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AN EVALUATION OF THE PROCESS USED BY SOLANO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA TO EVALUATE ITS BIOSOLIDS ORDINANCE: AN APPLIER'S PERSPECTIVE

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Abstract:

Biosolids have been land applied in Solano County, California since 1995 using a twotiered permitting system administered by County and California state agencies. Common with many other locations across the United States, odors sensitized a small community located near a land application site. Those opposed to biosolids land application (a small, but vocal group within the community) successfully lobbied the Solano County Board of Supervisors to examine the County's existing biosolids ordinance and the practice of allowing Class B biosolids land application.

After more than a year of rigorous examination of the ordinance and the practice of land application, the conclusion made by the Solano County Board of Supervisors was to continue Class B biosolids recycling under increased County oversight and reduced operating times. During the process, themes emerged which are useful in evaluating and conducting land application programs and projects. These themes are rooted in the science that underlies biosolids policy as administered in the U.S. and how scientific findings are used and communicated. Effective and timely communication is the key coupled with prudent operations to minimize potential nuisance issues. The Solano County experience showed that eliminating odor (nuisance issues) is important for community acceptance of biosolids recycling. It also demonstrated that given the opportunity to fairly present the science and history supporting the benefits and safety of biosolids recycling that reasonable, objective people will ultimately support the practice.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864704784343270

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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