hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
 Navigation
Articles
Gallery of Plants
Blog
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Patents
Mailing Lists
    FAQ
    Netiquette
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
Links
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

Unauthorized use of a plant doesn't invalidate it's patent

RSS story archive

Fwd: Part 5 -- It all began in New York

  • Subject: [cg] Fwd: Part 5 -- It all began in New York
  • From: TheBynums@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 05:56:58 EDT

 


  • Subject: Part 5 -- It all began in New York
  • From: TheBynums@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 05:39:13 EDT
  • Full-name: TheBynums
Cornell no doubt has created some outstanding scientists and scientific work, 
However, its kind of hard to reconcile that fact when you look at the current 
debate between it's most visible graduate at the moment, EPA's Alan Rubin, 
and the Cornell professors who wrote "A Case for Caution". The Cornell 
professors think Rubin's sludge regulation has the potential for doing 
serious harm to the environment and public health. Rubin on the other hand 
tried to get the professors fired for writing the study, or at the least, get 
the study suppressed by Cornell management. Needless to say, "A Case for 
Caution" was published. Cornell management couldn't side with Rubin and the 
EPA because it had already proven the case and the University's
credibility would have been destroyed. On the other hand Cornell management 
had to be careful in addressing the credibility of one of it's prime 
graduates.

There seems to be a gentlemen's agreement that even in the worse dogfight you 
don't question the scientific credibility of your opponent. In this case, 
while the scientists endlessly debate, members of the public are dying and 
both sides know it. This type of science destroys the credibility of both 
sides and the institutions which employ them.  Whats worse is that they have 
helped to destroy the credibility of the National Science Academy, who's 
members agreed with Rubin and EPA that toxic and hazardous sewage sludge 
could safety be used as a fertilizer and the effluent from the wastetreatment 
plants could safety be used to recharge groundwater supplies.

Half-truths and lies seems to have become the scientific norm. As an example, 
Rubin's explanation for the pathogen regrowth in the west Texas EPA/WEF Fact 
Sheet, which he claimed was verified by an independent analysis by 
Alternative Resources, Inc., of Stroudsberg, Pa., was "variations were most 
likely caused by inconsistencies in the sampling and analytical methods at 
the five separate labs conducting the analysis". (p.  3)  Can you imagine, 
the National Science Academy actually bought this scientific explanation. 

However, different findings using the same test were explained by J. G. 
Babish (Cornell) in the Criteria and Recommendations for Land Applications of 
Sludges in the
Northeast (Pennsylvania State University, 1985).  When he  stated, "any 
analytical technique employed to examine the contents of sludge will suffer 
from a bias--it can only find what it is set up to detect. This analytical 
procedure  involves some pre-existing knowledge of possible contaminates." 
(p.  55)

     Cornell has actually done extensive studies on the toxic and hazardous 
nature of sludge and it is not a pretty story. According to Babish, "Cornell 
University  studies (1981) on ambient exposure to carcinogenic and mutagenic 
compounds included evaluations of sewage sludge from 34 American 
cities-----only one sample, Dallas Central  failed to demonstrate a 
dose-related increase in revertants in any of the five tester strains with or 
without metabolic activation (S-9). The other thirty-three sludge samples 
exhibited a positive mutagenic response with at least one  strain;  twelve of 
the thirty-three samples were positive with two or more strains. Seventy-six 
percent (25/33) of the positive samples required metabolic activation to 
demonstrate
mutagenicity,..." (pp.56-57)

