In Brief / en bref...

U. S. EPA is starting TNSSS 2.0 – a second round of testing of statistically representative samples of wastewater solids from around the lower 48 states.  The results of the first Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey were published by EPA in 2009 and included data on 145 analytes, including many pharmaceuticals and personal care product chemicals and other “contaminants of emerging concern.”  The new round of sampling and testing is still being developed, but will likely measure some of the same constituents and some new ones, such as per- and polyflourinated alkyl substances (PFASs) and inorganic anions.  The latter will provide insights into nutrient value and carbon sequestration potential.  EPA hopes to utilize the same set of 74 randomly-selected water resource recovery facilities in 35 states that were involved in TNSSS 1.0.  The project will be managed by the Office of Science and Technology (OST).

Kern County, CA: A final court decision from the decade-long legal battle over Kern County’s ban on use of imported biosolids (“Measure E”) is expected this fall.  Earlier this year, the court heard eight days of oral arguments, including expert testimony from biosolids researchers and experienced biosolids managers and regulators.  Briefs detailing the arguments of both sides in this latest court contest are available; contact the NEBRA office. 

The small mountain resort town of Bethel, Maine just bought a small, used Huber inclined screw press for $120,000 and will be making improved cake soon, according to plant operator Rob Gunderson.

The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) has accepted a proposal to research the reclamation of fire-ravaged land using biosolids.  This will be a "Targeted Collaborative Research" project, and much of its organizing is being done by the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA).  Participation and funding is being sought from around the continent, Australia, and globally. Contact Greg Kester at CASA (gkester@casaweb.org) or Allison Dienes (Adeines@werf.org) at WE&RF for more information and see: http://casaweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/TCR-Fire-Ravaged-Biosolids-Scope-DRAFT-092216-GK.pdf .

Professor Rolf Halden (Arizona State University) continues to look closely at wastewater solids.  His team has measured trace chemicals, such as flame retardants, in stockpiled samples of biosolids. Now he is looking at solids for clues about our health and other signatures of human activities.

Featured in TPO: