-hazardous sludge at one percent solids could be
very hazardous at twenty-five percent solids.

Although the sludge is tested for heavy metals and PCB's, other potential toxicants in sludge are not considered.  
According to Dr. Lisk (1988), "Owing to the galaxy of other potential toxicants of unknown composition and
properties in sludge it is pointless to simply make recommendations for sludge use based on its content of a few
toxic constituents that are easy to analyze.  These few toxicants are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to
possible toxicants in sludge" (p. 1).
[See Recycling Death]

The EPA did a tremendous amount of research prior to issuing the proposed regulation and is fully cognizant of
the risk involved with the disposal of sludge.  Moreover, it has produced a scientific study of the potential public
health and environmental risk associated with the disposal of sludge on farmland. The scientific models it
developed are based on the most exposure of individuals, animals, or plants to concentrations of pollutants
moving into the air, water and through the soil into the food chain. The exposure to contaminates through the food
chain is based on the harvested and food products being distributed evenly to the total population of the United
States and the average exposure of an individual within the total population (FR 54, p.5779).  
[However, EPA
did not consider any of the toxic pollutants cancer causing agents for Part 503 beneficial use of

According to the model, a human will eat an average diet (with 2.5 percent of vegetables, grains, and animal
products raised on sludge amended soil), drink two liters of water a day, and inhale twenty cubic meters of air for
seventy years near the maximum exposure site (FR 54, p.5764).  Drinking water contamination exposure was
calculated by estimating the amount of contaminate carried off all the sludge sites in each State by rain water and
dividing that into the total surface water of each State (FR 54, p.5781).  Although this model was designed to
protect the public, the EPA has recognized that the model has limitations.

The main limitation is that there are no exposure assessment models to determine the effect on the most exposed
individual to various pathogens. Two other limitations to the study are, 1) Exposure through food is estimated only
for sewage sludge applied in a single year.  According to the EPA, "Multi-year applications were not evaluated,
thus, the effects would be underestimated for pollutants that remain in the soil for long periods of time without
decomposing, especially the heavy metals" (FR 54, p.5781), and 2) There are 2,395 POTWs, who used another
type of surface disposal and were not factored in to the exposure assessment model.
[Food poisoning
incidents exploded from about two million in 1986 to 81 million cases in 1997]

After some twelve years of intense research in the use and disposal of toxic sewage sludge, the EPA has only
touched the tip of the iceberg as to its ecological and economic effects.  According to the EPA, "The (proposed
rule) assessment does not quantify ecological effects or farm economic losses caused by plant or animal toxicity,
even though some numerical limits in today's proposal are based on animal and plant toxicity values.
Methodologies and data are not yet available to accurately estimate the ecological impacts from the use and
disposal of Sludge" (FR 54, p. 5780).

Although it is not able to accurately estimate the ecological impact from the use and disposal of sludge, the EPA
will still permit public-owned treatment plants and private companies to dispose of their sludge on farm and
ranchland under its beneficial use policy.  Who is going to be there to check if it is hazardous, or if too much
sludge is dumped per acre, or if it is not spread evenly over the land?  Moreover, who is going to be responsible
for the damages caused from the toxic material in a mismanaged disposal site.  We know, as long as humans are
involved, the potential for mismanaged will be there.  As an example, according to the Kansas City, Missouri
Sludge Management Program Summary Report for 1989, the contract for land application of sludge was
terminated when the private contractor intentionally over applied sludge to the land, "with no intention of
correcting their actions" (p.2.2).
[Kansas City took over the disposal program and decided it did not need
to keep accurate records]

There is even a dispute in the EPA over the proposed sludge regulation. According to Inside EPA (February 14,
1992), "EPA's Office of Research and Development has refused to support the new draft of the Water Office's
major sewage sludge regulation until several scientific and risk assessment issues are resolved.  Areas of
contention are: 1) the use of biokineite uptake model for lead exposure assessment, 2) the setting of soil ingestion
levels for Cadmium, Arsenic and other metals in the sludge risk assessment, (Cadmium and Lead can also be
ingested through food chain crops, and are particularly dangerous because they concentrate in the blood and
kidneys), 3) the potential wildlife exposure and impact on plants from sludge contaminates, and 4) the sludge risk
assessment which questions the scope of protection for those who work on or live near the sludge application
[After posting warnings in the preamble that EPA had little or no data on most chemicals and
disease causing pathogens, EPA removed all references to cancer causing agents, disease organisms
and and toxic pollutants. EPA's David Lewis, before he was forced to retire, documented sickness and
deaths for people who live near the sludge application sites]