     Extracts from the Dallas sludge was used as a possible non-toxic sludge 
to test for toxicity in mice versus a Boston sludge which did test positive 
for mutagenic
effects with metabolic activation.  "Both treated and control  animals 
exhibited signs of discomfort immediately after dosing...fifteen to thirty 
minutes after dosing, the Boston sludge-treated animals begin to show sign of 
effects on the central nervous system. Orientation was effected to some 
degree in all groups as animals rotated repeatedly in both clockwise and 
counter-clockwise directions; one animal (dosed
at 32.9 mg/kg) turned over continuously for a period of four  to six minutes. 
Additionally, motor coordination and gait were adversely affected by the 
Boston sludge extract in nearly all the animals."
      "Mean time-to-death for Boston sludge extract ranged  from 4.5 to 1.8 
days, decreasing with increasing dose. The same decrease in mean 
time-to-death with increasing dose was observed for Dallas sludge extract, 
although the range of 3
to 1 day was somewhat shorter....High-dose groups for both Boston and Dallas 
sludge extracts did not consume any food before dying."  (p.60) "Although, 
the Boston sludge was more toxic, as demonstrated by LD 50, approximately 
one-half the Dallas sludge, both of these sludge extracts would be considered
extremely toxic." (p.60)
     However, the most disturbing part of the study was that, "No gross 
lesions were observed in any animals which could be associated with the test 
materials.  Additionally, no treatment effects were seen in gross or relative 
organ
weights. Hepatic cytochrome P-450 levels were not  significantly different 
from control values." (61) In effect, there was no documentable evidence 
indicated to support the
cause of death for the mice.  In effect, a doctor would have  said these mice 
died of natural causes. 
     Babish leaves us with a warning, "it is clear that setting standards of 
sludge application based on analytical measurement of one or any number of 
compounds is inadequate for protection of public health. Moreover, the 
absence of
information concerning the organic constituents of municipal sewage sludge 
must not be equated with low risk or safety. Under conditions of minimal 
data, maximal risk must be assumed in order to protect public health." (p. 61)

     Cornell also studied the potential danger of compound conversions which 
was noted by (Babish, et al, 1981, Cornell Special Report (SR) No. 42), 
"Trimethylamine in sewage is converted to the potential carcinogen 
dimethylinitrosamine.  Dimethylinitrosamine formed in soil to which 
dimethylamine and nitrite were added, but only when organic matter was 
present.  Dimethylinitrosamine and diethylinitrosamine continue to volatilize 
from soils for several weeks following incorporation. The half-life of these 
compounds in soil is about 3 weeks....The demonstrated carcinogen, 
dimethylinitrosamine, which can form in sludge, has also been shown to be 
absorbed by spinach and lettuce." (SR.  p.2-3) 
     The 1996 National Academy of Science Report included a warning that 
chlorine could convert nontoxic compounds into toxic elements from the its 
own 1980 study:
     "In addition, nontoxic organic compounds in wastewater can be 
transformed into potentially toxic chlorinated organic compounds, such as 
trihalomethane,
when chlorine is used for disinfection purposes (National  Research Council, 
1980)." (p. 100)
      However, the warning was not as clear as that reported for Rock's 1976 
study:
     " Rock (1976) discovered that chlorine used in disinfection reacts with 
natural occurring humic substances in water to form trihalomathanes (THMs), 
the most prevalent species among them are chloroform, bromodichloromethane,
dibromochlorimethane, and bromoform." (p. 106)
     Cornell's Professor Lisk (L)(1988, unpublished paper), put the organic 
problem in perspective, "One can argue that organics in sludge are no more 
harmful than pesticides which are applied to crops. However, pesticides are 
molecules of known identity and up to seven years of intensive research, 
costing up to  $15 million has been spent on each, exhaustively studying 
their fate in plants, soils, animals and aquatic species including 
metabolism, toxicity, carcinogenicity,  mutagenicity, birth defects, etc.  By 
contrast, sludge is a complex mixture of countless synthetic and natural 
compounds of mostly unknown structure, properties, toxicity, or fate  and 
effects in the environment, including man.....The legal aspect is also of 
paramount importance. Let us assume that a farmers wife has a deformed infant 
after the farmer has used sludge on his land. There may be no connection 
whatsoever.  However, with the judicial process today for citizens bringing 
all kinds of damage suits to court, who is going to disprove the plaintiffs 
claims? Are the proponents of sludge  use on land willing to sign on the 
dotted line as to their willingness to be held responsible for possible 
hazards whether real or fabricated which may result in litigation?
More likely, they will be unavailable for comment." (L. p. 1-3)

     In a special report entitled "Organic Toxicants and Pathogens in Sewage 
Sludge and Their Environmental Effects"  (December, 1981) Babish, Lisk, 
Stoewsand and Wilkinson, members of the Subcommittee on Organics in Sludge of 
Cornell
University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, cites  several studies 
showing that plants have become contaminated with PCBs. The PCB contaminated 
plants were corn and grass (Curry, 1977), soybeans (Weaver, et al., 1981), 
spruce trees
(Buckley, 1979), carrots (Iwata and Gunther, 1978).  Although  there is some 
uptake of PCBs by certain crops, these researchers say that plants usually 
become contaminated by volatilization of the PCBs.

     PCBs are not the only organic chemicals taken up by  plants, dioxins are 
also taken up. According to an EPA report in 1988, when root crops such as 
carrots, potatoes and onions are grown in contaminated soils, they can 
develop dioxin
levels that equal or exceed those already in the soil.
 
