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Raleigh's Road to Environmental Management System (EMS) Certification by the National Biosolids Partnership

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The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department (CORPUD) operates the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant (NRWWTP), which is a 60-MGD wastewater treatment plant that serves the entire City of Raleigh and surrounding communities of Garner, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, Knightdale, and Zebulon in eastern Wake County, North Carolina. The NRWWTP currently produces 35 to 40 dry tons of biosolids per day. Most of the biosolids are converted to Class A, exceptional-quality biosolids products either via alkaline stabilization onsite or via composting at a private facility. Also, the plant produces an aerobically digested Class B liquid biosolid that is used as a fertilizer on local, private farms. During 2002, the City of Raleigh was cited and fined for over application of biosolids on City-owned farmland, and for other alleged deficiencies in its biosolids management program. As a result of an in-depth review of its program, the City decided in 2003 to become a demonstration agency for the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP), meaning that the City would commit to developing and implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS) for its biosolids management program. In December 2006, the City became the 14th agency in the U.S. to have its EMS program verified by the NBP through a third-party audit process. The paper will go into more detail regarding CORPUD's progression in the NBP's Biosolids EMS program, the barriers overcome, and the benefits realized. Also discussed will be the ongoing program maintenance and the resource commitment (funding and staffing) involved once initial certification has been obtained as well as some of the concerns regarding what happens after certification.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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