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Archive for April, 2009

Sewage Sludge (Biosolids) “Recruit to Pollute”

The more I learn the madder I get!  The competition between city governments to acquire more land to destroy will lead to God knows what? How many farmers care enough to refuse free “fertilizer”?  I think if more farmers had enough knowledge and information to make an informed choice they would choose differently.

My first  post on Toxic Sewage Sludge on farm land garnered the most readers; and because I know that it is an issue that not enough people are aware of I hope you don’t mind if I talk about it again. There many sites with great information and organizations working on this very complex problem, I will refer you to them for more information. Please try to ignore the “B.S.” being spouted by the government stakeholders, and biosolid fraternity.  I have read articles by proponents of biosolid application trash and attack the only group steadfastly avoiding their propaganda – the Organic farmers. Please talk about this issue with your friends and family, try to get the message out. If you would like to read about real farms destroyed and the hidden price farmers may have to pay visit  http://www.usludgefree.org/farms.htm

Background information review

“Although the Sierra Club supports the use of pathogen- and pollutant-free treated human waste as fertilizer, such a practice is only possible by separating the industrial waste stream from human waste. Sewage treatment plants are not designed to separate wastes and to produce fertilizer. They were designed to remove pollutants from the wastewater. Many of the pollutants concentrate in the resultant sludges. As a result the exact compostion of any sludge is unknown. Urban sludges are a highly complex, unpredictable biologically active mixture of organic material and human pathogens, some of which are resistant to antibiotics or cannot be destroyed through composting sludge can contain thousands of industrial chemicals, including dozens of carcinogens, hormone disrupting chemicals, toxic metals, dioxins, radionuclides and other persistent bioaccumulative poisons. The Federal Clean Water Act defines sewage sludge as a pollutant.”

Much more really thoughtful insight is available at the following:

http://www.sierraclub.org/policy/conservation/LandApplicationSewageSludge.pdf

If you can stomach it read the disturbing report following to educate yourself on the quandary municipalities across the globe are finding themselves in. I don’t have the answer to the problem, I just know that all levels of government have to stop their obfuscation of the facts, come clean with the citizenry and work towards a solution. They can’t work towards a solution if they won’t admit there is a problem.

Here are some staggering statistics from a report on the MASTER PLAN of the city of Toronto. Their strategy to find a way to deal with the cities biosolids to the year 2025 Staggering in that they are actively searching for more farmland to recruit to pollute. As I’ve stated before try to find a politician who so much as raises an eyebrow to the claims that sewage sludge is nutrient rich and valuable for our farmers. Course Not. As per usual the City of Toronto politicians are no different except maybe greedier. What are they coveting now? Land to bury trash or Land to trash? As a matter of fact its both!

http://www.toronto.ca/wes/techservices/involved/wws/biosolids/pdf/meeting_10_srg_exec_sum.pdf

“This report examines the availability of agricultural land in Ontario for biosolids application. …This analysis is critical since new nutrient management legislation in Ontario, developed in the aftermath of the Walkerton tragedy, may have a significant impact on the amount of land available for biosolids application. The Nutrient Management Act and regulations will for the first time require that farm operations control and plan for the application of livestock manure to land at agronomically acceptable rates.”

{HEAVEN FORFEND- ERGO the allowable quantity of biosolids applied to a farmer’s fields may take a hit; and suddenly farmers have to answer for what enters the groundwater from their land. Hmmm}

The city of Toronto hired a consultant KMK B&V to provide an inventory of farmland potentially available for biosolid application.

“A detailed analysis of Counties and Regions within Central and Southern Ontario was undertaken. These include all agricultural land within an area bounded by Hamilton, Brant, Waterloo, Perth and Bruce on the west, Grey, Simcoe, and Muskoka on the north and Peterborough, Hastings and Prince Edward Counties on the east. Using the three inventory methods, the following results were obtained for this area:

  • Based on Method 1, this land area has the capacity to accept approximately 17,000 tonnes of dry biosolids per year (17,000 t ds/y);
  • Based on Method 2, this land area has the capacity to accept approximately 26,000 t ds/y; and,
  • Based on Method 3, this land area has the capacity to accept approximately 133,000 t ds/y.

