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This paper surveys current legal issues affecting biosolids management options for clean water agencies, land appliers, and farmers. The law and public policy regarding biosolids continue to ferment, with many facilities shifting to more processed biosolids products in light of political and legal pressure on land application. This paper and the accompanying presentation address the following topics:

Legal issues regarding distribution and marketing of biosolids. Does transitioning from Class B land application to distributing a Class A EQ product end potential legal liability?

Lawsuits alleging personal injuries to persons from land application of biosolids, including “toxic tort” suits in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Hampshire and other states.

Local efforts to restrict or ban land application of biosolids. The paper discusses efforts by some rural localities to impose restrictions or bans on land application of biosolids.

Successful strategies to overcome local efforts to restrict or ban biosolids. The paper addresses legal, political and public relations strategies for POTWs, land appliers and farmers to work with localities to allow land application of biosolids, or if necessary, to take legal action to establish that localities cannot regulate biosolids contrary to state biosolids programs or the Federal Part 503 rules.

Nuisance and odor issues regarding land application of biosolids. The paper summarizes the law on allegations of odor and nuisance caused by land application sites, including defenses available to POTWs and land appliers when faced with lawsuits regarding odor and nuisance.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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