Water Reports: Biosolids, DEQ Impaired Water Reports

Assessment Summary for Reporting Year 2010
Virginia, Banister Watershed

Description of this table
Click here to list Threatened and Impaired Waters Only
NOTE: Click on the underlined "Waterbody Name" to view a Waterbody report.
Waterbody NameWaterbody IDLocationMapWaterbody TypeSizeUnitsStatusState TMDL Development Status
Allen CreekVAC-L67R_ALL01A08Allen Creek From Its Headwaters To Its Mouth On The Banister RiverWaterbody MapRiver 5.5MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Banister LakeVAC-L71L_BAN03L00From Its Impounding Structure To Its Backwaters On The Banister RiverWaterbody MapReservoir 351.8AcresImpairedTMDL needed
Banister RiverVAC-L65R_BAN01A00Banister River Mainstem From The Mouth Of Cherrystone Creek Upstream To An Unnamed Tributary Near The Cook Composites & Polymer Company OutfallWaterbody MapRiver 8.1MilesNot_Assessed 
Banister RiverVAC-L65R_BAN02A00Banister River From An Unnamed Tributary Near The Cook Composites & Polymer Company Upstream To The Mouth Of Bearskin Creek.Waterbody MapRiver 2.6MilesNot_Assessed 
Banister RiverVAC-L65R_BAN03A00Banister River Mainstem From The Mouth Of Bearskin Creek Upstream To The Mouth Of Wet Sleeve Creek.Waterbody MapRiver 5.0MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Banister RiverVAC-L65R_BAN04A00Banister River Mainstem From The Mouth Of Wet Sleeve Creek Upstream To Its Headwaters.Waterbody MapRiver 6.7MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Banister RiverVAC-L67R_BAN01A98Elkhorn Creek To Sandy CreekWaterbody MapRiver 8.6MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Banister RiverVAC-L67R_BAN02A04Banister River From The Pittsylvania/Halifax County Line Downstream To The Elkhorn Creek Confluence.Waterbody MapRiver 1.8MilesGood 
Banister RiverVAC-L67R_BAN03A04Banister River From The Stinking River Confluence Downstream To The Pittsylvania/Halifax County Line.Waterbody MapRiver 7.5MilesGood 
Banister RiverVAC-L67R_BAN04A08Banister River From Its Confluence With Cherrystone Creek To Its Confluence With Stinking RiverWaterbody MapRiver 16.8MilesGood 
Banister RiverVAC-L71R_BAN02A98Sandy Creek To Banister LakeWaterbody MapRiver 4.5MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Banister RiverVAC-L71R_BAN04A00Banister Lake To Burlington Industries Raw Water Intake 2000' Downstream Of Route 360 Bridge.Waterbody MapRiver 1.4MilesImpairedTMDL needed
Banister RiverVAC-L71R_BAN05A002000' Downstream Of Rte 360 Bridge (Burlington Industries' Raw Water Intake) To Its Confluence With Wolf Trap Creek.Waterbody MapRiver 8.1MilesImpairedTMDL needed
Banister RiverVAC-L71R_BAN06A08Confluence Of Wolf Trap Creek To Its Mouth On The Dan River.Waterbody MapRiver 2.4MilesImpairedTMDL needed
Banister River TributariesVAC-L65R_BAN05A00Tributaries To The Upper Portion Of The Banister River Above The Mouth Of Bearskin Creek.Waterbody MapRiver 14.6MilesNot_Assessed 
Banister River TributariesVAC-L67R_BAN01B00Banister River Tributaries Downstream Of The Pittsylvania/Halifax County Line - PwsWaterbody MapRiver 56.8MilesNot_Assessed 
Banister River TributariesVAC-L71R_BAN02B00Banister River Tributaries Within This Watershed Upstream Of Burlington Industries' Raw Water Intake About 2000' Downstream Of The Route 360 Bridge (Excluding Polecat Creek).Waterbody MapRiver 38.8MilesNot_Assessed 
Banister River, Unnamed TributaryVAC-L65R_XUZ01A10Banister River, Unnamed Tributary East Of Route 694Waterbody MapRiver .5MilesGood 
Banister River, Unnamed TributaryVAC-L71R_XCZ01A10From Its Headwaters To Its Mouth On The Banister River.Waterbody MapRiver .6MilesGood 
Bar BranchVAC-L70R_BAR01A06From Its Headwaters To The MouthWaterbody MapRiver 3.4MilesGood 
Bearskin CreekVAC-L65R_BKN01A00Bearskin Creek From Its Mouth On The Banister River Upstream To Its Headwaters.Waterbody MapRiver 9.3MilesImpairedTMDL needed
Bearskin Creek TributariesVAC-L65R_BKN02A06From Their Headwaters To The Mouth On Bearskin CreekData UnavailableRiver 20.8MilesNot_Assessed 
Bradley CreekVAC-L67R_BDB01A08Bradley Creek From Its Headwaters To Its Mouth On The Banister RiverWaterbody MapRiver 5.6MilesGood 
Bye CreekVAC-L67R_BYE01A08Bye Creek From Its Headwaters To Its Mouth On The Banister RiverWaterbody MapRiver 6.9MilesGood 
Cherrystone CreekVAC-L66R_CRR01A00Cherrystone Creek Mainstem From Its Mouth On The Banister River Upstream To The Chatham Stp Outfall.Waterbody MapRiver 2.6MilesGood 
Cherrystone CreekVAC-L66R_CRR02A00Cherrystone Creek Mainstem From The Chatham Stp Outfall Upstream To Chatham'S Water Intake.Waterbody MapRiver 3.4MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Cherrystone CreekVAC-L66R_CRR03A00Cherrystone Creek From The Town Of Chatham Water Intake Upstream To The Cherrystone Creek Dam.Waterbody MapRiver 2.5MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Cherrystone CreekVAC-L66R_CRR04A00Cherrystone Creek Mainstem From The Backwaters Of Cherrystone Creek Reservoir Upstream To Its Headwaters.Waterbody MapRiver 3.5MilesNot_Assessed 
Cherrystone Creek TributariesVAC-L66R_ZZZ02A06From Their Headwaters To The Mouth On Cherrystone CreekData UnavailableRiver 13.9MilesNot_Assessed 
Cherrystone ReservoirVAC-L66L_CRR01A02Cherrystone Reservoir From Its Impounding Structure Upstream To Its Backwaters.Waterbody MapReservoir 104.3AcresImpairedTMDL needed
Elkhorn CreekVAC-L67R_EKH01A04Elkhorn Creek From The Pittsylvania/Halifax County Line Downstream To The Banister River.Waterbody MapRiver 3.0MilesImpairedTMDL needed
Elkhorn CreekVAC-L67R_EKH02A10Elkhorn Creek From The Pittsylvania/Halifax County Line Upstream To Its Headwaters.Waterbody MapRiver 9.5MilesImpairedTMDL needed
Georges Creek ReservoirVAC-L68L_GEO01A02Georges Creek Reservoir From Its Impounding Structure Upstream To Its Backwaters.Waterbody MapReservoir 7.8AcresGood 
Georges Creek Reservoir TributariesVAC-L68R_GEO01A00Tributaries To Georges Creek ReservoirWaterbody MapRiver 2.6MilesNot_Assessed 
Gibson CreekVAC-L71R_GIB01A08Gibson Creek From Its Headwaters To Its Mouth On The Banister RiverWaterbody MapRiver 5.3MilesImpairedTMDL needed
Johns RunVAC-L70R_JSR01A08Johns Run From The Pittsylvania/Halifax County Line To Its Mouth On Sandy CreekWaterbody MapRiver .8MilesGood 
Johns RunVAC-L70R_JSR02A08Johns Run From Its Headwaters To Near The Pittsylvania/Halifax County LineWaterbody MapRiver 4.3MilesGood 
Little Cherrystone CreekVAC-L66R_LCC01A08Little Cherrystone Creek From Its Headwaters To Its Mouth On Cherrystone CreekWaterbody MapRiver 4.4MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Pole Bridge BranchVAC-L66R_PDE01A10Pole Bridge Branch From Its Headwaters To Its Mouth.Waterbody MapRiver 5.0MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Polecat CreekVAC-L71R_PEC01A04Polecat Creek From Its Headwaters To The Mouth At The Banister RiverWaterbody MapRiver 9.6MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Roaring Fork ReservoirVAC-L66L_RFK01A06From Its Headwaters To Its Impounding StructureWaterbody MapReservoir 19.0AcresImpairedTMDL needed
Sandy CreekVAC-L70R_SNA01A00Near The Pittsylvania/Halifax County Line To Mouth On Banister RiverWaterbody MapRiver 14.4MilesGood 
Sandy CreekVAC-L70R_SNA01B10Sandy Creek From Its Confluence With Pine Creek To Near The Halifax/Pittsylvania County Line.Waterbody MapRiver 5.8MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Sandy CreekVAC-L70R_SNA02A08Sandy Creek From Its Headwaters To Its Confluence With Pine Creek.Waterbody MapRiver 9.3MilesGood 
Sandy Creek TributariesVAC-L70R_SNA01B00Tributaries To Sandy Creek From The Pittsylvania/Halifax County Line To Banister River - PwsWaterbody MapRiver 35.9MilesNot_Assessed 
Sandy Creek, Unnamed TributaryVAC-L70R_XUS01A08From Its Headwaters To The Mouth On Sandy CreekWaterbody MapRiver 1.1MilesGood 
Stinking RiverVAC-L69R_SNE01A00Stinking River Mainstem From Its Mouth On The Banister River Upstream To Its Headwaters.Waterbody MapRiver 13.6MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Strawberry CreekVAC-L65R_SRW02A08Strawberry Creek From Its Headwaters To Its Mouth On The Banister RiverWaterbody MapRiver 5.9MilesGood 
Strawberry Creek TributariesVAC-L65R_SRW01A00Strawberry Creek Tributaries From Its Mouth On The Banister River Upstream - Pws.Waterbody MapRiver 12.6MilesNot_Assessed 
Terrible CreekVAC-L72R_TRR01A00Little Terrible Creek To Banister River Waterbody MapRiver 4.8MilesGood 
Unsegmented Portion Of Watershed L65VAC-L65R_ZZZ01A00Unsegmented Portion Of The WatershedWaterbody MapRiver 26.6MilesNot_Assessed 
Unsegmented Portion Of Watershed L66VAC-L66R_ZZZ01A00Unsegmented Portion Of The WatershedWaterbody MapRiver 14.3MilesNot_Assessed 
Unsegmented Portion Of Watershed L67VAC-L67R_ZZZ01A00Unsegmented Portion Of The Watershed.Waterbody MapRiver 71.8MilesNot_Assessed 
Unsegmented Portion Of Watershed L68VAC-L68R_ZZZ01A00Unsegmented Portion Of The Watershed.Waterbody MapRiver 35.4MilesNot_Assessed 
Unsegmented Portion Of Watershed L69VAC-L69R_ZZZ01A00Unsegmented Portion Of The Watershed.Waterbody MapRiver 42.4MilesNot_Assessed 
Unsegmented Portion Of Watershed L70VAC-L70R_ZZZ01A00Unsegmented Portion Of The WatershedWaterbody MapRiver 86.5MilesNot_Assessed 
Unsegmented Portion Of Watershed L71VAC-L71R_ZZZ01A00Unsegmented Portion Of The Watershed.Waterbody MapRiver 45.5MilesNot_Assessed 
Unsegmented Portion Of Watershed L72VAC-L72R_ZZZ01A06Unsegmented Portion Of The WatershedData UnavailableRiver 46.8MilesNot_Assessed 
Wetsleeve Creek And TributariesVAC-L65R_WSC01A00Wet Sleeve Creek And Its Tributaries From Its Mouth On The Banister River Upstream - Pws.Waterbody MapRiver 6.8MilesNot_Assessed 
White Oak CreekVAC-L65R_WOA01A10White Oak Creek From Its Headwaters To Its Mouth.Waterbody MapRiver 5.9MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Whitehorn CreekVAC-L68R_WRN01A00Whitehorn Creek Mainstem From Its Mouth Upstream To The Confluence With Georges CreekWaterbody MapRiver .8MilesImpairedTMDL completed
Whitehorn CreekVAC-L68R_WRN02A06From Its Headwaters To The Confluence With Georges CreekWaterbody MapRiver 14.2MilesGood 
Whitehorn Creek TributariesVAC-L68R_WRN03A00Tributaries To Whitehorn Creek Upstream Of The Georges Creek ConfluenceWaterbody MapRiver 48.2MilesNot_Assessed 
Winn CreekVAC-L71R_WNN01A06From Its Headwaters To The Mouth On The Banister RiverWaterbody MapRiver 6.9MilesImpairedTMDL needed

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Causes of Impairment for Reporting Year 2010

Virginia, Banister

Description of this table
NOTE: Click on the underlined "Cause of Impairment" value to see a listing of those waters with that cause of impairment.
Cause of ImpairmentSize of Assessed Waters with Listed Causes of Impairment
Rivers andStreams (Miles)Lakes, Reservoirs,and Ponds (Acres)
Dissolved Oxygen 5.3 475.1
Benthic Macroinvertebrates Bioassessments 21.8 
Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) 99.7 
Mercury in Fish Tissue 11.9 
PCB(s) in Fish Tissue 11.9 

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Probable Sources Contributing to Impairments for Reporting Year 2010

Virginia, Banister Watershed

Description of this table
Probable SourceSize of Assessed Waters with Probable Sources of Impairments
Rivers andStreams (Miles)Lakes, Reservoirs,and Ponds (Acres)
Livestock (Grazing Or Feeding Operations) 90.3 
Source Unknown 45.9 475.1
Unspecified Domestic Waste 90.3 
Upstream Impoundments (E.G., Pl-566 Nrcs Structures) 5.8 
Wastes From Pets 90.3 
Wildlife Other Than Waterfowl 84.6 

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Everybody are always talking about cleaning our rivers like the Dan or the Roanoke but at the same time Cities like Danville sells their human waste crap to farmers to spread on fields......human crap even treated smells, has heavy metals, just disgusting, other "middle men of sludge" buys from hog, chicken, cow sludge......info below:

Info about the following: 

NUTRI-BLEND, INe. (NB, Inc.) proposes to pennit 261.2 acres of private fannland in
Campbell County, Virginia for land application purposes. NB, Inc. proposes the frequent
application at 70% of agronomic rates for pennanent cover crops and infrequent application at
100% of agronomic rates for row crops according to Virginia Department of Health Use
Regulations (VDHBUR). NB, Inc. also reserves the right to apply biosolids frequently at 50% of
the agronomic rates for pennanent cover crops. The proposed biosolids sources for this land are:
City of Richmond WWTW;
• Henrico County WWTW;
Chesterfield County WWTW;
City of Petersburg WWTW;
City of Danville WWTW;
City of Alexandria WWTW;
District of Columbia (Blue Plains WWTW);
Atlantic WWTW;
Town of Fannville WWTW;
Dale City WWTW;
Arlington County WWTW;
Patapsco (City of Baltimore) Maryland WWTW;
Piscataway Maryland WWTW;
Valley Forge, PA WWTW;
Metropolitan New York City WWTW;
Bergen County WWTW;
Joint Meeting

Agricultural Land Application of Biosolids in Virginia:

G.K. Evanylo, Extension Specialist, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences,Virginia Tech

Showing events in Blue Ridge from Jan 1, 2006 to Feb 28, 2011.     :  shows sludge and our water problems:http://www.deq.virginia.gov/calendar/index.php?q=&startdate%5BF%5D=1&startdate%5BY%5D=2006&enddate%5BF%5D=2&enddate%5BY%5D=2011&regions%5B%5D=3

City engineer presents Danville utility budget overview :  Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 8:02 am City engineer presents Danville utility budget overview By PAM WRIGHT pwright@amnews.com Central Kentucky News | 0 comments
Editor’s note: Danville City Commission recently held a budget department overview session and looked at each department’s spending in 2013 and the challenges for the coming fiscal year. The Advocate-Messenger is exploring the reports of each department to give readers a better picture of where and how city funds are spent
“Another big cost for the utility is the disposal of biosolids,” said Coffey. “We’re going to try to take some time to develop a different approach because it is a significant demand at the wastewater plant.”
Coffey said Danville has a land-farm that is a low-cost method of disposing of biosolid waste, but with increased regulation of landfills and the Danville land-farm, it is a logical step for Danville to develop different strategies for the elimination or reduction of this cost.
“Because of those changing regulations, in particular with phosphorus, the production out of facilities like the land-farm will continue to diminish and, therefore, our costs will go up as we are forced to develop an alternative disposal method.
“We want to find an alternative, beneficial re-use for the sludge out of the wastewater plant ... We have no guarantees that that’s going to be an option, but our goal is to reduce that cost in an effective way.”
In the future, Coffey said the utility will need integrated planning for stormwater and wastewater, and he foresees an increase in costs for the utility as vehicle replacement becomes necessary, as well as an increase demand for in-house labor and hourly pay rates.


