Apr 9, 2013

Sewage sludge easing through Maine Legislature. Retailing soon in Maine as "Biosolids"?

The Maine legislature's agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee held a public hearing & a worksession on April 9, 2013 on LD 1009 An Act Concerning Fertilizer and Lime Products The ACF Comittee vote was Ought To Pass as Amended.

LD 1009  defines treated sewage sludge as Biosolids. "Biosolids means municipal sewage sludge that is a primarily organic, semisolid product resulting from the wastewater treatment process that can be beneficially recycled, including material derived from biosolids and septic tank sludge, also known as septage.

Something that could lawfully be spread onto the farms, fields and forests of Maine. Human-based sludge as fertilizer is controversial, due to pharmceuticals and other chemical wastes  accumulated by human beings that is mixed into thisorganic waste.

The bay blogger only captured the last 5 and a half minutes of the public hearing on LD 1009, begining with MDEP's staffer okaying the bill provided certain amendments were adopted, (They were)  followed by  Robert Tardy atty representing "Casella Organics", then attorney Bill Ferdinand from Eaton Peabody, then a Cassella  operations mgr. These waste industry partisans all sounded in a good mood.

This was followed immediately by the work session, where the committee discussed the amendments that I think restrict the marketing of the sludge material as fertilizer (don't have the amd's at hand) The committee voted the bill an Ought To Pass As Amended. 

LD 1099's Summary reads: "This bill adds the definitions of "biosolids," "packaged biosolids" and "unpackaged biosolids" to the Maine Commercial Fertilizer Law. The bill also amends the definition of "commercial fertilizer" to mean a substance containing one or more recognized fertilizer materials bearing a guaranteed analysis on the product label of a packaged product. The bill also exempts unpackaged biosolids and packaged biosolids derived primarily from residuals regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection from being registered before being offered for sale and from the tonnage report."

Coming to a watershed near you soon? Or Not.

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