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Fwd: Part 3 -- It all began in New York

  • Subject: [cg] Fwd: Part 3 -- It all began in New York
  • From: TheBynums@aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 07:10:49 EDT


  • Subject: Part 3 -- It all began in New York
  • From: TheBynums@aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 06:53:58 EDT
  • Full-name: TheBynums
"Corruption is often the price of progress."
         Reverend Emanual Cleaver II, Mayor, KC, Mo.
              (Starbeam--Kansas City Star, 1996)

Maybe -- but before we follow a sludge train to west Texas we need to look at 
the situation which allowed it to happen. Congress had enacted all the 
necessary environmental laws to prevent the sludge train from ever leaving 
New York City. In fact, in  1984 Congress enacted the Hazardous and Solid 
Waste Amendments which mandated disposal in a sanitary landfill. It would 
appear that some smart young fellow at EPA figured
out that if hazardous waste was considered to be a fertilizer CERCLA and they 
could find a farm to dump it on then it wasn't necessary to comply with the 
other laws as long as EPA had a policy on sludge use.

In 1989, EPA did propose a written policy, Part 503. However,  the policy 
acknowledged 21 organic and inorganic chemicals and 34 primary disease 
organism groups which could, after exposure on the farm or home lawn, cause 
death, disease,  cancer, and other assorted physical and mental health 
problems. The policy warning reflected those in the environmental laws and 
noted the EPA Administrator had this  information on file. The policy also 
noted that disease organism regrowth was a major an expected problem. 

However, these bright young men with Ph.Ds behind their names were so far out 
of their field of expertise that they didn't have a clue as to the terrible 
plagues they were about to release on transporters, farmers and the public's 
food, air and water supply. Or worse yet, did they know? As an example: As an 
example:  Coccidioides  immitis (C. immitis) is a fungus so dangerous that 
all research is regulated under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death 
Penalty Act. Yet, many people in the Pacific Southwest, especially California 
are infected each year. The primary path of infection is by inhaling airborne 
dust particles. For the most part, symptoms are mild and the victim may not 
even be aware they are really sick. However, according to biologist John 
Taylor, about 10% of the victims will become seriously ill and  about 1% of 
the victims will die from a fatal lung disorder. “According to an article in 
Newsday and republished in the Kansas City Star, “-- C. immitis is viewed as 
a potential lethal agent that could be dispersed in warfare or in an act of 
terrorism.”  The findings that this deadly disease organism spread in human 
and animal feces could be used to trace the path of ancient human migration 
through the Americas was recently reported in the Proceedings of the National 
Science Academy by Taylor and his colleagues at Roche Molecular Systems in 
Alameda, California. 

The major problem for EPA and the sludge producers was that the policy was to
conservative, it was too protective concerning food crops, water supplies and 
the proposed buyers -- farmers and home gardeners -- and worse of all, it 
talked about some of the disease organisms which could kill them.

There is no doubt, the ocean dumping ban did create a major problem for New
York City where there was very little available landfill space. In a letter 
to EPA Administrator Reilly, dated June 5, 1989, Commissioner Harvey Schultz 
of New York City's Department of Environmental Protection, explained the  
economics of New York City's situation, if the Part 503 rule was adopted as 
it was proposed. "...compliance with the pollutant standards would be 
difficult, if not impossible, to  achieve." "...no disposal option covered by 
the proposal would be allowed or feasible for eighty percent of the City's 
sludge." In closing, Mr. Schultz urged Mr. Reilly;  "Considering the economic 
and environmental importance of these regulations, the large volume of 
potentially beneficial sludge affected, and the cost and paucity of landfill 
space,  I urge you to devote the necessary resources to revise 503 in 
accordance with the best available technical information."

As is evident from the documents, for some cities  it would have been 
impossible to meet the standards for beneficial use in the Proposed Part 503; 
and many sludge
application sites could have already far exceeded the  regulated level.

As a result of these backdoor political shenanigans, the  EPA created the 
final Part 503 regulation; it is a unique regulation, it is based on several 
exclusions and exemptions in the laws: 1) the domestic sewage exclusion for 
hazardous  waste in the sewer pipes to the treatment plant; 2) the exemption 
for commercial fertilizer in the Superfund Act; 3) the statutory exemption 
for contaminated agricultural surface water run-off; and 4) the lack of any 
enforceable soil standard for pollutants -- particularly, disease organisms.

Based on these exclusions, EPA is authorizing the clean up of toxic and 
radioactive hazardous waste Superfund Sites by piping the waste into 
treatment plants. Denver is a good example. The concentrated toxic sludge 
from the treatment process will either be disposed of on food crop production 
land or perhaps on your lawn.