     The greatest danger to humans from PCB or dioxin contamination is not 
from eating contaminated plants but from eating animals who have grazed on 
sludge-amended soil, particularly those who have pulled up the plants by the 
roots
with the sludged soil adhering. That large amounts of soil  are ingested by 
animals, particularly cows, was substantiated by research by Babish, et al 
(1981). According to their findings:
     Cows which have been autopsied typically exhibit a layer
     of soil several centimeters deep in their abomasum.
     This occurs because plant roots with absorbed particles
     are torn loose during grazing.  Also, swine allowed to
     forage in sludge treated areas can expect to uproot the
     surface and injest sludge-amended soil. (pp. 2-3)

     Cornell scientists, Harrison, McBride and Bouldin, authors of "A Case 
for Caution", found ingestion of sludge containing PCBs is the pathway of 
concern. They say "since PCBs (and other persistent, fat soluble toxic 
organics) bioaccumulate in animal fats, ingestion of sludges containing such 
organics by cattle could be a concern regarding milk and meat quality." (p. 
25)

     The story gets worse, the revelations in the 1996 National Academy of 
Science report on the EPA's data base (NSSS) are alarming because on the 
basis of the NSSS results, which according to the report because of sampling 
inconsistency "may vary by as much as two or more orders of  magnitude", 
limits were developed for only ten heavy metals. Moreover, the heavy metal 
limits allowed not only are the highest ever allowed in the United States, 
but are several magnitudes higher than in Europe. For example, cadmium, which 
according to the EPA, "from a human health standpoint,... is the sludge-borne 
metal that has received the greatest attention."

     When McGrath, Chang, Page and Witter did a review of the regulations 
which set limits to the additions of metals in sludges to agricultural lands 
in the United States and in Europe "Land Application of Sewage Sludge: 
Scientific Perspectives of Heavy Metal Loading Limits in Europe and the 
United States" published in the Environmental Review, Volume 2, 1994, they 
discovered that for most metals the limits in the United States were "several 
magnitudes higher than any  country (including the United States) has ever 
proposed" (p.116)  According to the report:
     The U.S regulations also allow the largest rate of
     annual input of metals to soil and the largest metal
     concentrations in sewage sludges that can be used in
     agriculture. The maximum cumulative pollutant loadings
     limits in the United States are the highest ever
     proposed for land application of sewage sludge. The
     unconventional loading limits have created an uneasiness
     among the regulatory authorities worldwide. (p. 115)

     A disquieting finding in the report was that the C- values in the 
Netherlands which "indicate the concentration at which there is considered to 
be serious soil contamination and a need for further action or for soil 
remediation" (what  in the U.S. would constitute a superfund site) "are close 
to or lower than the United States Protection Agency derived limits, and for 
some metals they are considerably lower."
(p. 113). The report states the difference between the  precautionary 
approach of the European countries and that of the EPA under Part 503 sludge 
regulations:
     Thus, in the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries,
     there is an underlying philosophy of caution.  Also,
     there is a deep concern to preserve soils and other
     natural resources, in their present state, for future
     generations. This, means, ultimately, not adding
     potentially hazardous substances to the soil in excess
     of the likely rates of loss. (p. 116)

Al Page, one of the authors of this study was the Co-chair of the Part 503 
Peer Review Committee which gutted the safety warnings included in the 1989 
proposed Part 503, and increased the metals limits. Page was also the Chair 
of the National Academy of Science's Committee which said it was OK to reuse 
sludge as long as all the laws worked. But that is a major problem with the 
EPA/WEF partnership, especially when the laws forbid the operation. The 
solution is to work the legal system to get the desired foregone result both 
parties want. At that point a Judge has little choice in the decision he must 
make. As an example, EPA and it's partners want to remove Chromium from the 
Part 503 regulation.

     The ten heavy metals which were addressed in Part 503  were reduced to 
nine when chromium was deleted. Although the pollutant limits for molybdenum 
in sludge applied to land were also deleted, the molybdenum ceiling limits 
were retained.