Virginia Sewage Sludge Victims File Lawsuit Alleging Negligence, Private Nuisance and Trespass 

CLAREMONT, Va., Nov. 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- After years of public complaints to unresponsive government officials about putrid smells and health concerns linked to sewage sludge land applications, six Virginia citizens have filed a nuisance lawsuit in Surry County, Virginia. The lawsuit alleges that the fundamental right of every Virginian to the use and enjoyment of his or her home has been impaired by Sussex-Surry LLC, land owners, and Synagro Central, Inc, sewage sludge haulers. The complaint alleges defendants have sprayed or dumped tons of sewage sludge on trees and land adjacent to the plaintiff's homes causing foul odors and dust particles associated with sewage sludge, to permeate the air. It also alleges these conditions are linked to plaintiffs emerging physical and emotional problems, interference with business, and driving one plaintiff out of the comfort of her home. The suit asks for 18.4 million dollars of compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief.
"Filing this negligence lawsuit in Virginia is a ray of hope for hundreds of Virginia sewage sludge victims who have experienced a similar nuisance and, or who believe sludge is the cause of their health problems," says Barbara L. Rubin of Neighbors Against Toxic Sludge (NATS).
In Virginia, county after county has valiantly fought the sludge program. They have cited numerous health complaints, peer reviewed scientific studies that link sludge exposure and illnesses, CDC/National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) findings that workers exposed to sludge become ill, two EPA Inspector General and two National Academy of Science reports that found the science behind the sludge rule weak and out of date. All have been ignored by public officials and the Virginia Legislature. Instead, officials have embarked on an ever increasing program of forcing millions of tons of sewage sludge on neighbors to farm fields and wooded areas in the state, resulting in mounting numbers of sewage sludge victims.
Loudoun Neighbors Against Toxic Sludge has been working to implement a moratorium on land application of sewage sludge until there is credible scientific evidence it is safe for public health.
Contact: Barbara L. Rubin of Neighbors Against Toxic Sludge (NATS), 703-847-8430; Web: http://www.LOUDOUNNATS.ORG





STATUS OF VIRGINIA’S WATER RESOURCES :  http://www.deq.state.va.us/Portals/0/DEQ/LawsAndRegulations/GeneralAssemblyReports/Water_Resources_Report.pdf


Agriculture, biosolids are a bad mix

CAROLINE SNYDER | Posted: Sunday, May 4, 2014 5:45 am
To the editor:
To truly preserve the agricultural base surrounding this zoning district and at the same time preserve the soil for future generations, Pittsylvania County should prohibit the land application of biosolids.
Why not substitute sustainable cover crop farming which not only maintains high yields but also protects the land? And setbacks would not be needed.
Biosolids contain hazardous waste, superbugs, toxic metals and other pollutants, such as PCBs that do not break down but accumulate in soil. Current biosolid regulations permit soils to accumulate 75 parts per million of arsenic, 85 ppm of cadmium, 4,300 ppm of copper, 840 ppm of lead, 57 ppm of mercury,75 ppm of molybdenum, 420 ppm of nickel and 7,500 ppm of zinc.
This does not include the unregulated metals such as thallium, silver, tin, iron and manganese that also accumulate in soil, as well as hazardous waste that can legally be discharged into sewage treatment plants and which mostly ends up in biosolids. See sludgefacts.org/REF125.pdf for a partial list of these pollutants.
North Sandwich, N.H.

Editor’s note: Snyder is emeritus professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she served as chairwoman of the Department of Science, Technology and Society before retirement.


Comments:  A debate between Barry Dunkley is Director of Water & Wastewater Treatment for the City of Danville, Virginia and Caroline Snyder Ph.D.about Biosolids

Letter to the Editor: Clarke County Biosolids Use

April 11, 2012 by
April 10, 2012
To the Editor:
Caroline Snyder’s letter to the editor of March 26 was a gross misrepresentation of the facts about the land application of biosolids. While Snyder often presents herself as a scientist by listing her previous association with the Rochester Institute of Technology, it must be noted that she taught in the College of Liberal Arts and not in the colleges of Science, Technology, Engineering or Health Sciences. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees are in Germanic Languages and Literature. She has done no peer-reviewed research in any scientific field—certainly not in biosolids.
The residents of Clarke County can rest assured, however, that thousands of real scientists have been studying the land application of biosolids for many decades and have concluded that it is safe and beneficial to farms and forests. This research and years of practical experience have yet to document any link between biosolids and adverse effects on human health, the environment or to wildlife and domestic animals. New research is continually adding to our knowledge about biosolids and leading to improvements in technology and processes.
Before going further, perhaps a definition of biosolids, based on information provided by the Virginia Department of Health, would be helpful:
Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the additional treatment of sewage sludge in a municipal wastewater treatment plant. During treatment, beneficial bacteria and other tiny organisms break the sludge down into simpler, harmless organic matter. The organic matter, combined with bacterial cell masses, settle out to form biosolids, which can then be safely recycled as a fertilizer and soil conditioner.
In 2007, the Virginia Department of Health published a study by three respected epidemiologists that represented an exhaustive review of the current scientific literature about biosolids and human health.  The primary conclusions were as follows: “… there does not seem to be strong evidence of serious health risks when biosolids are managed and monitored appropriately. Human health allegations associated with biosolids usually lack evidence of biological absorption, medically determined human health effects, and/or do not meet the biological plausibility test.”
In 2008 an Expert Panel created by the Virginia General Assembly concluded after 18 months of study that it had “uncovered no evidence or literature verifying a causal link between biosolids and illness.”
Snyder completely misrepresented the findings of the National Academy of Science panel on biosolids, which in 2002 issued its recommendations on ways to improve the scientific research supporting the land application of biosolids.  Snyder made the false claim that the NAS had said that the EPA’s Part 503 rules, which are the basis for Virginia’s regulation of biosolids, were “flawed,” “outdated science,” and “no science at all.”
Virginia’s biosolids regulations are administered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), which Snyder mistakenly called the DEP.
In the preface to its report, the National Academy of Science panel made it clear that its purpose was not to determine the adequacy of the Part 503 rule. Rather, its purpose was to focus “on identifying how current risk-assessment practices and knowledge regarding chemicals and pathogens in biosolids can be used to update and strengthen the scientific basis and credibility of EPA’s biosolids regulations.”
Dr. Thomas Burke, Chair of the NAS panel, issued a statement amplifying the panel’s findings. “First,” he said, “we found no evidence of an urgent public health risk from exposure to land-applied biosolids, based on our review of the scientific literature. Currently, there are no studies documenting adverse health effects from land application of biosolids, even though land application has been practiced for years.”
Finally, it seems highly presumptuous for Snyder, from a distance of more than 650 miles in New Hampshire, to criticize Virginia’s regulation of biosolids.  Virginia has recently completed an exhaustive four-year review and revision of the Commonwealth’s biosolids regulations.  These regulations, as administered by the DEQ, are among the most comprehensive in the nation and are based on the latest scientific research and practical experience. Virginia’s regulations are more stringent than the federal Part 503 rule on land application rates, slope restrictions, buffers, soil pH and nutrient management plan requirements.  These regulations have demonstrated that they are fully protective of public health and the environment.
The DEQ’s Biosolids Program includes 25 full-time personnel who monitor the land application of biosolids in Virginia. According to DEQ records, 93 percent of farms that received biosolids in 2010 were inspected by DEQ personnel.
In my 40 years in the water and wastewater treatment profession I have found that most people, when they have an opportunity to consider the facts, conclude that the beneficial use of biosolids is a win/win for everyone—for the farmers who apply biosolids to their land, for their neighbors who want to preserve the rural nature of their communities, for the environment, for public safety, and for the citizens of the municipalities that use this method of responsibly recycling a valuable resource.
I hope the facts presented here have been helpful to the citizens of Clarke County in understanding the safety of biosolids land application and its many benefits.
Barry Dunkley, P.E.
President, Virginia Biosolids Council
Barry Dunkley is Director of Water & Wastewater Treatment for the City of Danville, Virginia.  He is currently the president of The Virginia Biosolids Council, which includes municipal wastewater treatment facilities that produce biosolids, companies that produce compost, companies that apply biosolids to farms and forests and the landowners who benefit from this nutrient-rich soil conditioner. The organization’s website is www.virginiabiosolids.com.
  1. Sarge says:
  2. Wonder if Mr Dunkley lives next to a field being srayed with this stuff? Wonder why they tell farmers not to let livestock graze on these fields for a month after application?

  3. RX for our acres says:
    Great point, coming from the person selling the produce…
  4. Clarke County Annie says:
    There seems to be as many “sources” that promote use as there are in opposition.
    Many products were deemed bad were found later to be ok after all. One simple one… Eggs, bad for you- now are back to being… a good source of protein.
    Sigh. What is a person to believe?
    But, to hear first hand from some Clarke residents experiencing health issues after applications near them holds the best basis of not using this product.
  5. Bill Lukens says:
    The scientific method is a wonderful tool for proving or disproving specific theories or a hypothesis. Two major problems of the scientific method is that it only measures what one is looking for, and of controlling variables.
    I am always amazed at the people who completely discount scientific results. I am also amazed at people who believe that science has all the answers. Reality is in that large gray area between the two.
  6. CCRes says:
    This is nothing but a shut up letter! One of our officials had to of contacted this guy to stop all the phone calls and letters they’re recieving.
    Have we heard from any of our Supervisors on this subject? NO! They don’t have enough answers for all the questions so they stay silent. Silence doesn’t get rid of the smell or the residents that are being affected by this CRAP!
    In my opinion our Supervisors have been failing us!
  7. Geo says:
    We as citizens can meet on this issue, create a petition or write individual letters and make calls to our state representatives in Richmond. This may be our only option to make a change, since this is now mandated to be used by the state governments, who must come up with a solution to our waste management issues.
    This particular one seems to be a profit making marketing spin on some of our most dangerous toxic wastes. This is certainly not the first time “the people” have been duped by such efforts, in the hope that no one will notice. Flame retardant chemicals have been mandated to be used on all fabrics that are used in public spaces, like in furniture upholstery, carpets and drapery fabrics (and kids pajamas).
    Guess what is in 100% of all biopsied breast tissue for breast cancer patients? Yes, flame retardant chemicals. Still mandated to be used by our government.
    Please contact me if you want to band together on this issue.

Caroline Snyder, Ph.D.

