Sewage Sludge in the News

January 18, 2012

  • Paragould Light, Water and Cable Required to Enclose Sewage Sludge Discharge Area (Arkansas) (Paragould Daily Press, 1/17/12)
  • Charlotte, North Carolina Spins Sludge Spreading as “Resource Recovery” and “Nutrient Recycling” (Charlotte, NC, 2011)
  • Union City, Indiana to Pay Fine for Arsenic Pollution from Spreading Sludge (Star Press, 1/14/12)
  • Culpeper County, Virginia Denies Permit for ReCyc Systems Storage Facility: ReCyc Systems, a a Virginia-based company that spreads Washington, D.C.’s treated human and industrial sewage on fields in Albemarle County, Virginia, among other places, applied for a permit from the Culpeper County Planning Commission to “relocate its Culpeper office and build two 100×200 foot [sewage sludge] storage structures on a 220-acre tract of property located about half a mile off U.S. 29, near the border with Fauquier County. The structures would have 8 feet walls and a dome shaped canvas cover, but would be open at the sides,” according to the local Star Exponent (1/11/12). The Commission recommended denying the request, however, in part because “the company could not convince residents that live near the property. Several adjoining property owners spoke in opposition, many of which said Recyc Systems had never contacted them about plans to build a facility in the area. . . . Another concern of those that spoke was the fragile nature of the tarp material that would be the cover for the facility. . . . Piedmont Environmental Council land use officer, Brian Higgins, said the proposal is contrary to the county’s comprehensive plan. ‘There is no known approach that can effectively eliminate the odor,” said Higgins. He pointed out that soil in the area has a low infiltration and that spills would end up in the river’” (Star Exponent, 1/12/12). The proposed piece of land is also the site of four historic battles. The recommendation will now go to the county board of supervisors for final review. According to the Fredericksburg Lance-Star (1/11/12), “More that two dozen people spoke at a three-hour public hearing, with the majority opposing the venture.”
  • 3M Blames Twin Cities for Disposing of its Industrial Chemicals via Wastewater in the Mississippi River: According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press (1/11/12), using the argument, “If we polluted, so did you,” 3M defended itself against a lawsuit by the state of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Council alleging that its chemicals polluted the Mississippi River. The dispute is “over PFOS, or perfluorooctane sulfonate, found in the river.” According to 3M, “the planning agency for the seven-county Twin Cities area dumps chemicals into the river from its seven waste treatment plants. . . . There has been no dollar amount specified in the state’s lawsuit, but removing PFOS from the Mississippi could cost billions. . . . Starting in 1949, 3M manufactured chemicals called perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, including PFOS. They were used in Teflon, fire extinguishers, Scotchgard stain repellent and other household products. . . . 3M . . . said the Met Council gives farmers sewage sludge that contains PFOS, which can seep into rivers and underground water. Wastewater from such sources must be finding its way into the Met Council’s treatment plants, Brewer said. Four of those plants are on the Mississippi, and three are on tributaries, the document says.”

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