When Congress passed the RCRA and the HSWA and gave the EPA the power to implement and enforce them, it
was to prevent other Love Canals from developing.  Yet, in the fifteen years since Congress passed the RCRA
and eight years since Congress mandated the Hazardous Waste Amendments, the EPA is still allowing the
uncontrolled dumping of toxic waste.  Toxic and hazardous pollutants are routinely applied to farm and ranch land.
It is being disposed of under the guise of beneficially using "domestic" sewage sludge as a fertilizer to enhance
the land.  However, the toxic and hazardous pollutants (pathogens, carcinogens, heavy metals) from industrial
waste in "domestic" sewage sludge can be extremely deadly to animals and people.
[In the 14 years since this
was written EPA has made it much easier to create superfund sites of farmland and home lawns.
Neither federal, state, or municipal agencies will investigate any health complaints or harm caused by
sludge/biosolids - their is just to much liability involved]

The EPA's confusion between the terms non-hazardous sludge and hazardous sludge has led it to allow the
States and in some cases local municipalities to have control of the disposal of sludge without any accountability
on their part.  Because the EPA believes that sewage sludge is non-hazardous, it continues to fund toxic sludge
application sites which endanger the health and safety of farmers who work them and the people who live adjacent
to the sites.
[It is now known the Peer Review Committee recommended the changes and EPA has
never been confused.
EPA's Robert Bastian admits, "Concerns raised over emerging pathogens and
chemicals for which little or no data are available tend to be put off for future consideration when
more adequate data are generated." Not only that but, "Less active EPA oversight, but continued
program support,"   "Increase the resources devoted to EPA's biosolids program"]

This is no longer just a farmer's problem. It effects the most basic needs of each and every one of us -- our need
for uncontaminated food, clean water and clean air. Although Congress has passed the laws to control the use
and disposal of sewage sludge and given EPA a solid waste statute to implement and enforce, the EPA has not
adequately addressed the problem. Therefore, it is time that we as concerned citizens do address the problem
before more damage is done to the health of those who work on or live around these sites and those of us who
consume the food raised there.
[The victims lists keep growing]

We can not complacently set on the sidelines. We must unite to rid our environment of the danger to our health
from the pathogens, heavy metals and carcinogens found in the sludge routinely applied to farm and range land.
[As well as home lawns, gardens and parks without notice or warning.
[The people of Kern County, California
did and voted to ban all sludge/biosolids use in June 2006]

Closing I leave you with the warning words of Dr. Lisk (1988), "The proponents of sludge use on land claim that if
sludge is "well engineered" it is safe.  The concept of a "well engineered" sludge is a myth. There is no sound
scientific basis for limiting levels of potential toxicants in sludge since we do not know the identity of most of them.
Even if both of these problems did not exist, it is extremely unlikely that any feasible monitoring and enforcement
program could ensure that application regulations are met" (P. 3).


Clean Water Act of 1977, 33 U.S.C. 1365, (1979). 40 CFR 257 and 503 Standards for the Disposal of Sewage
Sludge; Proposed
Rule.(1989, February 6). Federal Register Vol. 54, No. 23,
pp. 5746-5902.
40 CFR 257 and 258, Solid Waste Disposal Facility Criteria;
Final Rule. (1991, October 9)  Federal Register Vol 56, No. 196, pp.
Freeman, H. M. (Ed.). (1989). Standard handbook of hazardous waste treatment
and disposal. New York: McGraw-Hill
Haag, E. (Mar. 1992). Sludge Under Suspicion.  Farm Journal, pp. 16-19. Hazardous and Solid Waste
Amendments (RCRA) of 1984, 42 U.S.C. 6905,
6912(a), 6934.
Lisk, D. (1988). The Issue of sludge deposit on land. Unpublished
manuscript. Cornell University, Toxic Chemicals Laboratory, Ithaca. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of
1976, 42 U.S.C. 6907(a)(3) and
6944(a) (1979).
Thomas, C.L. (Ed.). (1989). Tabor's cylopedic medical dictionary (16th ed.).
Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Co.