Caroline Snyder holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and is Professor Emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology where she designed and taught interdisciplinary environmental science courses. Before retiring, she chaired the Department of Science, Technology, and Society. For the past seventeen years she has researched and written about the politics and science of using municipal sewage sludge (a.k.a. biosolids), which contains toxic chemical pollutants, as "fertilizer." Her article published in 2002 in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, entitled "The Dirty Work of Promoting "Recycling" of America’s Sewage Sludge," is widely cited. In 2002 she founded the non-profit group, Citizens for Sludge-Free Land (www.sludgefacts.org), and has been instrumental in helping communities across the United States to further restrict or stop land application of sewage sludge/biosolids.


Letter to the Editor – Virginia Biosolids Council Promotes False Information

April 14, 2012 by
The 4/10 Letter to the Editor by Barry Dunkley, President of Virginia’s  industry-funded Council promoting  biosolids, contains false and  misleading information about my credentials as well as false and misleading information about the safety of using  biosolids as fertilizer.
I have never represented myself as a scientist, as Mr. Dunkley claims. I continue to consult many  scientists  as I  focus on issues dealing with science and public policy.   While working on my Harvard  Ph.D.  I researched the interrelationship between science and the humanities. That led me to design and teach interdisciplinary   environmental science courses at RIT’s College of Liberal Arts.  The College’s mission is “to produce graduates that can balance an understanding of science and technology with social considerations and to make future engineers and scientists aware of the ethical, environmental  and social impacts of their respective fields.” Much of my long university teaching career was directed toward that end. The courses and programs we introduced in the late 1970s  evolved into RITs current interdisciplinary degree programs in Science, Technology, and Public Policy.
At RIT I achieved the rank of tenured Full Professor and chaired the Department of Science, Technology and Society. Since then I have focused my research on biosolids, especially on how industry works with environmental agencies to deceive the public about the safety of biosolids  by funding  an elaborate Public Acceptance Campaign. One part of this campaign is to deliberately ignore, malign, and discredit  scientists and citizens who criticize  the current policy.   Contrary to Mr. Dunkley’s claim, my research has resulted in several peer reviewed articles published in mainstream scientific journals, e.g.  IJOEH_1104_Snyder.pdf. It also resulted in written testimony  submitted to the US Senate Environment and Public  Works Committee: http://www.sludgefacts.org/EPWtestimony.pdf.
In his official National Academy of Sciences Press Release, panel chair, Thomas Burke, stated   that the sludge regulations are based on outdated science: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=10426.  Burke also stated that there is an urgent need for health studies and tracking  reported sludge-related illnesses.  Former EPA Senior Level research microbiologist David Lewis and his team of scientists had already started to document and explain why  sludge-exposed neighbors were experiencing serious health problems, especially respiratory illnesses. http://www.biomedcentral.com.   After the report of a second sludge-related death in Pennsylvania, EPA finally  conceded on CBS Evening News that it could no longer guarantee that the practice was safe and that the agency needed to “revisit” its land application policy.   http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/29/eveningnews/main580816.shtml
That the current regulations do not protect agriculture has been confirmed in countless published scientific documents, many of them generated by internationally renowned soil scientists at the Cornell Waste Management Institute. http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/sewagesludge.htm
Two prize-winning dairy herds near Augusta GA were destroyed  after  hundreds of animals sickened and died from ingesting  forage grown on sludge- treated land. http://www.sludgenews.org/resources/documents/Nature.pdf .  Milk samples from some of the affected animals  contained  thallium levels 120 times the concentration that is considered safe in drinking water:  http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_10789.cfm.  Major food processing companies—Heinz, DelMonte, Western Growers—do not accept produce grown on land that has been treated with biosolids.  A 2008 Nature editorial called the entire US biosolids program “an institutional failure spanning more than three decades.”
I have provided readers with a number of important links.    I challenge Mr. Dunkley to do the same. For a start, Mr. Dunkley might want to provide the links to peer reviewed  published articles that substantiate his claim  that “thousands of scientists have concluded that the  land application of biosolids is safe”.
Caroline Snyder Ph.D.
Emeritus professor
Rochester Institute of Technology
458 Whiteface Rd.
N.Sandwich NH 03259

Letter to the Editor – Biosolid Risk for Farmland

March 26, 2012 by
Letter to the Editor:

Biosolids do not Belong on Agricultural Land.
Re: Berryville’s new sewage treatment plant (3/23 article) The plant’s new filtering system will remove more pollutants from the waste water, which is commendable and what sewage treatment plants are meant to do. But the down side of this improved process is that MORE of the removed pollutants will end up in the resulting biosolids. Sewage sludge does not just contain toxic metals. A recent nation-wide survey of samples indicates that virtually all biosolids contain toxic and persistent synthetic chemical compounds, none of which are currently regulated. According to the latest National Academy of Sciences biosolids report, the VA DEP sludge policies are based on flawed risk assessment models, outdated science, or no science at all. Does it really make sense to spend millions of dollars to remove pollutants from sewage, and then transfer these same pollutants back on the land where they can impact people, live stock, soil, groundwater, and crops?
Biosolids is probably the most pollutant– rich material created by modern society. It does not belong on the land where we grow our food or graze our animals.
For accurate information about the risks linked to bioslids use, visit www.sludgefacts.org

Caroline Snyder Ph.D.
Emeritus professor
Rochester Institute of Technology
458 Whiteface Rd.
N.Sandwich NH 03259

Under Pressure, Whole Foods Agrees to Stop Selling Produce Grown in Sewage Sludge

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) broke the story that the $12.9 billion-a-year natural and organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market had a policy of "don't ask, don't tell" when it comes to "conventional" -- or non-organic -- produce being grown in fields spread with sewage sludge, euphemistically called "biosolids." Certified organic produce cannot be fertilized with sewage sludge, which is the industrial and hospital waste and human excrement flushed down the drains and later -- in some cases -- spread on some crops.
Since this story broke, nearly 8,000 activists and PRWatch readers have sent emails to Whole Foods executives asking the company to require its suppliers to disclose this information and to label produce grown in sewage sludge so that customers can make informed decisions.
read full article

Biosolids program

Neil Zahradka, manager for the DEQ biosolids program, and Christina Wood, regulatory specialist for DEQ, reviewed the new Virginia comprehensive regulations in great detail to about 60 people who attended the conference in Richmond. The session was co-sponsored by a number of organizations, including the Virginia Biosolids Council, Virginia Association of Counties, Virginia Municipal League, Agribusiness Council, Farm Bureau and the Virginia Association of Municipal Wastewater Agencies (VAMWA).
To download PDF versions of these presentation slides, click on the following links:
Zahradka: Biosolids Regulations Overview
Wood: Biosolids Regulations Changes
Zahradka: Biosolids Regulations Implementation
As Zahradka said to begin the program, “the regulations we will review (today) have taken a very long time, however, the result is a product we believe will protect Virginia while making sure the process is a consistent one for the land appliers.”
Consistency is among the primary drivers for DEQ for these new regulations, which will roll out over the next 12 months. Essentially, anyone applying for a new permit or a permit modification on or after September 1, 2013 will be issued a permit in accordance with the amended regulations that became effective September 1, 2013.
Zahradka reviewed the regulations and their implementation at a workshop created for public officials, wastewater professionals and others seeking to understand the comprehensive biosolids regulations, which became necessary when the DEQ assumed regulatory oversight from the Department of Health in 2007.
The regulations provide Virginia with a comprehensive set of guidelines to protect the environment and public health, while providing predictable procedures and requirements for the management of biosolids.
Held at the Richmond Convention Center as part of the annual Water Jam, the conference also included presentations from a number of affected stakeholders, including a representative of local government, a water utility, a land applier and a researcher. The bulk of the program, however, was provided by DEQ personnel.
While there are numerous regulatory changes represented in the amendments, the critical messages to those attending were the following:
  • VPA & VPDES Permits currently in effect will remain in effect as written until modified.
  • VDH-BUR Permits follow the amended regulations immediately, beginning September 1, 2013.
  • For land included in a VPA Permit and a BUR – the VPA Permit must be followed.
  • VPDES (water) permits, where land application and recycling is included, will be impacted when the permit is reissued or major modifications are proposed.
Some other elements of the new regulations include a requirement by citizens who want to extend the standard 200 foot setback from a dwelling to have their doctor complete and then submit a form to DEQ at least 48 hours before land application commences. A specific DEQ form for this request must be used and is included within the new regulations.
A significant improvement over the previous regulations includes a provision to streamline the permit procure to restore mine damaged or disturbed lands. In the amended regulations, where reclamation of mined or disturbed sites is proposed using biosolids at greater than agronomic rates, the applicant needs to prepare a reclamation plan specific to the site, done in consultation with the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences of Virginia Tech.
The ability to restore damaged lands in this manner is an improvement over the previous regulations, according to Barry Dunkley, president of the Virginia Biosolids Council. “The State Water Control Board and the Technical Advisory Committee recognized that existing science supports the benefits and safety of biosolids to be used to restore damaged lands,” he said. “This amendment in the new regulations will be good for those lands that have been damaged by intensive mining or other activity.”
Other speakers at the conference included:
David Paylor, Director of DEQ: Paylor talked about the progress DEQ has made with non-point pollution and the recent addition of certain DCR programs related to stormwater to the DEQ operations. He also spoke to the progress Virginia has made toward cleaning the Chesapeake Bay, as required by the U.S. EPA.
Mike McEvoy, General Manager of the Western Virginia Water Authority: McEvoy talked about the capability of the Roanoke-based utility and its effort to generate power from waste recovery, while also providing opportunities for the public to tour and understand the water treatment process. He spoke specifically of the plant’s special effort to accommodate birders—a riverside trail that has a viewing deck for birders overlooking one of the facility’s lagoons.
Ann Mallek, Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors: Ms. Mallek has had experience with biosolids – both good and bad. She spoke of the need for land appliers and utilities to be transparent with their operations and to make sure that there is good communication with the local governing body.
Dr. Greg Evanylo, Virginia Tech: Dr. Evanylo provided a broad perspective on the voluminous research done on biosolids, in Virginia and elsewhere. Specifically, he spoke of the several research projects designed to understand how biosolids appear to benefit crops during drought, and to better understand the fate of nutrients in plants and soils.
David Simons, Nutri-Blend: With more than 30 years of biosolids land application experience, Simons discussed the several keys to the biosolids regulatory environment. He said the regulatory program should be consistent, predictable, transparent, applied in a level manner from region to region, and serve as a foundation for compliance.