     In December 1992, before the final Part 503 was released, the Water 
Environment Federation's Washington Bulletin published Milwaukee's complaint 
about EPA's limits on molybdenum and chromium. It was Milwaukee's contention  
that "A limit of 1,200 mg/kg on chromium will necessitate pretreatment of 
this wastewater if Milwaukee is to continue marketing its Milorganite 
product." According to Tom
Crawford, "Landfilling our sludge would be a much more costly option." (p. 3)

     EPA chose an indirect method to take care of the regulatory problems and 
protect Milwaukee and other municipalities from the liability of handling 
sludge with
high chromium content as well as the public relation's  problem with 
selenium.  EPA let the courts set the stage for completely removing chromium 
from the beneficial section of the regulation and raising the selenium limits.

     It is clear that EPA engineered the lawsuit to assist  its partners (the 
Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) and Milwaukee 
Metropolitan Sewerage District) under the shelter of Leather Industries of 
America, Inc., to  completely remove chromium from regulation.  If chromium 
was not removed from the regulation, Milwaukee's Class A Milorganite sludge 
fertilizer would have exceeded the Part
503 limits for chromium with the associated liability and the Leather 
Industry would have had the additional expense for pretreatment of its 
wastewater containing up to 30,000 mg/kg of hexavalent chromium in it.

      In 1994, the Leather Industries of America, the City of Milwaukee, and 
the Association of Metropolitan Sewage Agencies challenged EPA's National 
Sewage Sludge Survey (NSSS) in a court case, because it didn't include any 
treatment plants where tannery waste chromium is received in excess of 30,000 
mg/kg (ppm).  According to the court record, the highest level of chromium 
reported in the EPA's NSSS was 3,750 mg/kg (p.401).  (United States Court of 
Appeals,  District of Columbia Circuit, Nos.  93-1187, 93-1376, 93-1404 and 
93-1555)

     The court found several problems with the data base for chromium limits 
in Part 503 sludge rule. According to the Court records, which only refer to 
heat-dried sludge, EPA could not document whether it had actually performed 
sampling and analysis at 208 or 180 of the 479 treatment plants in the survey 
 (both numbers were given) -out of a national total of 11,407 (p.395). 
According to the Judge:
     ... The AMSA challenges the risk-based caps in Table 3.
     It argues that the assumptions about the rate and
     duration of sludge application underlying the risk-based
     caps in Table 3 are irrational with respect to heat-
     dried sludge, which is applied at lower rates for
     shorter duration. For what ever reason, the EPA chose
     not to respond to this particular claim, and the AMSA
     has been less than totally clear about what parts of the
     regulation are allegedly infected by the use of these
     assumptions. We are, accordingly, somewhat handicapped
     in evaluating the challenge. Nonetheless, on the record,
     we conclude that EPA has not adequately justified its
     use of the assumed rate and duration of application to
     apply the risk-based caps in Table 3 to heat-dried
     sludge. (40 Federal Reporter, 3d series, p. 402)

     Primarily, the Court ruling only concerned Chromium in heat-dried sludge 
(Milorganite), a product of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.  It 
appears that the Court was led to believe by both the challengers and EPA 
that all "clean" (EQ) sludges in 40 CFR 503.13(b) were heat-dried and EPA's 
enforcement of the regulation was primarily directed at Milwaukee's 
"Milorganite fertilizer", which has extremely high levels of chromium in it.  
(40 Federal Reporter, 3d series p. 402  According to the Court: 
     Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to supply
     rational basis for its assumed application duration and
     rate underlying regulatory safe harbor for land
     application of "clean" sewage sludge, in light of the
     available information that actual application rate and
     duration of use for heat-dried sludge were well below
     EPA's assumptions. 40 CFR 503.13(b)." (p.  392)

     The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also 
found that the 503 Regulation was not scientifically risked based as claimed 
by the EPA.  The Court noted that, "while EPA "may `err' on the side of  
overprotection," it "may not engage in sheer guesswork (p.408)." According to 
the Court, EPA did not adequately
defend the science behind the chromium limits in Part 503.  The court ruled 
due to, "(4) the lack of data to support the risked-based cap on chromium 
(3,000 ppm), we remand those parts of the regulation to the EPA for 
modification or
additional justification." (p. 394)

     Evidently John Walker and Rubin have a problem with understanding what 
the court meant by the words remand and modification.  According to Webster's 
New World Dictionary, The word Remand means to send back.  The word 
Modification
means to alter or change. Neither one of these means drop.  What the court 
wanted them to do was either revise or justify their position based on the 
fact that hexavalent tannery chromium was being dumped into the treatment 
plants at 30,000
ppm.  It did not order EPA to drop chromium from the regulation as John 
Walker claimed in the 1995 Guide to the Part 503 Risk Assessment. What in the 
world was he thinking when he wrote:
     The court stated that EPA should drop chromium from the
     Part 503 rule because the biosolids risk assessment did
     not identify any chromium level associated with risk to
     public health or the environment.  EPA agrees and plans
     to delete all chromium limits for land-applied biosolids
     from the Part 503 rule. (p. 56)

     What the Court also found was that EPA had failed to fulfill the 
statutory requirement of the law to create regulations "adequate to protect 
public health and the environment from any reasonable adverse effects."

