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Biosolids News

March 1, 2011

NBP News




EPA Issues Final Rulemakings for Definition of Solid Waste and Sewage Sludge Incineration MACT Standards; Will Not Reconsider Rule

 On February 23, EPA promulgated pre-publication Federal Register new source performance standards and emission guidelines for sewage sludge incineration units (SSIs) located at wastewater treatment facilities designed to treat domestic sewage sludge. EPA also finalized rulemaking for the definition of solid waste.  The SSI pre-publication final rule sets limits for nine pollutants under section 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) – maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for: cadmium, carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride, lead, mercury, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and sulfur dioxide. The SSI final rule is effective 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.  According to an EPA press release, while there are more than 200 SSIs across the country, the Agency expects that over 150 are already in compliance. EPA also stated that these standards will reduce emissions of harmful pollutants including mercury, lead, cadmium, and hydrogen chloride from the remaining 50 that may need to leverage existing technologies to meet the new standards. EPA SSI web page. A quick review indicates:

  • There were no changes made regarding statutory arguments made by several entities during the proposed rulemakings - the rule remains under Section 129 of the Clean Air Act
  • The standards are still divided into two subcategories, for multiple hearth and fluidized bed.
  • The beyond the floor level of control for mercury has been dropped from the final rule.
  • Some adjustments to the other emission limits have been made to make them more consistent with existing 503 regulations.
  • EPA will not be voluntarily reconsidering the final rule.  While EPA will reconsider the other rules being finalized (boiler rulemaking),
  • EPA has decided that it does not need to reconsider the final SSI MACT Rule.

A NBP no charge webcast on this rulemaking is being planned for April 28. More details will follow.

DC Water Successfully Maintains NBP EMS Certification

DC Water in Washington, DC successfully completed its 2011 Interim Audit of its biosolids environmental management system program on January 27, 2011. During the audit conducted by DEKRA Certification, Inc. (formerly KEMA), they found that DC Water’s biosolids EMS is generating positive outcomes, particularly in energy reduction initiatives, all non-conformances from prior third-party audits have been effectively corrected, and opportunities for improving the effectiveness of the management system were noted.

Orange County Sanitation District Successfully Maintains NBP EMS Certification

Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) in Fountain Valley, CA successfully completed its 2011 Interim Audit of its biosolids environmental management system program on January 29, 2011. During the audit conducted by DEKRA Certification, Inc. (formerly KEMA), they found that OCSD’s biosolids EMS meets NBP expectations and requirements of NBP’s EMS Elements, all non-conformances from the previous third-party audit completed in January 2010 were closed, and use of a management system approach is generating positive outcomes for its biosolids program.

Resource Management, Inc. in the News

As part of Resource Management, Inc. (RMI) continual improvement efforts for its NBP certified environmental management system for biosolids, RMI is updating its website on a regular basis. RMI hopes this will help keep our clients and customers informed about the latest news and developments affecting RMI and the communities they serve. Along with all the other information on their website, the latest updates include new videos and a great article on one of their farming customers. This highlights specifically the use of biosolids in agriculture and was featured in Farming Magazine this month.

To view NBP Certified and Active Organizations, click here

To view NBP EMS Documents, click here  

Around the Nation




Allentown, PA Waste-to-Energy Plant Offers Sought

The February 25 edition of the Allentown, PA Morning Cal reported that city officials are seeking proposals to turn the city's trash and sewage sludge into energy as its once-favored suitor for the project continues to shop its technology around Pennsylvania. City officials were on the brink of signing a contract last year with Delta Thermo Energy to bring a roughly $30 million waste-to-energy plant to Allentown. But just as the public was waiting to hear details of a final deal, the 31-page request for alternatives to Delta Thermo's offer, touted as a first-of-its-kind technology in the U.S., said a selected company would be allowed to build on city land at 112 Union St. next to the wastewater treatment plant. The intent is to make use of the city's garbage and wastewater treatment sludge by turning it into energy or other useful byproducts, saving taxpayers money otherwise spent on electricity and disposal costs, according to the request. Full Story