House Document No. 8:  Study the Impact of the Land Application of Biosolids on Human Health and the Environment Pursuant to HJR 694 (2007)

Document Title
A First-Year Report of the Panel of Experts Convened by The Secretary of Natural Resources and The Secretary of Health and Human Resources to Study the Impact of the Land Application of Biosolids on Human Health and the Environment Pursuant to HJR 694 (2007)

Division of Legislative Services, Joint Subcommittee

Enabling Authority
HJR 694 (Regular Session, 2007)

Executive Summary
In 2007, the General Assembly adopted House Joint Resolution 694, which directed the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to convene a panel of experts to conduct a two-year study of the impact of the land application of biosolids (treated sewage sludge) on human health and the environment. The panel was directed to consider and respond to a number of specific questions relating to the environmental and health impacts of the land application of biosolids in the Commonwealth and to report to the Governor and to the General Assembly by the first day of both the 2008 and 2009 Sessions.

The resolution directed the Secretaries to appoint individuals to the expert panel who, by training, education, or experience, are knowledgeable regarding the land application of biosolids. The panel members were drawn from the relevant state agencies, institutions of higher education, and the private sector. The individuals selected to serve on the expert panel are as follows:

• Ralph O. Allen, Ph.D., Professor, Director, Office of Environmental Health and Safety, University of Virginia School of Medicine
• Russ Baxter, Deputy Director, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
• Robert Call, M.D., Medical practitioner
• Jerre Creighton, Research Program Manager, Virginia Department of Forestry
• W. Lee Daniels, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech
• Barry Dunkley, Director of Utilities, City of Danville
• Greg Evanylo, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech
• Susan Fischer-Davis, M.D., Deputy Director, Office of Epidemiology, Virginia Department of Health
• Tom Fox, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Forestry, Virginia Tech
• Rima B. Franklin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University
• James Golden, Deputy Director for Program Coordination, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
• Robert Hale, Ph.D., Professor, School of Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
• Scott P. Johnson, M.P.A., Commissioner’s Office, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
• Howard Kator, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chair, Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
• Mark Levine, M.D., MPH, Director, Henrico County Health Department, Virginia Department of Health
• John T. Novak, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech
• Karen Pallansch, CEO, Alexandria Sanitation Authority
• Christopher Peot, P.E., Manager, Biosolids Management Division, DC Water and Sewer Authority
• Alan B. Rubin, Ph.D., Consultant (Principal, Envirostrategies, LLC)
• Jonathan Sleeman, VetMB, Dipl. ACZM, MRCVS, Wildlife Veterinarian, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
• Henry Staudinger, JD, Citizen representative
• R. Leonard Vance, Ph.D., JD, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

Secretaries Preston Bryant and Marilyn Tavenner serve as co-chairs of the panel.

The expert panel held its first meeting on September 18, 2007. At the Secretaries’ request, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) provided facilitators and staff support to assist the panel with its work. The first meeting focused on panel member introductions and areas of expertise; interpretation of the panel’s charge; and background on implementation of the permitting program for land application of biosolids in the Commonwealth. The panel decided to divide into two workgroups, one focusing on health issues and the other focusing on environmental issues. Several panel members have elected to participate in both workgroups. A public comment session was also held at the first meeting to allow the public to share their concerns with the panel.

The environmental workgroup met on October 16, 2007, and the health workgroup met on October 24, 2007. The full panel then met again on November 16, 2007 in Richmond. Each meeting enabled the panel to refine their strategies for addressing the tasks posed by the resolution, as well as to decide which working group would address specific questions in the resolution. Each workgroup is developing an initial work plan to address relevant topics.

The panel offered an opportunity at each meeting for the public to provide comment and will continue to allow for public comment at future meetings.

In addition to posting panel meeting notices on the Virginia Town Hall website, a website dedicated to the work of the expert panel was developed to provide additional information. The panel’s website is housed on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s website,
http://www.deq.state.va.us/info/biosolidspanel.html. The website includes meeting minutes, correspondence from panel members and the public, and links to related technical information. The panel is mindful of the sensitive nature of personal health information that may be obtained in the course of its study and will take appropriate measures to ensure that individual privacy is appropriately protected.

The charge of the panel is so broad that each work group initially focused on determining an achievable scope of work for the coming year. The workgroups and full panel plan to focus on the following topics in 2008:

Health Workgroup

- Are citizen-reported health symptoms associated with the land application of biosolids?
- Do odors from biosolids impact human health and well-being and property values?
- To what degree do biosolids-associated contaminants accumulate in food (plant crops and livestock)?

In addition, the workgroup will attempt to document and evaluate citizen-reported health symptoms associated with the land application of biosolids. As a component of this exercise, the panel is reviewing recent research on this topic conducted by the University of North Carolina in association with the Water Environment Research Foundation. The workgroup also intends to catalogue specific health complaints made in the Commonwealth. In addition, the health workgroup will review the adequacy of buffers at land application sites for the protection of human health. The panel also plans to examine citizen involvement in the permitting process, and as time and resources permit, the health workgroup will examine other health questions, including transport of disease-causing agents via aerosols, the effect of endotoxins that may be present in biosolids, and health effects related to odors.

Environmental Workgroup

- To what degree do biosolids-associated contaminants affect water quality?
- What are the effects of an accumulation of biosolids-associated contaminants in wildlife?

The environmental workgroup also intends to consider the chemical and biological composition of biosolids and evaluate the toxic potential of biosolids constituents derived from land application to humans, agricultural products, soil organisms, and wildlife. The environmental workgroup has requested staff from the Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Conservation and Recreation to brief them on the application requirements and water quality effects.

Since a lack of resources prevents the panel from performing its own detailed analysis of the chemical and biological composition of biosolids, the panel will (i) examine the latest research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding the recent nationwide survey of sewage sludge, and (ii) will solicit biosolids testing and analysis data from wastewater treatment plants that generate biosolids for land application in Virginia.

Full Panel

The full panel will encourage a collaborative exchange of information between the two workgroups to ensure that the workgroups work efficiently to address the tasks outlined in the legislative resolution. The panel also plans to examine a number of issues that are neither exclusively health nor environmental issues, such as:

- the capacity of alternative technologies to facilitate the beneficial use of biosolids and their disposal;
- the availability, costs, and feasibility of technological alternatives to Class B land application;
- the availability, capital and operations costs, feasibility, environmental and human health impact, and public acceptance of alternative technologies for the beneficial use of biosolids; and
- institutional and financial mechanisms for assisting localities in implementing alternative technologies at the state, local, and regional levels.

The panel intends to invite guest experts to address several topics in 2008, such as the risk assessment used in development of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations concerning biosolids. Panel members also intend to visit an active biosolids land application site to observe the practice first hand.

Finally, at the full panel’s request, a bibliography of recommended literature is being compiled, and is available for viewing on the panel’s website:



Regulations : 
Title of Regulation:
12VAC5-585. Biosolids Use Regulations (repealing 12VAC5-585-10 through 12VAC5-585-830).

Statutory Authority: § 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: September 1, 2013.

Agency Contact: Cindy M. Berndt, Director, Regulatory Affairs, Department of Environmental Quality, 629 East Main Street, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218, telephone (804) 698-4378, FAX (804) 698-4346, or email cindy.berndt@deq.virginia.gov.

