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Building a Sustainable Land Application Program Through Public Outreach and Best Management Practices

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When the City and County of San Francisco (City) first began its land application program in Solano County in 2000, it was with an eye toward a sustainable future. Significant odors and truck traffic were generated near a newly developed retirement community, and outraged citizens were quick to complain about the land application practices to Solano County staff. By winter of 2002, it appeared that the practice of land application in Solano County was over. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), along with its sister agency, the East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD), moved swiftly to begin engaging with stakeholders. The end result was a revised local ordinance that addressed public concerns associated with noise, traffic, and odors, but allowed continued Class B land application. Since that time, the two agencies have continued to engage with the community by participating in routine biosolids stakeholders meetings and meeting annually with the Solano County Board of Supervisors. In addition, San Francisco has taken a more proactive role in managing its biosolids. Initiatives include enrollment in the National Biosolids Partnership's Environmental Management System program, inspections of land application sites, increased biosolids monitoring, and participation in biosolids stakeholder group meetings. The Solano County ordinance that allows Class B land application was recently extended for another five years, an achievement that would likely not have been possible without the extensive outreach efforts of San Francisco and other Bay Area agencies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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