In Brief / en bref...
Vermont releases draft White Paper on biosolids management. The Residuals Management Section of the VT Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has worked for the past year on a thorough summary of the science of biosolids use on soils and the history and experience of the practice in the Green Mountain State. DEC describes the release of this draft paper as a "first step toward developing a new set of regulations governing the management of residual wastes." Download the White Paper. DEC welcomes comments.
Western New York biosolids debate: According to media coverage, Quasar is now producing and using Class A biosolids as it continues to work through public, political challenges to land application. In early September, the Town of Lockport imposed a six-month moratorium on local biosolids use.
Energy projects at wastewater and water facilities are the focus of new Water Research Foundation research projects:
- WRF project #4634, “Assess Public Private Partnership Opportunities for Water and Wastewater Energy Projects,” posted on the WRF website at http://www.waterrf.org/funding/rfps/RFPs/RFP_4634.pdf
- WRF project #4625, “Opportunities and Barriers for Distributed Energy Resource Development at Water and Wastewater Utilities,” posted on the WRF website at http://www.waterrf.org/funding/rfps/RFPs/RFP_4625.pdf
- Proposals are due November 12, 2015.
Plastic microbeads are banned in California. The California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) and several other environmental organizations are celebrating the October 8th signing of AB 888 by Governor Jerry Brown, which bans the sale of personal care products that contain microbeads. According to a New York Times article, "at least six other states have passed laws restricting microbeads, including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland and New Jersey." Newsweek covered the issue of microbeads recently. NY State's Attorney General details the concerns regarding microbeads in Unseen Threat, a May 2014 report.
The vitriolic biosolids debate in British Columbia, which has had much press coverage this year, is beginning to enter the constructive dialogue stage. Last winter, when malodors from a poorly-run biosolids composting operation upset the community in the Nicola Valley near Merritt, BC, an organized oppostion formed and spread its impact across the Province, involving First Nations and other organizations in bringing pressure on the provincial government to stop biosolids use. The upset has impacted many exemplary, long-term biosolids recycling programs, including those of Metro Vancouver, the largest generator and land applier of biosolids in the region. Now, Nicola Valley First Nations leaders and the provincial government have signed an agreement to enter into a review process. The province has also established a scientific review panel, and the local regional district government is planning to regulate biosolids management activities.
Capturing and moving phosphorus out of distressed watersheds is a worthy goal, especially as states increase regulation of P-containing fertilizers and soil amendments (e.g. Massachusetts). quasar energy group is working on it.