In Brief / en bref...

  • Congratulations Jeff McBurnie (Casella Organics), recognized by the Maine Water Environment Association (MEWEA) with the 2016 Roger Gagne Award for Long Term Service!  Jeff has served as MEWEA's Residuals Committee Chair and is currently Chair of the NEBRA Regulatory & Legislative Committee.  Nicely done Jeff!  Thanks for your (long-term) service!
  • Congratulations Lise LeBlanc, on the widening dairy farm use of recycled wallboard for animal bedding, a process she developed near Halifax, NS. The program was recently covered in a CBC video. She writes: "I was fortunate to be able to meet with David Suzuki a couple of weeks ago to talk about this joint recycling venture between Agriculture and Industry. He was quite impressed and is going to spread the word across Canada!"  Lise is a member of NEBRA's Board of Directors.
  • Phosphorus advice was recently provided by UMass Extension, in follow-up to a phosphorus Symposium on November 2nd.  NEBRA supported UMass Extension in staging the Symposium on "Managing Phosphorus in Organic Residuals Applied to Soils" in order to advance understanding of how to balance the benefits of the use of biosolids and other residuals with the potential for water quality impacts from the P that they contain. Read the UMass Extension advice in the recent Vegetable Notes, starting on page 5.
  • A new regional biosolids drying facility is planned by Synagro, Waste Management, & other partners for Pennsylvania.  The $20 million "Slate Belt Heat Recovery Center" on the Grand Central Landfill property operated by Waste Management in Plainfield Township will use heat from existing landfill gas electricity generation to dry biosolids.  Media coverage... 
  • Diverting organics in the Northeast is not free!, as emphasized at NERC's fall conference.  See also this animated food waste video from ReFED.
  • U. S. EPA is planning a new round of sampling of municipal biosolids across the country – a "round 2" of the Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey (TNSSS). The wastewater treatment facilities that were chosen to make up a representative random sample and had their biosolids tested in ~2009 have been contacted again and are ready for another round of sampling.  However, EPA has put the sampling on hold for a month or two as staff review the justification for the new round of testing, given that initial probabalistic risk assessment modeling suggests minimal risk from traces of biosolids-borne perfluorinated compounds -  the analytes of greatest interest.
  • Lockport, NY continues its moratorium on biosolids use in town.  The Town Board recently voted to continue the moratorium for another year, while it waits "to see what happens in Wheatfield, where the town banned the spreading of biosolids and got sued by equate's maker, Quasar Energy Group, before deciding whether to lift or make permanent the ban in Lockport," according to the Lockport Journal.   Prior NEBRA news has covered the biosolids debates in western NY, and NEBRA weighed in last July.
  • "Greening Mines" with biosolids - Missouri S & T is demonstrating successful mine reclamation research with biosolids:  "tailings treated with biosolids 'dramatically improved plant growth' compared to untreated tailings while promoting microbial activity essential to plant health," notes this article.
  • But how long is mine reclamation effective?  This research from British Columbia is one example of a long-term view: 17 years later, the benefits are evident.
  • Soil health is getting further attention from the White House, where the Office of Science & Technology Policy announced December 5th new steps "to work towards the long-term health and sustainable use of one of America’s most important natural resources: its soil."  Details....   In support of this effort, a new Framework for a Federal Strategic Plan for Soil Science, is now available.  (Thanks to WEF for this information.)
  • New bioenergy fact sheets from WEF: Biogas to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS).
  • Golf Course Industry recognized Milorganite's 90th birthday in a recent article.  (Thanks to Greg Kester, CASA, for this reference.)
  • NW Biosolids (formerly NBMA) unveiled its new, classy biosolids website this month.  It speaks to those seeking more general biosolids information, improves member access to important resources, incorporates a blog format for the Biosolids eBulletin to elevate the presence of relevant biosolids news on search engines, and continues to demonstrate the commitment of the NW Biosolids regional network to research & practical solutions for biosolids management.  Check it out.