These figures can be compared to the Toronto biosolids generation rate of 63,000 t ds/y of which 50,000 t ds/y is currently intended for beneficial reuse such as agricultural land application…… It is also important to note other large municipalities in this area depend on land application programs including Hamilton, Waterloo, Halton and Durham, and will be competing with Toronto for the available land.  ONLY if the application rates used in Method 3 can be realized, will there be ample capacity for all of these programs over the long term. However, analysis presented in the report argues that the land capacity developed based on Method 2 may be the most realistic estimate once the nutrient management legislation if fully phased-in.

Other significant findings include:

  1. When application is limited by soil nutrient requirements (Method 1), phosphorus is the limiting nutrient and there are 22 Counties or Regions out of 48 in total for the province, that have no additional capacity for biosolids once manure application is taken into account.
  2. The nutrient management legislation has the potential to severely limit the agricultural land available for biosolids application, although this limitation will only gradually be realized as more farm operations are phased in under the legislation over time.
  3. Recent amendments to the nutrient management legislation (December 2003) means that biosolids products such as alkaline-stabilized biosolids and biosolids pellets will be treated the same as biosolids, so there is no likely increase in capacity of land available by moving to these higher value added products that could once be distributed and applied as commercial fertilizers.”

CALL YOUR LOCAL MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CITY COUNCILOR, MAYOR, SENATOR, GOVERNOR -DO SOMETHING!

For more information visit the site of the organization- United Sludge Free Alliance at http://usludgefree.org/

If you can try to find a screening of:

Sludge Diet Film

Description: United Sludge-Free Alliance presents “Sludge Diet”.

This highly acclaimed 52-minute documentary that includes scientists, victims, activists, farmers, and government officials, from the US, Canada, France, and Switzerland, discussing the health and environmental problems linked to using sludges as “fertilizer.”

Learn more about sewage sludge on your food and water supply at our movie nights! Are you ready for the truth?

Sunday May 3 @12:30 – Goggleworks
201 Washington St., Reading, PA: 610-374-4600
http://www.goggleworks.org

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Sludge-Free?

From United Sludge Free Alliance

Sludge-Free Bagged Fertilizers

All Naturalink products- Ace Hardware Stores
All Timberline products- Home Depot Stores
All Twin Oaks products- Esbenshades Garden Centers
All Jolly Gardener products- Ace/Agway
All Hawk Valley Farms products, Kempton, PA
610-756-6259
Scotts top soil (red & white bag)-Lowes,
Weavers Hardware – Fleetwood, PA
Lowes topsoil- Lowes stores
Agway topsoil-Agway stores

If the bag says topsoil, it is topsoil. If the bag says it is humus from (location), it is probably all humus. If the bag says compost and nothing else, it is a “crap shoot” at best.

If a landfill or municipality is offering really cheap compost, it will probably have Class B sewage sludge mixed with green waste. Not sure? Phone the ‘fertilizer’ company before you buy – their contact info is listed on the side of the bag.

This is not a comprehensive list. Feel free to contact us with other sludge-free fertilizers companies.

Visit the following for a list of Brand names of Sewage sludge based products.

http://www.iatp.org/iatp/publications.cfm?accountID=421&refID=104205

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I don’t know about you but I feel my civil liberties are being infringed upon and am furious and disgusted with government and various institutions that promulgate their biosolid propaganda. Some townships and municipalities are valiantly trying to prevent this ongoing assault on the land that is meant to sustain life. It doesn’t seem as though there is much reason for optimism. It is vitally important to stand up and fight for a cause that is so fundamental to our daily lives.  There are issues in the forefront of the public’s perception and unfortunately this is not one of them. In part I think because there is such a determined effort to deceive and overpower any opposition. There are websites, blogs and biosolid co-operative agencies whose sole mission is to put forward the agenda of the supposed Biosolid benefit.

From Pottsville, PA Republican-Herald, 5-15-08.