     The Court noted that there are two forms of Chromium  (hexavalent and 
trivalent) and that EPA had "delisted' chromium (removed it from the 
hazardous waste list) in the tanning industry because this chromium is in the 
trivalent form." (p.406) [It would be interesting to know who wrote that 
misstatement] The Court also noted, "there are several studies cited in the 
record showing that trivalent chromium can oxidize to hexavalent chromium." 
(p.406)

     According to EPA, although there are only 2 types of chromium, Trivalent 
(chromium III) and Hexavalent (chromium VI), due to the sewage treatment 
process, only the Trivalent form is found in sewage sludge.  For this reason, 
supposedly
EPA was trying to take chromium out of the regulation.  Yet,  in a sludge 
analysis given to the State of Texas by Merco, dated 14 August 1991, New York 
City specifically listed Hexavalent chromium in sludge from all of its 14 
treatment
plants. 

     Water and food contamination is not the only potential problem, 
according to a 1991-93 Canadian Government study (8/97),  "Airborne 
Hexavalent Chromium in Southwestern Ontario", approximately 20% of the 
routinely monitored ambient airborne chromium (Cr) was in the hexavalent 
form." In addition, the
range of carcinogenic health risks attributed to airborne  Cr(vi) was 
determined to be between 1.4 (in 100,000) and 3.0 (in 10,000) for people 
living in the Winsor area." For people spending all of their time outdoors 
the range increased to between 3.6 in 100,000 and 5.5 in 10,000.  This 
estimate was based on potency factors developed by our own EPA, the 
California Department of Health Services and the World Health
Organization. [23] 

     If there is that much airborne hexavalent chromium in the air in Canada 
and it is that dangerous, how much could we have in our cities or on a large 
sludge farm dump site? What are these "expert" soil scientists doing to us?  
Apparently they have never done any basic research or they would have found 
that hexavalent chromium (Cr-VI) is almost exclusively manmade.  Natural 
occurring chromium is in the trivalent (Cr-
III) form.  Hexavalent chromium has been found in glue,  cement, detergents 
and other materials including chromite ore.  It is/was used in the chrome 
plating, corrosion inhibitors, dye, graphic art supplies, fungicides,  
lithography solutions, paper matches, paint pigment manufacturing, wood 
preservation and the leather industry. 

     Hexavalent chromium is produced by three methods, high-lime, low-lime, 
and lime-free processes. In 1975, most of the chromite ore came from the 
Republic of South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, and the USSR.  No chromite ore 
has been mined in the United States since 1961. 

     EPA has suggested that the sewage treatment process changes the 
carcinogenic nature of hexavalent chromium-VI used in the leather industry to 
the non-carcinogenic form chromium-III.  The literature suggests that 
chromium-VI at  low pH (less than 4) can oxidize water to oxygen thereby 
resulting in chromium-III.  However, the literature also suggest that above 
ph 4, chromium-III will be oxidized  by  oxygen into Chromium-VI. Cropland 
must be maintained at a pH of 6-7 to prevent other toxic metals from being 
taken up by plants. In effect, all metals and particularly, chromium
compounds are very sensitive to pH balance and the  oxidization process would 
appear to become extremely effective in transforming natural occurring 
chromium-III from the soil into Chromium-VI when the pH is raised to 11 or 
12.  Adding lime during the waste treatment process to create Class A sludge 
raises the pH to 11 or 12. It is used to control odors and is one of the 
recommended methods of treating sludge to reduce pathogens--- sludge is mixed 
with lime, and the pH is raised above 12, where it must remain for at least 
72 hours.  In effect, it would appear the EPA's Class A treatment process is 
at a minimum reactivating the chromium-VI compounds. As we saw from the 
Canadian study, chromium may be one of the most dangerous elements in the 
sludge products EPA is promoting for uncontrolled distribution to the public. 
 
