BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE www.bredl.org
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
BREDL NEWS


Date: July 17, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE







 

Contact:

Heide Kober
Neighbors Opposing Bio-Solids (N.O.- B.S.)
(919) 452-9342
heide-mark@mindspring.com


Sue Dayton
BREDL/North Carolina Healthy Communities
(336) 525-2003
sdayton@swcp.com

 


N.O. - B.S. Forms to Address Sewage Sludge
Group Fears Pollution of Jordan Reservoir

Dressed in hazmat suits, rubber boots, gloves, and dust masks, members of Neighbors Opposing Bio-Sludge (N.O. - B.S.) took sludge to the podium today to speak on why additional monitoring and testing of treated sewage sludge - also known as biosolids - is needed in order to determine the effects of land application of sewage sludge on the ailing Jordan Reservoir.

Members of the newly formed N.O. - B.S. passed out flyers titled, "Frequently Asked Questions About Sludge," and "What You Can Do About Sludge" to those attending public hearings at Elon University concerning a proposed plan that would cut nutrients responsible for the declining integrity of the B. Everett Jordan Reservoir. The Reservoir, along with 29 tributaries making up the Haw River Watershed, has been federally designated as "Impaired" waters.

N.O. - B.S. submitted the following recommendations for the responsible management of sludge in the preservation of the Jordan Reservoir:

  • Routine testing to detect the presence of chemicals in sludge known as endocrine disruptors.
  • Routine testing of surface waters located up to one mile from sludge applied land.
  • Increased setbacks for sludge applications on land adjacent to surface water from 100 to 1,400 ft.
  • Testing of surface water both before obtaining a permit and at intervals after each sludge application.
  • Prohibition of sludge applications where runoff drains into waters designated as "Impaired."

N.O. - B.S. was formed by farmers and residents of Alamance, Orange, Guilford, Chatham and Randolph counties in an effort to stop the land application of harmful chemicals found in sewage sludge that may pose a potential risk to human health and the environment. The group supports local farmers and clean agricultural practices.

Millions of tons of sewage sludge are applied to land in the 10 counties that make up the Haw River Watershed. Free sludge is given to farmers and touted as an excellent fertilizer. Sludge is widely recognized as a source of nitrogen, phosphorous, organic matter, and other nutrients which can enhance soil as well as crop yield.

Sludge was banned from ocean dumping in 1988 because of its devastating effects on marine ecosystems. It is now being applied to land as a convenient and cheap method of waste disposal. Studies have shown that treated sewage sludge contains thousands of toxic substances that are not destroyed by conventional treatment. Certain chemicals found in sludge can cause endocrine disruption in fish and other aquatic animals.

Sue Dayton, coordinator for the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League/North Carolina Healthy Communities Project said that sludge is being left out of the equation. "There needs to be more comprehensive monitoring and testing of 'emerging contaminants' found in sludge to determine its cumulative impacts on ground water, surface waters, and watersheds. We are calling for additional monitoring and testing to assess the impacts of land application of sludge on fish, amphibians, birds and other animals that are essential to maintaining healthy ecosystems. It's everyone's problem."

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) is a regional, community-based, non-profit environmental organization that serves communities fighting polluting industry in the Southeast. BREDL's founding principles are earth stewardship, environmental democracy, social justice and community empowerment. The North Carolina Healthy Communities Project was created specifically to assist communities in North Carolina working to protect and preserve their environment and health.


BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE
www.BREDL.org PO BOX 88 Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 BREDL@skybest.com (336) 982-2691 office (336) 977-0852 cell

Neighbors Opposing Bio-Sludge (N.O. - B.S.)

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