Packer Township, PA OKs Biosolids Ordinance.   Before about 50 residents, the Packer Township Board of Supervisors in Carbon County unanimously approved advertisement of its intent to adopt a biosolids ordinance.  The ordinance – The Packer Township Local Control, Sewage Sludge and Chemical Trespass Ordinance – not only prohibits the land application of biosolids sewage sludge within the township, but asserts the constitutional right to refuse “chemical bodily trespass” by corporations that would attempt to dump biosolids on township land.

The board also unanimously approved a resolution proclaiming solidarity with East Brunswick Township in its legal defense of its biosolids ordinance. East Brunswick’s ordinance banning biosolids dumping is being challenged by the state in court.  Other anti-biosolids ordinances are in effect in Tamaqua Borough, Rush Township and Mahanoy Township.

OTHER COUNTIES IN THE U.S. HAVE NOT BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN THE WAR OVER THE APPLICATION OF SLUDGE

U.S. District Court Judge Gary Allen Feess in Los Angeles on August 10 granted the request for final judgment by the City of Los Angeles and other Southern California agencies, businesses and farmers to overturn Kern County’s ban of biosolids and maintain the land application of biosolids on farmland.

The fifty-five page order granted the request by the City and plaintiffs for the entry of final judgment against Kern County. Judge Feess ruled that Measure E “demonstrated irreparable harm” as the ordinance violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against biosolids from metropolitan Los Angeles and preempted the California Integrated Waste Management Act by conflicting with a statewide policy of recycling solid waste, which by statute includes biosolids. Judge Feess summarized that “government agencies cannot decide to stop producing biosolids and instead must find ways to manage those that are produced” and the court found “that land application constitutes a ‘beneficial use’ of biosolids, and indeed the EPA explains that it adopted the term ‘biosolids’ so as ‘to emphasize the beneficial nature of this valuable, recyclable resource.'”

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Falsification of data to spread sludge- Court Case

Farmer wins Judgement after hundreds of cows die

Illustrating the point that many levels of government collude to deceive its citizenry over the safety of biosolid application. This is not news to some; however there are many just waking up to the reality of Sewage Sludge.

From Athens, GA Banner-Herald, 5-19-08. University of GA Faces Claim Over Sewage Sludge Research. Data allegedly ‘fudged’ Months after a federal judge said the city of Augusta used “fudged” data to show that spreading sewage sludge on dairy pastures is safe, the University of Georgia faces a separate lawsuit in Athens over the safety of the sludge applications.  Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientist David Lewis, along with two Augusta area dairy farmers, say UGA scientists used false data in research that showed applying sludge should not pose a threat to the farmers’ dairy cow herds. Lewis is suing EPA officials as well as UGA scientists and the UGA Research Foundation.  UGA could be forced to return EPA grants and pay civil penalties if a federal jury agrees with Lewis’ claims, according to Lewis’ lawyer, Edwin Hallman of Atlanta.

To view a copy of the lawsuit filed on March 29, 2006 by David Lewis, visit: http://www.onlineathens.com/multimedia/pdfs/051908_sludge_suit.pdf.

The UGA research was part of an orchestrated campaign by EPA administrators who wanted to justify a federal policy that allowed sewage sludge to be spread on farm fields and to discredit farmers’ claims that the sludge was poisoning their cows, according to Lewis.  The campaign also discredited Lewis’ own research into the safety of sewage sludge, the semi-solid material left over after wastewater is treated in municipal wastewater treatment plants, he said.  Lewis says he was forced out of the EPA and denied a chance to be hired at UGA when his research suggested EPA safety standards for sludge might not be strict enough to prevent human health problems.  “It’s just left a cloud over my reputation,” he said.

In the Augusta lawsuit, a dairy farming family claimed that hundreds of their cows died after sludge from an Augusta wastewater treatment plant was spread on their land in a program promoted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The sludge contained high levels of heavy metals and other dangerous pollutants, they claimed.  In February, U.S. Southern District of Georgia Judge Anthony Alaimo ruled in favor of the dairy farmers, a family named McElmurray that maintained the sludge contained dangerous pollutants like chlordane and metals such as thallium and arsenic.  Alaimo said sludge application records from the city of Augusta were accepted by the USDA and EPA even though they were “unreliable, incomplete and in some cases fudged,” and that when the dairy farmers showed federal officials evidence their land was contaminated, the evidence was ignored.  Alaimo also wrote in his February ruling that “senior EPA officials took extraordinary steps to quash scientific dissent and any questioning of the EPA’s biosolids program.”