Background: Chapters 881 and 929 of the 2007 Acts of Assembly transferred the regulation and management of the land application of biosolids (sewage sludge) from the State Board of Health to the State Water Control Board effective January 1, 2008. As part of that action, the General Assembly also transferred the Board of Health Biosolids Use Regulations (12VAC5-585) to the State Water Control Board and directed that the regulations would remain

Adjacent Feature Minimum Setback Distance (Feet) to Land Application Area
Occupied dwelling 2001,2,3
Odor sensitive receptors (without injection or same day incorporation) 4003
Odor sensitive receptors (with injection or same day incorporation) 200
Property lines 1002,4
Property lines of publicly accessible sites5 200
Water supply wells or springs 100
Public water supply reservoirs 400
All segments of streams and tributaries designated 100

as a Public Water Supply under the Water Quality Standards
Surface waters without a vegetated buffer 100
Surface waters with a 35-foot vegetated buffer 35
Agricultural drainage ditches 10
All improved roadways 10
Rock outcrops 25
Open sinkholes 100
Limestone rock outcrops and closed sinkholes6 50
1The setback distance to occupied dwellings may be reduced or waived upon written consent of the occupant and landowner of the dwelling.
2The department shall grant to any landowner or resident in the vicinity of a biosolids land application site an extended setback of up to 200 feet from their property line and up to 400 feet from their occupied dwelling upon request from their physician based on medical reasons. In order for an extended setback request to be granted, the request must be submitted to the department in writing on a form provided by the department. A request must be received by the department no later than 48 hours before land application commences on the field affected by the extended setback, and communicated to the permittee no later than 24 hours before land application commences on the field affected by the extended setback. The department may extend a setback distance within 48 hours of land application if requested by the Virginia Department of Health in connection with the landowner or resident's physician.
3Setback distances may be extended beyond 400 feet where an evaluation by the Virginia Department of Health determines that a setback in excess of 400 feet is necessary to prevent specific and immediate injury to the health of an individual.
4The setback distance to property lines may be reduced or waived upon written consent of the landowner.
5Publicly accessible sites are open to the general public and routinely accommodate pedestrians and include, but are not limited to, schools, churches, hospitals, parks, nature trails, businesses open to

the public, and sidewalks. Temporary structures, public roads or similar thoroughfares are not considered publicly accessible.
6A closed sinkhole does not have an open conduit to groundwater. The setback from a closed sinkhole may be reduced or waived by the department upon evaluation by a professional soil scientist. ]





Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 8:22am
Boyce, VA, September 26, 2013 – Yesterday Shenandoah Riverkeeper Jeff Kelble filed to appeal Virginia’s sewage sludge regulations in Richmond Circuit Court, 13th Judicial Court of Virginia.  The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulations became final on September 1, 2013 and govern the application, staging and storage of sewage sludge.  Sewage sludge is a by-product of treating industrial and municipal sewage and...
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 9:23am
(Annapolis, MD)  Sixteen conservation organizations* today announced their support for the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) decision to amend the proposed Phosphorus Management Tool regulation.  The revised regulation will reduce phosphorus pollution in waterways and the Chesapeake Bay by better controlling the use of manure applied to farm fields laden with phosphorus.
The regulation, which updates an existing tool already in use by farmers, comes in response to recent research by the University of Maryland showing there is a much greater risk of farm...
Friday, August 2, 2013 - 9:51am
Chicken manure threatens Potomac River in West Virginia case; Groups file legal brief to protect public health and environment
(Wheeling, WV) – A coalition of local and national public interest organizations yesterday filed a brief in federal court supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s long-held authority under the Clean Water Act to regulate waste from commercial animal farms and seeking to confirm that a large West Virginia poultry operation should comply with all applicable regulations.
The Center for Food Safety,...
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 12:00am
My name is Ed Merrifield, I am the Potomac Riverkeeper as well as President of Potomac Riverkeeper, Inc.  I am here representing our organization and its 3,000 members.  Our mission is to stop pollution and restore clean water in the watershed and that is the reason I am here today.
We will be submitting written comments and if anything I say here is confusing compared to the written comments, please respond to the written comments.  I say this because the last two days have been a little unusual for me.
On Monday I attended a funeral for my father-in-law...
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 12:00am
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has recently proposed changes to the state’s regulations that govern the use of fertilizers, including millions of pounds of manure, on farm fields.  These “Proposed Changes to Maryland’s Nutrient Management Regulations” (dated May 2012 and published in the Maryland Register on June 29, 2012) contain changes on the timing, amount, location and management of all fertilizers—animal manures and sewage sludge (“biosolids”)—by...
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 12:00am
Proposed rules would lead to excessive farm-related pollution and hurt state’s efforts to clean up the Chesapeake and other waterways
SHADY SIDE, MD – WATERKEEPERS Chesapeake, a coalition of 18 waterway-protection groups, is calling on the state of Maryland to strengthen nutrient-management regulations currently under consideration and make sure that the new rules are based on sound science and enforceable best-management practices.
The proposed regulations will establish rules that farmers must follow in applying manure to fields, a critical issue in...
Friday, April 27, 2012 - 1:31pm
April 27, 2012, Boyce, VA: Dozens of complaints were lodged today by Shenandoah Riverkeeper with Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requesting that the Shenandoah River be listed as impaired due to excessive algae blooms. These algae blooms which occur year-round on all segments of the river system violate Virginia’s nuisance aquatic plant life standard and interfere with the public’s recreational use of the river.
“In my role as Shenandoah Riverkeeper and as a professional fishing guide, I have witnessed severe algae blooms over several...
Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 4:35pm
We are still interested in algae complaint letters from all river users and landowners along the Shenandoah North Fork, South Fork and Main Stem.  The algaes don't seem to be going away and I need your help doing something about it.
Background: Every year I hear endless citizen complaints about murky green Shenandoah River water, snot-grass or filamentous algae covering the bottom and smothering native grasses in the river, and floating algae clumps that smell.  I’m told the algae ruins people’s time, and diminishes their use and enjoyment of the river...
Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 1:20pm
Why has the long effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay failed? Initiatives to fix the Bay date back to at least the mid-1960s, before the passage of the Clean Water Act. The Bay has now seen four “landmark agreements” passed to great fanfare from politicians and environmentalists alike – the 1983 and 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreements, Chesapeake 2000, and recently the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order, all leading to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.
The Chesapeake Bay TMDL offers a new chance at restoring the Chesapeake Bay and we support its establishment. However it is our...
Monday, November 21, 2011 - 3:12pm
Assateague Coastal Trust and Assateague Coastkeeper joined Waterkeeper Alliance to bring suit against Perdue Farms Inc and one of their contracted growers in March 2010 for polluted discharges of fecal coliform, e.coli, nitrogen and phosphorus coming off the poultry growing facility into waterways connecting to the Pocomoke River and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.
Both Perdue Farms Inc and Alan Hudson were named in the lawsuit because one controls the poultry operation and the other is the owner/operator of the facility. Coastkeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance contend both should share...






2012 Impaired Waters Category 4 & 5 by Location*

Roanoke and Yadkin River Basins

Final 2012 305(b)/303(d) Water Quality Assessment Integrated Report

Total Maximum Daily Loads Recreation Use (Bacteria) Impairment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region III, is pleased to approve the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) to address the recreation use (bacteria) impairment in the Dan River, Blackberry Creek, Byrds Branch, Double Creek, Fall Creek, Leatherwood Creek, Marrowbone Creek, North Fork Mayo River, South Fork Mayo River, Smith River, Sandy Creek and Sandy River watersheds located in portions of Carroll, Floyd, Franklin, Halifax, Henry, Mecklenburg, Patrick, and Pittsylvania Counties in Virginia; as well as Caswell, Forsyth, Granville, Guilford, Orange, Person, Rockingham, Stokes, and Surry Counties in North Carolina. The TMDL report was submitted to EPA for review on April 30, 2008. The TMDL was established and submitted in accordance with Section 303(d)(1)(c) and (2) of the Clean Water Act to address impairments of water quality as identified in Virginia’s Section 303(d) List.


Biosolids in Virginia

counties where biosolids were applied in 2007
counties where biosolids were applied in 2007, showing tons of nitrogen per county
Source: Virginia Tech, Virginia County-Level Historical Trends

After we flush, our waste ends up in either the air, the water, or in the ground. In rural areas, waste goes through septic tanks and leach fields. Organic materials are converted by bacteria into carbon dioxide and nutrients in the soil, and we never see it again unless we clean out the septic tank.
In the Tidewater cities/counties affected by the Chesapeake Bay regulations in Virginia, septic tanks must be cleaned out every 5 years to remove any grease, clogs, and non-organic solids in the tank (such as cigarette filters or plastic flushed down the toilet). Preventive cleaning helps ensure septic systems work as designed. When a septic system fails, raw sewage can reach the surface of a leach field and contaminate lawns, or flow underground to contaminate nearby creeks.
"Honey wagons" that pump out septic tanks carry the solids to a sewage system, and send it on down the pipe to a watewater treatment plant. At wastewater treatment plants, the inorganic solids are screened out and ultimately incinerated or buried underground at a landfill. Most organic solids are converted by bacteria into gas (especially N2 and CO2) and vented into the atmosphere, or into harmless dissolved molecules that are dumped at the end of the processing into a nearby creek or river.
However, some organic sludge and grease accumulates at the top and bottom of the tanks at wastewater treatment plants. The biosolids can be buried in a landfill, but that's expensive. Biosolids can be incinerated so a smaller volume of ash can buried in a landfill, but that's still expensive. In Arlington County, neighbors objected to the incineration and presumed impacts on local air quality, claiming property values would be depressed in the neighborhood. Arlington abandoned incineration - but lacked any landfill for disposal.



