Sludge Train: Toxic Biosolids Permitted in Virginia


biosolids spreading

On April 1st, which ironically also happens to be April’s Fools Day – a permit was issued for another 10 years’ worth of sludging activities in Louisa County in central Virginia, the region already heavily affected by the biosolids land applications.

The county’s Farm Bureau president gave a short presentation during the permit’s DEQ hearing. He stated that there is no documented evidence of adverse health effects of agricultural application of sludge, hence – no need to worry about such a thing. During those DEQ hearings, no sludge permit request is ever denied; no public questions or concerns are ever really addressed. This hearing was another “dog and pony show”, a hoop Synagro LLC. needed to jump through to gain more jurisdiction over the company’s sludging activities.

The comment by the Farm Bureau president really rubs me the wrong way. Let me tell you why.

The proposed argument, that no sufficient documented epidemiological data on sludge as a health hazard means no danger to human and animal health – is simply absurd. First, there are several publications to the contrary; you can see a small sample in my footnotes.

Second, the deficiency in knowledge doesn’t make us right; usually it makes us dead wrong. Remember the tobacco industry some 20 or more years ago? They were quite busy assuring the public that there is no connection between smoking and lung cancer. All the while countless beagles, rats and monkeys were dying from smoke inhalation experiments in laboratories across the country.

4/12/2016 1:58:16 PM

As soon as money enters the picture, the human species becomes utterly ignorant of facts.

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