At the New Hampshire conference, EPA's Hugh Kaufman pointed out how economic 
interests had caused the revision of the 1989 proposed 503 Sludge Rule which 
he said were similar to the rest of the developed world--Canada, Germany and 
European countries. He says:
     As a result of that proposed regulation, politicians
     from all over the country started to pressure EPA--a
     young senator, Al Gore from Tennessee, the head of the
     Environment Protection Agency in New York City--all of
     them implying and/or stating directly that they could
     not land apply their sludge if EPA promulgated the
     regulations that were similar to the rest of the
     developed world. So what EPA did was, they did a survey
     of most of the big city sludges to determine the highest
     levels of contaminates in those sludges, and then they
     modified the proposals so that all the big city sludges
     would be allowed to land apply their sludge."

One of the selling points in the EPA/WEF's promotion to  farmers is their 
claim that the farmer and his family will not be harmed by the use of sewage 
sludge and there will be  no liability under the Comprehensive Environmental 
Response,  Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Superfund Act), if the 
Part 503 is followed and sludge use is considered to be a "normal application 
of fertilizer."

In spite of all the EPA/WEF rhetoric about the lack of  danger to the health 
of the farmer from sludge use, sludge, fertilizers containing hazardous waste 
put farmers at risk. In the book, TOXIC DECEPTION (1996)  Dan Fagin and 
Marianne  Levelle, and the Center for Public Integrity, cited research done 
by Aaron Blair and Sheila Hor Zahm, at the National Cancer Institute, "who 
have conducted at least seven studies  of farmers (a population that by most 
measures is healthier than the rest of us)," which showed increased cancer 
among farmers. They quoted the researchers as saying, "we found
unexpectedly high rates of lukemia, Hodgkin's disease, non- Hodgkin's 
lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and cancers of the bone, brain, connective 
tissue, eye, kidney, lip, pancreas, prostate, skin, stomach, and thyroid." 
(p.  xvi)

EPA's Chief Saleman appears to be USDA's Rufus Chaney who appears to believe 
toxic and hazardous waste is good for the farmer and home gardener. The 
December 1992, Water Environment Federation Washington Bulletin noted there 
was some discontent in the sludge industry with the proposed Part 503 rule.  
Rufus Chaney, USDA, didn't think the EPA limits for cadmium, chromium, 
molybdenum and selenium were in the best interest of agricultural. He claimed 
there was no technical basis for cadmium at 39 mg/kg and it should be 25 
mg/kg. He did not think chromium should be regulated, molybdenum should be 
double the current 18 mg/kg and selenium should be less than 36 mg/kg.  It 
was also his contention that the "clean sludge"  concept "is a whole lot 
different regulatory approach and it needs to be honest." (p.  3)

The EPA released "A Guide to the Biosolids Risk Assessments  for the EPA Part 
503 Rule" in September 1995 which acknowledged that the risk assessment was a 
sham.   The only cancer risk assessment was based on the organics that were 
proposed for regulation, but were never regulated. 

According to the writers, EPA's John Walker, Linda Stien, Robert Southworth 
and James Ryan, as well as USDA's Rufus Chaney, "--the Part 503 metals were 
considered noncarcinogens (they do not cause or induce cancer) for the 
exposure pathways evaluated." (pp. 110-11). The government has known for 
years that these metal were carcinogens. The fact is that no federal agency 
offers any rules to protect the farmer -- OSHA only protects employees in the 
commercial workplace. 

These bright young Ph.Ds also seem to be clueless about the nature of PCBs 
which are not biodegradable. In 1992, the Madison (Wisconsin) Metropolitan 
Sewage District (MMSD) proposed to EPA that it would clean up a PCB 
contaminated sludge lagoon on the Superfund list by using the toxic sludge as 
a fertilizer on farmland.  According to MMSD, it had mass-loaded soil with 
170 ppm PCB's and found that they disappeared from the soil.  It claimed 
there was no plant uptake or groundwater contamination. (EPA weighs PCB 
levels, (Sept. 7, 1992), ENR `Engineering News Record')

"It (the research) documents that land treatment can be done in a way that is 
still protective of human health and environmental quality," says David 
Taylor, manager of MMSD's Superfund clean-up and its Metrogro fertilizer 
program." Not only that, "But signs already indicate that EPA's future 
regulation of PCBs in soil will focus less on TOSCA's rigid 50 ppm limit and 
more on MMSD's type of risk based, mass-
loading criteria of pounds per acre."  The MMSD and it's Metrogro program 
have been furnishing farmers with TOSCA "approved" sludge since 1979.

It would appear that that may not be all MMSD was furnishing farmers in the 
Madison area. The 100+ pathogens can be genetically modified by other toxic 
pollutants in sludge and they can survive for long periods of time in the 
environment. Most of these pathogens, including Salmonella and E.  coli, are 
not inactivated by any temperature less than 121 degrees Celsus. However, 
lower temperatures will cause them to create spores (hard outer shells) which 
makes them non-detectable for a short period of time. EPA and USDA have known 
for 30 years that even lime causes the same phenomenon. While these bright 
young Ph.Ds may not have done their research, EPA and USDA have also known 
for years that lime causes Chromium 3 to convert to the very carcinogenic 
Chromium 6.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin--Madison's veterinary medical 
teaching hospital studied an outbreak of drug resistant salmonella anatum in 
horses in 1991.  An epidemiologic investigation was done.  A number of horses 
referred to the University were found to have the drug resistant salmonella 
strains from several locations in Illinois and Wisconsin.  They also found 
several other drug  resistant strains of enteric bacteria, including E. Coli. 
According to the study, "After may 1991, several horses from which S anatum 
was isolated were admitted at various time  from various geographic 
locations, suggesting S anatum may have been endemic in the horse population 
in the area surrounding the veterinary medical teaching hospital and private 
veterinary clinic. Extensive bacteriological surveys of horses in the area 
would be require to document this possibility." (Control of an outbreak of 
salmonellosis caused  by drug-resistant Salmonella anatum in horses as a 
veterinary hospital and measures to prevent future infection. (August 1. 
1996)  JAVMA Vol 209, No. 3, p. 629.)