Taylor, AZ Biosolids Pact Puts Effluent To Good Use

According to the February 25th edition of Arizona Journal, the Town of Taylor, AZ requirement to build a wastewater treatment plant resulted in the problem of disposing the discharged effluent. Removal of biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant in Taylor begins by pumping the solids from the bottom of the collection tank into a 6,500-gallon transport, which takes approximately 12 to 15 minutes. They also pump biosolids from the lagoon directly into the transporter. When the transporter is full, it is driven to the field location and then the biosolids are pumped from the highway transporter into a 7,000-gallon injection tanker. When the umbilical cord is released, the biosolids are ready for the injection phase, when the injection tanker incorporates the biosolids 6” into the topsoil. There is a safety process that ensures the shanks are in the soil before the release of fluid, which keeps flies and other insects from being attracted to the sludge. It takes seven minutes to inject 7,000 gallons into the soil. There is little or no smell, since the ground absorbs the moisture within a few minutes, and then the biosolids decompose in the soil and contribute to fertilization of field crops, which supports a natural recycle process. Full Story

Libertyville, IL Plans to Implement Biosolids Handling Study

The February 24 edition of Libertyville, IL Patch reported that over the next five years, the largest single expenditure for the Public Works department will be implementing a biosolids handling study during the fiscal year 2012 and 2013, according to John Heinz, public works director. The $1.6 million study will guide the village on the most cost effective method of disposing of sludge, which the village is required to remove by state and federal regulations. Full Story

Libyan Chaos Driving Up Fertilizer Costs

The February 24 edition of North County, CA Times reported that there are new worries for local growers in the San Diego area who have long complained about rising water rates: Fertilizer prices may be on the rise due to oil market disruptions caused by violent unrest in Libya. "When oil prices go up, fertilizer goes up as well. It's an assumption that farmers make since most fertilizers are petroleum-based," said Eric Larson, executive director for the San Diego County Farm Bureau. As evidence of this looming problem, Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara International ASA said its Libyan Norwegian Fertilizer Co. joint venture has been shut down to ensure the safety of its employees. Full Story

Palo Alto Compost Meets Economics

According to the February 24 edition of Palo Alto, CA Daily News, dozens of Palo Altans came out to a community meeting on February 23 to talk about early findings for the costs of a controversial proposal to turn 10 acres of dedicated parkland into a compost facility. According to the preliminary findings, it would cost between $112 and $353 per ton to have one dry anaerobic digester that handles food, yard and waste water. Similar costs are expected for three other options using a dry anaerobic digester for food and yard waste and alternate methods with dealing with waste from the water treatment plant. It would cost about $72 per ton to export food to San Jose, yard trimmings to Gilroy and to continue to incinerate wastewater in Palo Alto, according to the findings. It would cost $68 per ton to export food and yard trimmings to Gilroy while continuing to incinerate wastewater in the city. Full Story

NBMA March 2011 Biosolids Resource Library Abstracts

The Northwest Biosolids Management Association (NBMA) March 2011 Biosolids Library focuses on abstracts pertaining to the use of phosphorus and issues associated with land application in the Northwest.  For the first time, proposed regulations in Washington State, mentioned phosphorus as a basis to limit land application of biosolids.  This month's library showcases some of the basic research on the availability of P in biosolids amended soils conducted by some of the best in this field. George O'Connor and Chip Elliot, Tom Sims and Frank Coale have all done some of the classic work in this field.  So read these abstracts and learn about surface movement of P, P availability based on biosolids treatment processes. and current and future potential for P based regulations on land application.

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2011 Residuals and Biosolids Specialty Conference — Adapting Residuals Management to a Changing Climate

Join 700 of your water quality and biosolids colleagues May 22–25 in Sacramento, Calif. at the 25th annual Residuals and Biosolids Conference. WEF will host 18 technical sessions, four workshops, and one facility tour. Don't miss this training opportunity!

Exhibition and Sponsorship Opportunities Now Available at Residuals and Biosolids 2011

Exhibiting at Residuals and Biosolids 2011 provides networking access to a targeted audience, new and returning attendees, with high level of buying intent. Consider sponsoring to receive unparalleled exposure before, during, and after the show with a registration giveaway item such as eco-friendly lanyards, water bottles, or a new sponsorship opportunity: the 2nd Annual Wastewater Challenge. 

To view WEF conferences and webcasts, click here





WEF Energy Webcast Series 

The first two parts of an ongoing series of webcasts based on the recently published WEF Manual or Practice No. 32, Energy Conservation in Wastewater Treatment Facilities, will provide background on energy fundamentals. The techniques and information provided are essential for properly conducting energy evaluations for specific unit processes. Purchase both webcasts and save 10% on each, or purchase both webcasts and the book and receive 20% off everything!

To view NBP webcast presentations, click here