Lewis, in his separate lawsuit in Athens’ Middle District federal court, claims some UGA researchers became part of those extraordinary steps to quash dissent.  Julia Gaskin and three other UGA scientists used the flawed Augusta data to show the city’s land application complied with federal law and was safe, according to the lawsuit.  The EPA funded UGA scientists’ research – after the dairy farmers filed earlier lawsuits – in order to generate data that would justify an EPA policy that said sludge application is safe, according to legal documents filed by Lewis.  Gaskin has stood by her research, and lawyers for the defendants have denied wrongdoing.

However, in September, federal Judge Clay Land denied a motion to dismiss the case against the UGA scientists and EPA administrators. Land agreed to dismiss the University System of Georgia Board of Regents as a defendant, however.  Land has not yet ruled on a later motion to dismiss the UGA Research Foundation and former UGA Vice President for Research Joe Key as defendants.

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Last night I assembled what was in the fridge on the counter for dinner. One large salmon steak cooked (our eyes were bigger than our stomachs so we each only ate half the night before) A small bowl of stir fried zucchini, onion and spinach (leftover) A bag of new red potatoes and 1 package of tomatoes on the vine. The tomatoes were begging to be used soon, so voila Speedy Roasted Tomato Potato was the result. We loved it. Hope you do too.

12 ozs cocktail size tomatoes

3 med new red potatoes

1 vidalia onion

2 tblsp olive oil

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp basil

pepper to taste

½ tsp sea salt

freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking dish with parchment paper. Scrub potatoes, prick with fork microwave 3 minutes. Remove slightly cooked potatoes, cut in 6th‘s, Cut tomatoes in ¼’s, and thinly slice onion. Drizzle olive oil over all, stir and add herbs with pepper and salt. Stir. Grate desired amount of parmesan over top. Bake uncovered for ½ hour. Serve.   Health bonus- this ” mediterranean diet” type dish is lycopene rich and gluten free.

Bon Apetit!

tomato-on-the-vine

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Dreaming Music

After a lovely weekend what better way to relax than listening to some spectacular music?

I first heard ‘Chris Botti in Boston’ this weekend. A must have for my music collection.

http://www.chrisbotti.com/home.html#location1

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Super Saturday BBQ

I would be a poor Flexitarian if I didn’t include an occasional beef recipe. I have set a target of once a month for beef. My son’s are coming home soon and won’t be entirely happy about this. When we have beef it is going to be really good! My oldest son will love this steak recipe I developed after he went out west.  For Derek and all you beef lovers here’s a really good one.

Flank Steak- Korean Style

Ingredients

1 tblsp. Costco Chicago Chicken seasoning blend

(our favourite, or sub steak blend spice mix)

¼ cup Soya sauce/ or Tamari sauce

1 tblsp. honey

1 tsp. crushed chili  flakes

2  large cloves garlic chopped

2 tsp. sesame oil (toasted) or sub olive oil

bunch chives (snip with scissors ½ in. pieces)

2 lbs or 1kg flank steak

Sea salt (Fleur de Sel) if available (adds a special touch)

Directions:

1. Prepare meat by cutting thin grooves in meat in a diamond pattern before marinating. Allow meat to sit covered at room temp for 15 min. or so to remove chill.  In a shallow dish combine seasoning, soya or temari sauce, honey, crushed chili flakes, garlic, sesame oil, chives, and a drizzle of vegetable oil. Marinate for 10-15 min. maximum.

2. Preheat BBQ to High.  Preheat your BBQ grill pan. Add meat and cook 5 min. on each side for med. rare, 7- 8 minutes for medium-well doneness.

3. Let meat rest 5 minutes prior to serving. Thinly slice the meat against the grain Serve with Fleur de Sel and a garnish of chives.

Decidedly Delicious! Unbelievable with garlic mashed potatoes.

Bon Apetit!derek-shannon-falls-bc3

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