1. "Sewage Sludge Standards Need New Scientific Basis", National Academies news release, July 2, 2002
2. "Biosolids: Questions and Answers," Virgina Biosolids Council, http://www.virginiabiosolids.com/pdf/8_Facts_VA_Cover_103006.pdf (last checked February 6, 2009)

Sewage Treatment in Virginia
Agriculture in Virginia
Virginia Places



Number 8 in a Series • Prepared by the Virginia Biosolids Council • www.virginiabiosolids.com

A number of factors serve to limit the use of biosolids in Virginia: Some land is not suitable

because of crops, slopes that are too steep or soils that are too shallow and over bedrock or

high water tables. Some farmers prefer not to use biosolids. Nutrient management plans for

tracts receiving biosolids typically limit applications to once every three years or more. The

availability of class B biosolids is also a factor, since Virginia’s wastewater treatment plants

do not produce enough biosolids to meet the demands of Virginia’s farmers. The supply of

biosolids from other states is also inadequate to meet demand.


ENST 698—Environmental Capstone Fall 2009 :  OWASA

OWASA Team: Biosolids Land Application: A Critical Assessment of Treatment Options, Alternatives, and Community Perceptions
by UNC with Orange County (NC)Water and Sewer Authority

One Conclusion: 

In the long-run, we suggest that OWASA move away from biosolids land application altogether  and replace this disposal method with one of its alternatives, such as composting or thermal drying. Our Capstone group hopes that OWASA‘s determination to improve its practices will help extend the biosolids disposal debate to regional and national levels.

Our Capstone group hopes that OWASA‘s determination to improve its practices will help extend the biosolids disposal debate to regional and national levels

Raising a stink about spreading sewage on farms

by October 23, 2013 5:00AM ET

Biosolid€ fertilizer comes cheap, but it may be putting communities at risk
ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. — Berry-Jo Farms, a hay and beef-cattle operation, is run by Berry Andrews, a genial 74-year-old farmer. In the late 1980s, he was struggling to make ends meet when the Orange County Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) came around and bought up much of his property. OWASA offered to lease Andrews his land back for $1 an acre if he agreed to use municipal waste as fertilizer. After making his deal with OWASA, he sold his dairy operation and bought beef cattle. “I wouldn’t be in business today if it wasn’t for sludge,” he said. “I may be a dumb farmer, but that sludge works better than regular fertilizer and is free.”
Myra Dotson, a respiratory therapist, moved out to the rolling hills of Orange County in the early 1970s and bought a large tract of land in the woods with her husband. She enjoyed the peace and quiet of walking her dogs down an unpaved road into a nearby forest of swaying pine trees.
In the 1980s, after OWASA started working with Andrews, Dotson started to notice swollen spots on her skin. She went to her doctor, who told her she had MRSA—a little-understood antibiotic-resistant infection that is today responsible for 10,000 deaths a year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One day, as a test, she walked through a freshly sludged OWASA field; she woke up the next morning with spots and boils on her legs.
Dotson said the local contractors charged with spreading sludge don’t always follow regulations: They apply it in bad weather, risking runoff pollution into local rivers and streams; they allow their cattle to graze on freshly sludged fields, though the law requires a waiting period of 30 days; they forget to post signs to warn the community that sludge has been applied. She said her well and those of her neighbors have routinely been contaminated by sludge runoff. “When you pull out the well water, it looks like Karo Syrup. It’s just nasty.” She said most of the people in her community now drink bottled water.

No comprehensive human health study on biosolids has been conducted yet. The closest thing has been scattered health surveys of people who live near sludge fields. One study, released this March by epidemiologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, interviewed 34 individuals living beside sludge fields in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia and found that more than half of them reported physical symptoms — such as nausea, respiratory problems and rashes — after sludge was applied within a mile of their homes. One respondent, a veteran with PTSD, said that sludge reminded him of waste burning in a war zone. “I’m not able to get myself to a place where I can begin to heal if they’re constantly driving me backwards … every time I’ve got to walk out of my house and smell the freaking war zone,” he said. Three-quarters of the respondents said that sludge interfered with their quality of life and seriously prohibited them from enjoying their homes and land.
There have been numerous health incidents believed related to sludge exposure. In 2002, Synagro, the largest biosolids company in the U.S., paid a settlement to the family of a young man, Shayne Conner, after he died mysteriously in the middle of the night, his open bedroom window 300 feet from a sludge field. (The settlement included a denial of wrongdoing.) In 2008 two Augusta, Ga., dairy farmers settled out of court after a decades-long lawsuit over bad sludge that killed their cattle; the plaintiffs’ experts found thallium in the cows’ milk and PCBs, arsenic and molybdenum in high concentrations on their grazing land. The EPA fought the suit, commissioning its own studies. The judge ruled that the data used by the EPA was “unreliable, incomplete and in some cases fudged.”
Dotson runs the Sewage Sludge Action Network, a local activist group she helped found in 2009. She drives a mud-speckled hatchback with a bumper sticker that reads, “Got sewage sludge?” Despite the publishing of countless articles and books on sludge, she believes that public awareness of the health issues surrounding sludge remains niche. It is the kind of issue that citizens become invested in only if they have the misfortune of owning a house near a sludge field, she said. “For the people in the city, they’re interested and want to help — but for them, it’s just another issue.”

The Netherlands, Switzerland and parts of Canada have banned spreading sludge completely on the basis of its toxicity; a number of large food corporations like Dole won’t buy crops from growers who use sludge. In the United States, dozens of jurisdictions have passed legislation banning the application of sewage sludge, even though legal blowback is ruthlessly swift.

In California, Los Angeles sued tiny Kern County after it passed a ban on applying sludge.

Amelia County, Va., passed a biosolids ban that was quickly overturned by the state.

Chris Nidel, a public-interest lawyer in Washington, D.C., who specializes in toxic tort said, “There’s half a million people in Arlington County crapping in a sewer and 20,000 people in Surry County having to take it. If you look at it, it’s not balanced. Numerically, they don’t have a voice.”

On the other end, Charles Hooks, who runs a pro-biosolids public-relations organization, the Virginia Biosolids Association, said, “You can’t have a hundred little counties all passing laws that are different dealing with this. It would balkanize the state.”

We’re surrounded by sludge’

Nancy and Bob Andrews live just down the road from Berry Andrews (no relation) in a modest ranch house set back in a copse of pine. They are retired and spend most of their time traveling the country in an RV, they say, because the pleasure they took in spending time at home was ruined by sludging. “We’re surrounded by sludge here.

They used to plow it into the soil. Now they just spray it on the ground. OWASA owns us.

Everyone thinks this stuff is so great,” Nancy said.

They explained that they routinely find their well contaminated with E. coli and have spent thousands of dollars getting it tested and cleaned out.

When the land next door is being sludged by an OWASA contractor, they say the smell is so bad that they have to run their air conditioner and stay inside.

They closed their first well years ago after they found it contaminated with waste.

“We heard that the manager of the wastewater-treatment plant and his wife were looking for a house,” said Bob Andrews. “I bet they looked on a map and didn’t come anywhere near us. If they had to live with it, they wouldn’t like this stuff either.”

Reporting for this article was supported in part by The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, with additional help from The Puffin Foundation.


Land Application of Treated Sewage Sludge: Community Health and Environmental Justice

Amy Lowman,1 Mary Anne McDonald,2 Steve Wing,1 and Naeema Muhammad3
1Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; 2Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA; 3Concerned Citizens of Tillery, Tillery, North Carolina, USA

Background: In the United States, most of the treated sewage sludge (biosolids) is applied to farmland as a soil amendment. Critics suggest that rules regulating sewage sludge treatment and land application may be insufficient to protect public health and the environment. Neighbors of land application sites report illness following land application events.

Objectives: We used qualitative research methods to evaluate health and quality of life near land application sites.

Methods: We conducted in-depth interviews with neighbors of land application sites and used qualitative analytic software and team-based methods to analyze interview transcripts and identify themes.

Results: Thirty-four people in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia responded to interviews. Key themes were health impacts, environmental impacts, and environmental justice. Over half of the respondents attributed physical symptoms to application events. Most noted offensive sludge odors that interfere with daily activities and opportunities to socialize with family and friends. Several questioned the fairness of disposing of urban waste in rural neighborhoods. Although a few respondents were satisfied with the responsiveness of public officials regarding sludge, many reported a lack of public notification about land application in their neighborhoods, as well as difficulty reporting concerns to public officials and influencing decisions about how the practice is conducted where they live.  One respondent, a veteran with PTSD, said that sludge reminded him of waste burning in a war zone. “I’m not able to get myself to a place where I can begin to heal if they’re constantly driving me backwards … every time I’ve got to walk out of my house and smell the freaking war zone,” he said. Three-quarters of the respondents said that sludge interfered with their quality of life and seriously prohibited them from enjoying their homes and land. 

Conclusions: Community members are key witnesses of land application events and their potential impacts on health, quality of life, and the environment. Meaningful involvement of community members in decision making about land application of sewage sludge will strengthen environmental health protections.

Key words: biosolids, environmental health, environmental justice, land application, qualitative research, sewage sludge. Environ Health Perspect 121:537–542 (2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205470 [Online 11 March 2013]


More Studies:

Scientific Studies of Sewage Sludge

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WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids." Join the Food Rights Network.

This article is part of the Food Rights Network, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy. Find out more here.

