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Defending Biosolids Beneficial use – 2008

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This paper surveys current legal issues affecting biosolids management options for clean water agencies, land appliers, biosolids marketers, and farmers. The law and public policy regarding biosolids continue to ferment, with some facilities shifting to more processed biosolids products because of political and legal pressure on land application. Yet many clean water agencies are thriving with robust, large-scale class B land application programs using numerous farm partners. The few opponents of biosolids recycling have been largely unsuccessful in their efforts to ban land application or seek damages for purported injuries through tort lawsuits. This paper and the accompanying Power Point will address the following topics:

The latest activities of biosolids opponents around the country to ban or restrict beneficial use, including California, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Alabama and elsewhere.

Successful strategies to overcome local efforts to restrict or ban biosolids, including the federal court's rejection of Kern County, California's efforts to ban biosolids recycling on farms.

Lawsuits alleging personal injuries to persons from land application of biosolids, including current and recently concluded “toxic tort” suits in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Florida, and other states.

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.

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?

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864708788806386

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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