MMSD's request for the use of hazardous PCBs contaminated  sludge on food 
crop production land has the backing of Rufus Chaney. "Public interest and 
common sense dictate that [MMSD's request] be granted," says Rufus Chaney, a 
research agronomist and consultant to the U.S.Department of Agriculture."

In a series of articles in the Seattle Times, FEAR IN THE  FIELDS, reporter, 
Duff Wilson, on July 3 & 4, 1997, exposed what could be also be a 
contributing factor to not only farmers adverse health, but damage to animal 
health and environment. It also illustrates the EPA's handling to toxic and 
hazardous sludge.  According to the article, farmers in the little town of 
Quincy, Washington "were wondering why their wheat yields were lousy, their 
corn crops thin, their cows sickly." An  investigation led by Quincy Mayor 
Patty Martin, revealed the  fertilizer used by the farmers was made from 
hazardous waste. "It's really unbelievable what's happening, but it's true,"
Martin said, "They just call dangerous waste a product, and  it's no longer a 
dangerous waste. It's a fertilizer."

Wilson gave several examples where EPA allowed hazardous waste to be used as 
a fertilizer--with a simply name change. In one case, toxic metal waste went 
into the top of a Bay Zinc Company silo under an EPA hazardous waste storage 
and emerged out the bottom as an unregulated fertilizer. Bay  Zinc's 
President Dick Camp said, "Don't ask me why. That's the wisdom of the EPA." 
Wilson found that in Gore, Oklahoma, radioactive waste was licensed as a 
liquid fertilizer and  sprayed on 9,000 acres of grazing land.  Unsuspecting 
farmers in Tift County, Ga. loss 1,000 acres of peanuts when they used 
hazardous waste mixed with lime.

Wilson found that. "Canada's limit for heavy metals such as lead and cadmium 
in fertilizer is 10 to 90 times lower than the U.S. limits for metals in 
sewage sludge. "He stated, "The United States has no limits for metals in 
fertilizers."  Canadian Regulator, Darlene Blair, says, "Sorry, but we won't 
compromise our health." Unlike the Canadian regulatory agency the EPA and 
USDA take the opposite approach. USDA's  Rufus Chaney followed the EPA line, 
when he spoke to Wilson, He said. "It is irresponsible to create unnecessary 
limits that cost a hell of a lot of money."

Canada may not compromise the public's health on metals, but it sure did with 
disease organisms in sludge. Now it has to contend with the dead and dying 
from contaminated well water in Walkerton and other small communities.
Chaney also revealed the real nature of the 1989 Peer Review hatchet job on 
the proposed Part 503 when he told Wilson, "Recycle and reuse,  that's our 
national strategy," said Chaney...."It costs so much more to put it in a 
landfill." In Wilson's  article,  Maryam Khosravifard, staff scientist for 
the California  Department of Food and Agricultural, revealed what everyone 
else has failed to recognize.  Maryam said, "EPA is in charge of getting rid 
of these materials. They do reuse and recycling."
In fact, EPA is doing its best to phase out landfills -- because they are too 
dangerous -- they actually contaminate the environment!
Edward Kleppinger, a former EPA employee who wrote  hazardous waste rules, 
told Wilson, "The last refuge of the hazardous-waste scoundrel is to call it 
a fertilizer or soil amendment and dump it on farmland."
Hazardous waste in fertilizer is not new Milwaukee has been selling this 
dangerous material to the public since 1926. Before 1985, the tannery waste 
chromium in Milwaukee's sludge fertilizer, Milorganite, was "Listed" (known) 
by EPA as a hazardous waste.  In 1985, EPA began promoting the use of 
hazardous waste as a fertilizer without warning the farmers or the public of 
the adverse human health effects associated with the dangerous materials.

 As the state agencies have slowly realized how skillfully the EPA has led 
them into becoming a partner in the destruction of our environment, the 
states have cut back
on their enforcement efforts. As we noted earlier, Missouri  and Washington 
are examples of states who cut back on enforcement personnel. Wilson also 
discovered that many states are cutting back on their laboratories. According 
to  the article, "Testing for heavy metals would cost $50,000 to $150,000 in 
capital investment for the typical state lab. plus additional staff, plus $10 
to $60 per sample. Some
states, like

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