Scientific studies of sewage sludge confirm its hazards. A list of just some of the hazardous chemicals and pathogens found in sludge can be found in the article Sludge contaminants. Sludge contaminants include Dioxins and Furans, Flame Retardants, Metals, Organochlorine Pesticides, 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP), Naphthalene, Triclosan, Nonylphenols, Phthalates, Nanosilver, and thousands more substances.
Some select studies and technical papers are below. NOTE: A PDF version of each study is attached wherever possible.
After sewage sludge fertilization of "acid pine forests (Pinus sylvestris L.) on sandy soils in a south to north temperature gradient in Sweden," some research areas saw "a limited increase of Cr, Cu, Ni, Zn both in the humus and in the upper mineral layers."
"Based on previously published hydroponic plant, planktonic bacterial, and soil microbial community research, manufactured nanomaterial (MNM) environmental buildup could profoundly alter soil-based food crop quality and yield. However, thus far, no single study has at once examined the full implications, as no studies have involved growing plants to full maturity in MNM-contaminated field soil. We have done so for soybean, a major global commodity crop, using farm soil amended with two high-production metal oxide MNMs (nano-CeO2 and -ZnO). The results provide a clear, but unfortunate, view of what could arise over the long term: (i) for nano-ZnO, component metal was taken up and distributed throughout edible plant tissues; (ii) for nano-CeO2, plant growth and yield diminished, but also (iii) nitrogen fixation—a major ecosystem service of leguminous crops—was shut down at high nano-CeO2 concentration. Juxtaposed against widespread land application of wastewater treatment biosolids to food crops, these findings forewarn of agriculturally associated human and environmental risks from the accelerating use of MNMs." (Emphasis added.)
This study was also summarized in Science News here and in ScienceNow here.
"The anti-microbial substance triclosan can partition to sewage sludge during wastewater treatment and subsequently transfer to soil when applied to land. . . . Triclosan and methyl-triclosan concentrations were measured in soil samples collected monthly from three depths. A large fraction of triclosan loss appeared to be explained by transformation to methyl-triclosan. After 12 months less than 20% of the initial triclosan was recovered from each soil. However, the majority was recovered as methyl-triclosan. Most of the chemical recovered at the end of the experiment (both triclosan and methyl-triclosan) was still in the top 10 cm layer, although there was translocation to lower soil horizons in all three soils."
"In this work, the degradation of anionic and non-ionic surfactants in agricultural soil amended with sewage sludge is reported. The compounds analysed were: linear alkylbenzene sulphonates (LAS) with a 10–13 car- bon alkylic chain, and nonylphenolic compounds (NPE), including nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol eth- oxylates with one and two ethoxy groups (NP1EO and NP2EO). . . . Environmental risk assessment revealed that for LAS homologues no environment risk could be expected after 7 and 8 days of sludge application to the soil for 22.4 and 12.7 °C, respectively; however, potential toxic effects could be observed for the nonylphenolic compounds during the first 56 days after sludge application to the soil" (emphasis added).
"There are so many potentially harmful substances found in sludge particularly heavy metals (cadmium, chromium, lead, nickel, copper, mercury, zinc, iron and aluminum) . Many are known to cause cancer and other diseases. Certain compounds found in sludge have been identified to harm the reproductive systems of fish and other aquatic life. These contaminants need to be cleaned up for a safe environment. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the potential of Acacia mangium as a phytoremediator to absorb heavy metals from sewage sludge contaminated soils. Acacia mangium seedlings were planted on six different growth media (soil + sludge) were: T0 (100% soil, control), T1 (80% soil+20% sludge), T2(60% soil+40% sludge), T3(40% soil+60% sludge), T4(20% soil+80% sludge) and T5(100% sludge). The highest growth performance such as height, basal diameter and number of leaves was found in 40% soil+60% sludge. Cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) were highly concentrated in the stems, chromium (Cr) and copper (Cu) in the roots, while zinc (Zn) was concentrated in both leaves and stems. A. mangium seems to have a high potential to absorb high amounts of Zn, Cd, Pb, Cr and Cu in the leaves, stems and roots. A. mangium showed high translocation factor and low bioconcentration factor values in the sludge contaminated soil as well as it was able to tolerate and accumulate high concentrations of heavy metals. The roots of A. mangium were found to be suitable for the absorption of heavy metals in contaminated soils. Therefore, this species can be a good phtyoremediator for sewage sludge contaminated soil and to mitigate soil pollution." The study does not address how to dispose of the contaminated Acacia plants after the phytoremediation of the bioaccumulated heavy metals.
"The potential presence of steroid hormones in runoff from sites where biosolids have been used as agricultural fertilizers is an environmental concern. A study was conducted to assess the potential for runoff of seventeen different hormones and two sterols, including androgens, estrogens, and progestogens from agricultural test plots. The field containing the test plots had been applied with biosolids for the first time immediately prior to this study. . . . Overall, these results indicate that rainfall can mobilize hormones from biosolids-amended agricultural fields, directly to surface waters or redistributed to terrestrial sites away from the point of application via runoff. Although concentrations decrease over time, 35 days is insufficient for complete degradation of hormones in soil at this site" (emphasis added).

DEQ Piedmont Regional Office
Suite A, 4949-A Cox Road Glen Allen, VA 23060
Thursday, January 23, 2014
10:00 am – 12:20 p.m.
As of Thursday, January 16, 2014
9:50 a.m. Arrival, meet, and greet (on your own)
Time Agenda Item
10:00 a.m. 1. Call to order
10:00 a.m. 2. Introduction of new member
Introduction of members and guests
10:05 a.m. 3. Agenda adoption/Minutes Adoption from November
10:10 a.m. 4. Public comment period
10:15 a.m. 5. Chairman’s report
10:45 a.m. 6. Legislative update
11:00 a.m. 7. Regulatory update
11:10 a.m. 8. DWSRF Program update
11:25 a.m. 9. Capacity Development Strategy
11:40 a.m. 10. SCC update
11:45 a.m. 11. DEQ update
11:50 a.m. 12. DHCD update
11:55 a.m. 13. SE-RCAP update
12:00 p.m. 14. VRWA update
12:05 p.m. 15. VA AWWA update
12:10 p.m. 16. VT/education update
12:15 p.m. 17. New business
12:25 p.m. 18. Closing remarks
12:30 p.m. 19. Update member contact information if needed
12:30 p.m. 20. ADJOURN
Next scheduled meeting: March 20 (Polycom)


21/2013  10:00 am
LocationVirginia Department of Health
Office of Drinking Water
Madison Building
109 Governor Street, Room 535
Richmond, Virginia 23219 
Board Websitewww.vdh.virginia.gov 
Agenda documentpdf Meeting Agenda 11/22/2013   (196k)
Minutes documentpdf Meeting minutes 1/29/2014   (40k)       FINAL 


Sewage Sludge/Biosolids

What is sewage sludge and when does it become “biosolids”?

Sewage sludge is the solid, semisolid, or liquid materials removed during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment facility. Sewage sludge includes, but is not limited to, solids removed during primary, secondary, or advanced wastewater treatment, scum, domestic septage, portable toilet pumpings, Type III marine sanitation device pumpings, and sewage sludge products. In order for sewage sludge to become biosolids it must be treated to meet the standards established in state and federal regulations for use of biosolids for land application, marketing, or distribution. These regulations require that the sewage sludge undergo established treatment to meet the pathogen control levels, established treatment and management practices to meet the vector attraction reduction, and contain concentrations of regulated metals below established limits. The properly treated and processed sewage sludge becomes "biosolids" which can be safely recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.
For more information go to Frequently Asked Questions

Changes in Virginia Biosolids Regulation

On January 1, 2008 the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assumed regulatory oversight of all land application of treated biosolids. The action, which moved oversight of the Biosolids Use Regulations from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to DEQ, was at the direction of the 2007 General Assembly, which voted to consolidate the regulatory programs so that all persons land applying biosolids would be subject to uniform requirements, and to take advantage of the existing compliance and enforcement structure at DEQ. DEQ established the Office of Land Application Programs within the Water Division to manage the biosolids program, as well as land application of industrial wastes, municipal wastewater, treated septage, animal wastes, and water reclamation and reuse. VDH continues to consult with DEQ and advise the public on health issues related to biosolids applications.
In addition to moving oversight of the biosolids program to DEQ, the General Assembly made changes to the law that added requirements to further protect human health and the environment. Among these changes are the requirement for having and following nutrient management plans for all fields receiving biosolids, unannounced inspections of the land application sites, certification of persons land applying biosolids, and payment of a $7.50 fee per dry ton of biosolids land applied. The fee is paid by the generator of the biosolids, and helps to fund the biosolids regulatory functions of DEQ and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as local government monitoring programs. DEQ has approximately 20 employees to perform the inspection and permitting functions, provide training to land appliers and local monitors, and provide administrative oversight of the program. The Virginia Department of Health initiated the first training of land appliers in November of 2007. DEQ assumed the certification program and as of February 2011, over 180 land applicators have been certified.
Click on the following links to view the text of the Virginia House and Senate Bills that directed these changes:
Modifications have been proposed to the regulations pertaining to biosolids. The State Water Control Board voted to adopt the final amendments on September 22, 2011. The final amendments were signed by Governor McDonnell on June 12, 2013 and became effective September 1, 2013. Please refer to the Virginia Town Hall  for information regarding the regulatory amendments.

Related Links

Biosolids Use Regulations sites: