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February 2013 

NBP News 

 

WEF Transitions National Biosolids Partnership Program:
New Staffing & Documents
 
 

Ned Beecher to Facilitate NBP BMP Certification Program 

Beginning this month, Ned Beecher has taken over as lead contact for the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP) Biosolids Management Program (BMP), also known as the Environmental Management System (EMS) for biosolids. Beecher recently worked with former program manager Jim Cox and NBP staff Sam Hadeed and Peter Machno in assisting 12 organizations implement a BMP and strive for NBP recognition.

WEF’s Water Science & Engineering Center is now managing the NBP BMP program. “We’re striving to have a smooth transition,” said Barry Liner, the Center’s manager, “While there could be some bumps along the way, as with any transition, we are confident about the future. We are delighted that Ned will be working with us, and trust that the continuity of his involvement will ensure uninterrupted communications with the certified and recognized organizations who continue to demonstrate exemplary biosolids management.”

Beecher is the Executive Director of the NEBRA, under contract with WEF to support the BMP program. “I am pleased to continue my involvement with this critical program,” he said. “I have always believed in its importance in advancing the very best in biosolids management in North America. I appreciate the progress the program made under the leadership of Jim Cox and Sam Hadeed. For example, thanks to them, right now we have a sizable group of organizations getting their first third-party audit – a real challenge and accomplishment! And we have some excellent new resources for the biosolids profession. We wish Jim and Sam the best in their future endeavors.”

Beecher has been involved in biosolids management since 1995. He was lead author of WERF projects on biosolids public perception and Public Partnering Protocols for Research. He was lead author of the 2007 U. S. survey of biosolids use and disposal and the public involvement chapter for the new EPA/WEF/WERF manual Solids Process Design and Management. He wrote the summary chapter of the United Nations 2008 biosolids Global Atlas. He co-authored the 2009 Biosolids Emissions Assessment Model (BEAM) on greenhouse gas emissions from biosolids management, the 2010 BioCycle biosolids composting survey, the 2012 WERF report Barriers to Biogas Use, and the new WEF-sponsored biogas data found at www.biogasdata.org. He has helped four northeast organizations, two Minnesota facilities, and two Texas utilities develop NBP BMP/EMS programs.

Beecher can be reached at 603-323-7654 or ned.beecher@nebiosolids.org. New participants to the NBP’s Biosolids Management Program are always welcome, and a variety of training options are available.

 

NEW! Documents on Resource Recovery from Biosolids 
It has been a productive winter for the NBP, with several significant new documents completed, and more coming soon.  Thanks to Jim Cox, former NBP manager, for his leadership in seeing these through. These documents will help biosolids management professionals understand and promote resource recovery from biosolids. Download the fact sheets and share them with your stakeholders, clients, customers, the media, and the public. Download the powerpoint, share it, and adapt it for your own presentations.

Four Fact Sheets: 
Many thanks to Sam Hadeed for taking the lead on production of these fact sheets!
 
Recognizing a Resource:  Biosolids A Roadmap for State & Regional Biosolids Coordinators & Other Interested Parties 
This 3-part slide presentation provides an overview of biosolids management regulation (Part 1), research and experience (Part 2), and current drivers and trends, with a focus on resource recovery (Part 3).
 
Thanks to Ned Beecher for taking the lead on production of this slide presentation.
 
 
Littleton/Englewood, CO Wastewater Treatment Plant achieved Gold Level Recognition for its Biosolids Management Program (BMP). DEKRA Certification completed the facility’s first verification audit on January 3, 2013. Littleton/Englewood is the first of the new class of BMP/Environmental Management System trainees to achieve this distinction. During the audit, DEKRA noted the following strength: efforts to minimize odors have been very successful; odors are low and well controlled.  
 
The NBP congratulates the management and staff of Littleton/Englewood for joining the ranks of the very best biosolids management programs in North America! 
 
 
 
Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) located in Knoxville, TN successfully completed an interim audit of its biosolids management program (BMP) on January 3, 2013 to maintain its NBP certification and Platinum Level status. The audit firm, DEKRA Certification Inc., noted the following strengths in the KUB biosolids management program: 
 
  • Action plans to achieve biosolids objectives and progress in achieving those plans are well documented.
  • Operational control points and process controls are well developed.
  • A good review of communications systems occurred as part of review for emergency exercises in April 2012.
 
The NBP congratulates the management and staff of Knoxville Utilities for continuing to demonstrate exemplary biosolids management! 
 
 
 
Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA) located in Camden, NJ successfully completed an interim audit of its biosolids management program (BMP) on January 3, 2013 from DEKRA Certification, Inc. to maintain its NBP certification and Platinum Level status. During this audit, DEKRA noted the following strengths in the CCMUA biosolids management system: the oil analysis practice being done regularly at the plant is an excellent example of using predictive maintenance.
 
