8/29/16

In Brief / en bref...

In an Op-Ed to major news outlets, four Canadian biosolids researchers (e.g. Dr. Lynda McCarthy, Ryerson University, left) responded to an open letter that had raised fears about biosolids, especially with regards to trace chemicals in biosolids.  The Op-Ed states: "By focusing exclusively on the occurrence of chemicals in biosolids, Rayne et al.... have equated chemical presence, at any level, with unacceptable risk. This correlation is truly unscientific, and frankly, irresponsible.... As in any exposure scenario, the mere presence of a chemical is not the end of the story and most certainly should not be the basis for decision-making in society.... As scientists, we encourage a civil and informed discussion on biosolids management; one that incorporates fact and weight-of-evidence in an honest national discourse rather than the use of inappropriate catch phrases and misleading information to instill undue fear in a trusting public."

The New York Solid Waste Regulations are being revised, and comments are due by 5:00 pm, September 13th, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.  NEBRA is developing and will submit comments.

Maryland is considering backing off on or delaying its very restrictive regulation of phosphorus applied to soils in manures and biosolids, according to articles in the Bay Journal June 30th and July 6th.  

The Montague, MA Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) has, for several years, operated a novel process that has reportedly consumed solids to the extent that the WPCF was able to stop sending solids to off-site disposal and actually began to take in outside solids that were then also consumed in the process.  Now, however, the state regulatory agency, MassDEP, and others are seeking further documentation of Montague's novel sludge minimization process, and the Town is responding to a MassDEP consent order and has decided to stop taking in outside solids, dismaying about 25 small area treatment facilities that had recently come to rely on this disposal option.  Read articles from The Recorder here and here.

WEF will announce, at WEFTEC 2017 in September, the first annual "Utility of the Future Today" awards for wastewater treatment facilities that have shown exceptional performance in adopting sustainable principles and operations.  Congratulations to Narragansett Bay Commission (helped by NEBRA member Barry Wenskowicz), which was the one New England award winner!   Other New England facilities - including several with progressive biosoldis recycling programs – are considering going after this award in 2017.  Details...