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Biosolids 2011: Defending Beneficial Use in the Courtroom and the Agencies

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This paper surveys current legal issues affecting biosolids management options for clean water agencies, land appliers, biosolids marketers, and farmers. This paper and the accompanying PowerPoint will address the following topics:

EPA's revision of the definition of solid waste that will impact sewage sludge incinerators and may imperil land application of biosolids.

Latest activities of biosolids opponents to ban or restrict beneficial use around the country.

Successful strategies to overcome local efforts to restrict or ban biosolids.

Lawsuits alleging personal injuries to persons from land application of biosolids, including current and recently concluded “toxic tort” suits.

Nuisance and odor issues regarding land application of biosolids, including a summary of the types of allegations regarding odor and nuisance caused by land application sites and the defenses available to POTWs and land appliers when faced with lawsuits regarding odor and nuisance.

Challenges caused by trace contaminants found in biosolids.

Distribution and marketing of biosolids, including a discussion of whether transitioning from Class B land application to distributing a Class A EQ product can end potential legal liability.

Keywords: Bans; Biosolids; Class A; Class B; Commerce Clause; EPA; Health Effects; Incineration; Land Application; Law; Local Ordinances; Marketing; Nuisance; Odor; Preemption; Product; Toxic Tort

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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