The NBP congratulates the management and staff of Camden County Municipal Utilities for continuing to demonstrate exemplary biosolids management! 
 
 
 To view NBP Certified and Active Organizations, click here 
 
To view NBP BMP Documents, click here   New participants to the program are always welcome, and a variety of training options are available. Contact Ned Beecher at 603-323-7654.
 

 

Around the Nation 

 

Court Upholds Injunction Against Kern County Biosolids Ban
(News courtesy of Greg Kester, CASA)
This week, a state Court of Appeals in Fresno, CA affirmed the preliminary injunction issued by Judge Hicks of a Tulare County court in the Kern County biosolids ordinance litigation. In 2006, voters in Kern County approved measure E, banning the land application of biosolids in certain parts of the County. The City of Los Angeles, CASA, and other affected entities challenged the ordinance, first in federal court, and, since 2011, in state court. Following the granting of the preliminary injunction, which allows land application to continue while litigation is ongoing, Kern County chose to appeal the injunction rather than wait for a trial on the substance of the litigation. This week’s ruling from the Court of Appeals upheld the ruling by Judge Hicks that plaintiffs (Los Angeles and others) were likely to prevail on their claims that the ordinance conflicts with the Integrated Waste Management Act (IWMA) and exceeds Kern’s police power. Greg Kester of CASA said: “This is a huge victory for California public agencies and for the effective recycling of biosolids in the state.”

 

FDA Proposed New Food Safety Rules, Biosolids Included
The U. S. Food & Drug Administration proposed a new set of standards for “the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption.” Biosolids are specifically mentioned in the proposed regulations, along with “humus, manure, non-fecal animal byproducts, peat moss, preconsumer vegetative waste…, table waste, agricultural tea, or yard trimmings.” How these soil amendments, any of which may contain pathogens, are managed in food crop production, is important to food safety. For example, the proposed language specifically prohibits the use of human waste for growing all produce covered by the proposed regulations, “except sewage sludge biosolids used in accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR Part 503, subpart D, or equivalent regulatory requirements.”

The deadline for comments on the proposed rule is May 16, 2013. See the January 16, 2013 Federal Register notice here.

 

Biosolids: Odor Case Closed in Pennsylvania
(News courtesy of NBMA and the Virginia Biosolids Council)
 

In July 2008, Pennsylvania residents surrounding a farm utilizing biosolids filed a claim against the farmer, land owner, and land applier (Synagro). On December 31, 2012, the court presented their decision in favor of the farm and the biosolids land application program. Layne Baroldi of Synagro provided this update, stating that “the Court found that the use of biosolids as a fertilizer was a protected farming activity under the Pennsylvania Right to Farm Act, and stated that use of biosolids is not significantly different from other organic fertilizers that farmers have traditionally used. The court also held that the Plaintiffs could not prove that the land applier, farmer, and land-owner owed a legal duty to the neighbors regarding off-site odors. The Court also rejected claims that odors from biosolids could constitute a trespass.” More details.
 

American Biogas Council and U.S. Composting Council Join Forces
The American Biogas Council (ABC) and the US Composting Council (USCC) announced on January 8th the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding created to help accelerate the growth of the organics recycling industry. Each organization is the leading advocate for its industry and together, they represent over 900 organizations.

"Organic material is a valuable resource and should be treated as such," stated Michael Virga, Executive Director of the U.S. Composting Council. "Federal, state and local policy should reflect this fact and facilitate the handling of organic material according to its highest and best use."
 
Composting and biogas systems both use natural processes which yield a variety of saleable products from the organic materials you feed into them. Both reduce greenhouse gas emissions, recover valuable soil-nutrients, and reduce the need for additional landfill or incineration capacity. Biogas systems produce a renewable substitute for natural gas, and yields nutrient-rich residuals which can be naturally processed into compost or fertilizer products.
 
 
The January 4 Fredrick, MD News-Post reported that the Maryland Department of the Environment is proceeding with the second phase of hearings on the proposed incinerator's water, air, and waste disposal permits. Opponents say the deal is all but sealed, but the Department denies that. Only after the public comment period for those hearings closes on March 20 will the Department decide whether to issue permits for the incinerator to the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority, said Jay Apperson, the Department's deputy director of communications. The authority needs the three permits before it can build the facility in Frederick County to burn up to 1,500 tons of garbage a day. At this point, the Department of the Environment has made only a tentative determination to issue the disposal permits, Apperson said.
 
 
The January 3 Santa Rosa, CA Press Democrat reported that a wind turbine, a rare sight in Sonoma County, was erected Thursday at the Geyserville Sanitation Zone sewage plant, part of the Water Agency's effort to power all of its operations with renewable energy sources. "This helps us meet our goal of carbon-free water (operations) by 2015," said Dale Roberts, principal engineer for the Sonoma Valley Water Agency. "We meet most of that from power through Warm Springs Dam. We get a lot of power from a landfill gas generation facility. We have a number of solar installations and we have explored wind a little bit.”
 
 
The January 4 SustainableBusiness.com News reported that Kansas City has decided that, rather than incinerating the city's biosolids, it's going to use them for fertilizer at a 1340-acre farm near the water treatment plant. Last year, 9,982 tons of fertilizer produced by wastewater operations were spread on the city-owned farm along the Missouri River, which grows corn and soybeans intended as biofuel feedstock. So far, Kansas City has netted more than $2.1 million by using the biosolids, rather than burning them. City officials see it as a way to completely stop incineration over time. Full Story 
 
 
The December 28 NV Daily.Com reported that a biosolids supplier may soon expand its efforts to spread biosolids on farmland in Warren County. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality appeared on track to approve a draft permit for Virginia-based Recyc Systems Inc. to put treated wastewater treatment plant residuals on more fields in the County. The supplier sought to expand the use of biosolids by approximately 260 acres. Recyc Systems, of Remington, submitted an application to the DEQ in July requesting to expand the area on which it can apply biosolids by 386.5 acres. Recyc Systems could apply biosolids on more than 1,100 acres in Warren County under its recent permit. With the modification, the permit allows Recyc Systems to spread biosolids on 1,366.9 acres. The permit requires the applicant to monitor the process and to submit monthly and yearly reports to the DEQ. The permittee must also pay fees to the DEQ for the application of the biosolids. Full Story 
 
To view the NBP News Center, click here 
 
To view biosolids contacts across the nation, click here 
 
 

Conferences 

 

2013 WEF Residuals and Biosolids 2013: Emerging Opportunities for Sustainable Resource Recovery Technical Program  

May 5 - 8, 2013
Nashville Convention Center
Nashville, Tennessee
 
The 27th Annual WEF Residuals and Biosolids Conference will be held on May 5-8, 2013 at the Nashville, TN Convention Center. The theme of the conference is “Emerging Opportunities for Sustainable Resource Recovery.” WEF’s Residuals and Biosolids Committee, in cooperation with the Kentucky-Tennessee Water Environment Association, is sponsoring the event. Registration information will be posted within the next few months. For more information, click here.
  
Please visit the link below for the most up-to-date technical session information.
Conference Workshops: 
WEF will be hosting three pre-conference workshops in Nashville. More details are available for each event below.
Biosolids 101 – Fundamentals of Practice
Sunday, May 5, 2013 | 8:30am - 5:00pm

Using Appropriate Economic Methodologies for Evaluation of Cost-Saving Projects
Sunday, May 5, 2013 | 1:30pm - 5:00pm

503 Biosolids Jeopardy
Sunday, May 5, 2013 | 1:30pm - 5:00pm

 

Training 

 

Environmental Management Systems Training Scholarships for Water and Wastewater Utilities  

WEF, in partnership with Virginia Tech, is pleased to announce six scholarships for water and wastewater utilities teams to attend Environmental Management System (EMS) Training at Virginia Tech's ESMS Institute, a U. S. EPA designated EMS Local Resource Center.  These scholarships are valued at $16,700 per utility and include:
  • Pre and post visits by ISO 14001 auditors to utility site to provide gap analyses
  • Four training sessions for teams of 5-6 utility employees
Workshop 1: October 22-24, 2013
Workshop 2: January 28-30, 2014
Workshop 3: April 29-May 1, 2014
Workshop 4: July 29-31, 2014
                      
Participating water and wastewater utilities will be responsible for travel costs and food and lodging during the training sessions.
 
A WEF evaluation committee will review submissions and select the six teams to receive the scholarships.  Deadline for applications is March 1, 2013.  The scholarship form can be found here.  
For technical questions, please contact: 
 
Barry Liner, Ph.D., P.E.
Director, Water Science & Engineering Center
Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
bliner@wef.org 
703-684-2435 (office)
703-727-8781 (mobile)
 
 
April 3, 2013, 1:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern. This no-cost webcast will provide information on the MACT technologies that are available for meeting the new emissions regulations for sewage sludge incinerators (SSI) and also for energy recovery. Details here.  
 
May 13 – 16, 2013. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville
Covers the land application of animal manures, biosolids, and industrial by-products such as food-processing and biofuel residues. Taught by Dr. George O’Connor (Univ. of FL) and Dr. Herschel (Chip) Elliott (Penn State). Click here for details or contact: gao@ufl.edu

 
 
To view all NBP PDF Power Point webcast presentations, click here