     All of these scientists know the truth, according to the New Jersey 
Department of Health and  AQUIRE Database, ERL-Duluth, U.S.EPA, chromium is a 
cancer causing agent and a mutagen. "It has been shown to cause lung and 
throat cancer." Under the New Jersey Department of Health Right to Know 
Program, "Chromium (III) and chromium (VI) both have high chronic toxicity to 
aquatic life; no data are available on the long-term effects of chromium to 
plants, birds, or land animals." According to the report, "Some  substances 
increase in concentration, or bioaccumulate in living organisms as they 
breath contaminated air, drink contaminated water or eat contaminated food. 
These chemicals can become concentrated in the tissues and internal organs of 
animals and humans."

     The report notes that, "Acute (short-term) toxic effects  [which are 
seen two to four days after animals or plants come in contact] may include 
the death of animals, birds, or fish, and death or low growth rate in 
plants." "...chronic (long term) health effects can occur at some time after 
exposure to chromium and can last for months or years." "Chronic toxic 
effects may include shortened lifespan, reproductive
problems, lower fertility and changes in appearance or behavior."

"REASON FOR (New Jersey's) CITATION of chromium in the Right  to Know 
Program: 
*  It is on the (EPA) Hazardous Substance List because it is regulated by 
OSHA and sited by ACGIH, NTP and ARC.
*  This chemical is also on the Special Health Hazard Substance List because 
it is a CANCER CAUSING AGENT and a MUTAGEN.
 *  Chromium is a CANCER CAUSING AGENT in humans. There may be no safe level 
of exposure to a carcinogen, so all contact should be reduced to the lowest 
possible level.
     The National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) lists 
Chromium as a poison. It is also on the "Special Health Hazard Substance 
list, as well as #15 and #72 on the 1995 CERCLA/EPA Priority List of 
Hazardous substances
found in landfills.  NIOSH first recommended standards for  Occupational 
Exposure to Chromium (VI) in 1975.  It was so concerned about the medical and 
carcinogenic dangers that "Preplacement X-ray and X-rays for the 5 years 
preceding termination of employment and all medical records with pertinent 
supporting documents shall be retained at least 30 years after the 
individual's employment is terminated."

   Although government regulatory agencies (e.g., OSHA, ACGIH, EPA) recognize 
that chromium is very dangerous in the workplace at 8 hour exposure levels, 
EPA claims farmers can't be hurt when they are exposed 24 hours a day.  As an 
example:
OSHA: The legal airborne permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 1 mg/m3 averaged 
over an 8 hour work shift. [That is 1 ppm    per cubic meter of air]
ACGIH: The recommended airborne exposure limit is 0.5 mg/m3
   averaged over an 8 hour workshift. [That is 1/2 ppm per cubic meter of air]

     While the Court could only address those points in question, chromium 
and selenium limits, it did point out the limits of EPA's statutory 
authority, "Although the EPA is not  held to a standard of precise 
refinement, it is held to one of rationality and it must supply a reasoned 
basis for its regulatory choices." (p.  405)

     When EPA's Alan Rubin, was asked about the court action on chromium, he 
said, "You just couldn't defend it." [the research?] So in 1996, EPA removed 
Chromium limits from the beneficial use section of the 503 regulation. 
However, EPA
did not remove Chromium from the Surface Disposal Section of  Part 503. Yet, 
crops can be grown and cattle can be grazed on a surface disposal site. The 
main difference between it and a beneficial use site is that there must be a 
disposal permit  and chromium has extremely low limits. 

     The only other heavy metal addressed by the suit was selenium. According 
to the court records, in order for the City of Pueblo, Colorado, to use its 
sludge on the highway meridians, the selenium limit needed to be raised.  In 
the suit the court ruled: "We conclude, however, that the EPA has failed to 
show that the 99th percentile caps are risk- related, and thus that they 
accord with the express mandate
of the statute." (p. 400) 

     Using the findings of the court as a justification for  its actions, EPA 
arbitrarily raised the selenium limit to 100 mg/kg to accommodate the City of 
Pueblo in their beneficial use of sludge on the highway meridians. In taking 
this action they ignored the selenium limit recommendation of the USDA. 
      On page 56 of the Part 503 Risk Assessment Document, it
states, "USDA recommended limiting the addition to soil of
selenium in biosolids to 28 kg/ha to avoid excessive plant
uptake and possible poisoning of certain sensitive livestock
or wildlife."

Jim Bynum
PO Box 34475
N. Kansas CIty, Mo. 64116






 © 1995-2015 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement
Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index