"Cover Story" piece on new Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) standard


Portland Phoenix




1, 12


"Cover Story" piece on new Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) standards taking effect next month that will allow higher levels of toxins in sewage treatment plant sludge, which is spread in fields throughout the state. In Maine, about 50,000 tons of sewage sludge is spread on farmland each year and in recent years, residents in about 35 Maine communities have organized to oppose the practice. But despite the increasing resistance, the DEP has weakened the rules on the amount of heavy metals that can be contained within the sludge that's spread in Maine. The new rules are based on national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines that came out in 1993, according to DEP environmental specialist James Pollock. With comments favoring the new rules by Pamela Gratton, technical services director of BioGro, a division of Wheelabrator Water Technologies that disposes of sludge for the Portland Water District. Maryland-based BioGro has sewage disposal contracts in 23 states. Also with anecdotal evidence that the practice of spreading sewage sludge might pose a serious health risk.


Sewage sludge

Full text is not available here. Please contact the Library for a copy of the article.