DEVELOPING PUBLIC CONFIDENCE: WHO'S WATCHING THE HEN HOUSE?

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Abstract:

In looking back at Colorado's biosolids program from a public perspective, there has always been some element of unease about how the program was being regulated, by whom, and how effective the regulators were in covering the entire state.

Over the years, the New York City land application program in southeastern Colorado has offered some insight in how to deal with this issue. When the program was initially developed over ten years ago, the county commissioners had a concern that the one state official was located over 250 miles away. How could that one regulator be expected to quickly deal with issues and assure the local citizens that the program was being operated correctly?

It has been the experience of the Colorado biosolids program that it is difficult to run an effective program with very limited state resources. With that in mind, it became evident the program needed help at the county level. What developed was a program that provided funding to the local county health departments to conduct land application site inspections for the state. This has been a keystone to this project's success.

County inspection would effectively put the eyes and ears of the local environmental health offices at the disposal of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPH&E) in order to provide real and meaningful oversight and inspections. It also provides a much higher level of assurance to the citizens to know that a local regulator is verifying compliance with the biosolids regulations.

This paper will detail how the program was developed, who is involved, and what kind of training and support is provided in order to assure the success of the program. It will also provide a framework for others to emulate if so desired.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864704784343360

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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