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Biosolids News

March 15, 2011

NBP News

 

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NBP No Charge Webcast - Implementing the New Sewage Sludge Incineration MACT Standard  Rulemaking – Issues and Challenges

 The National Biosolids Partnership will host a “no charge” webcast on Thursday, April 21 from 2:00-4:00 pm EDT to discuss issues associated with EPA’s final rulemaking to regulate sewage sludge incinerators (SSIs) under the more stringent maximum achievable control technology (MACT) requirements under Section 129 of the Clean Air Act. Some of the topics that will be covered include: background to the regulations, comparison of the proposed and final rulemaking, technology impacts, and next steps.  Registration Information will soon appear on the NBP and WEF web pages.

Chattanooga, TN  Successfully Maintains NBP EMS Certification

The City of Chattanooga, TN successfully completed its 2011 Interim Audit of its biosolids environmental management system program on March 3, 2011. During the audit conducted by DEKRA Certification, Inc. (formerly KEMA), they found that the City of Chattanooga biosolids management system is generating positive outcomes, particularly in land application of biosolids; no major nonconformances and three minor nonconformances were found during this audit with respect to the audit criteria; corrective action plans are in place to address the nonconformances; all nonconformances from prior third party audits have been effectively corrected; and opportunities for improving the effectiveness of the management system were noted.

City of Wyoming, MI Successfully Maintains NBP EMS Certification

The City of Wyoming, MI successfully completed its 2011 Interim Audit of its biosolids environmental management system program on March 4, 2011. During the audit conducted by DEKRA Certification, Inc. (formerly KEMA), they found that Wyoming, MI’s biosolids EMS is generating positive outcomes, particularly in the areas of public acceptance; the City of Wyoming biosolids management system meets requirements of NBP’s EMS Elements with one major exception (major nonconformance) and three minor exceptions (minor nonconformances), as described in this report; all open nonconformances from prior third party audits have been effectively corrected; and opportunities for improvement” were noted.

To view NBP Certified and Active Organizations, click here

To view NBP EMS Documents, click here  

Around the Nation

 

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Sustainability, Cost Driving Trends in Biosolids Management

In a recent edition of Water World, author Michael Moore, HDR Biosolids Lead, discussed how biosolids management sustainability remains one of the most critical issues biosolids managers face today, but "Cost Effectiveness" of their management options has become even more important during these tough economic times. The changing regulatory climate, increased public scrutiny, and reduction in the options available for disposal make biosolids management one of the more complex problems they face. Issues facing biosolids management vary in different parts of the U.S. In California there are regulatory and legal drivers that reduce the available agricultural property for land application but in the central part of the U.S. the practice is actually increasing. Southern California delivers biosolids to welcoming farmers in western Arizona; Pittsburgh sends biosolids to Ohio and New York ships biosolids all the way to Colorado. Full Story

Drilling Down: Wastewater Recycling No Cure-All in Gas Process

According to a article written by Ian Urbina in the March 1 New York Times, as drilling for natural gas started to climb sharply about 10 years ago, energy companies faced mounting criticism over an extraction process that involves pumping millions of gallons of water into the ground for each well and can leave significant amounts of hazardous contaminants in the water that comes back to the surface.  So, in a move hailed by industry as a major turning point, drilling companies started reusing and recycling the wastewater. But the win-win comes with significant asterisks.  In Pennsylvania, for example, natural-gas companies recycled less than half of the wastewater they produced during the 18 months that ended in December, according to state records. Nor has recycling eliminated environmental and health risks. Some methods can leave behind salts or sludge highly concentrated with radioactive material and other contaminants that can be dangerous to people and aquatic life if they get into waterways.  Full Story

Southern California Renewable Energy Project From Wastewater

In the February 16 edition of Water and Wastewater.com, Southern California Gas Co.(SoCalGas) and the city of Escondido announced the official start-up of the first renewable energy project in California to purify wastewater biogas so that it meets state standards for natural gas delivered to homes and businesses. The city of Escondido's Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility is the test site of an innovative new pressure swing adsorption system that takes raw gas produced from the facility's normal operation and upgrades it through a multi-stage process to pipeline-quality natural gas. Biogas from wastewater treatment plants is a largely untapped source of renewable energy. Typically, the raw gas originating from sewage treatment facilities is not suitable for natural gas pipelines and has to be burned, or flared, into the atmosphere. By employing this new technology, the city of Escondido can produce enough natural gas to serve about 1,200 homes. Full Story

LA vs. Kern: Sludge Fight Still Slogging Through Courts

The March 4 edition of Bakersfield.com indicated that biosolids from Southern California is still being trucked to Kern County, and Los Angeles city officials say they plan to fight to continue spreading it here. After years of legal battles and a voter-approved ban, local residents worry about the smelly goo that is still coming here by the ton. The sludge ends up trucked west on Highway 119 just west of I-5 to a large property called Green Acres owned by the city of Los Angeles, where the sludge is spread on the soil. According to spokeswoman Cora Jackson-Fossett, "The city of Los Angeles and the other governments, farmers and contractors that will be damaged by the implementation of the Kern biosolids ban intend to seek relief from a court in advance of the July 2011 effective date for the ban."  Full Story

VA DEQ Seeks Public Comments On Revised Biosolids Regulations

The Rockbridge, VA Weekly and Alleghany Journal Online reported that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is accepting public comments on proposed revisions to the regulations on the land application of biosolids, or treated sewage sludge. The comment period extends through April 29, 2011, and the public may comment in writing or in person at one of four public hearings from March 31 –April 12. DEQ started the regulatory revision process in 2008. In addition, the secretary of natural resources and the secretary of health and human resources responded to a request from the Virginia General Assembly in 2007, and convened a panel of experts to study the impact of land application of biosolids on human health and the environment. Publishing its report in January 2009, the panel recommended that DEQ examine certain areas of the regulations.. Full Story

Waste Powers Green Hope in Quebec

The March 12 Montreal Gazette reported that North America's bumper crop of sewage sludge is increasingly being viewed as a natural resource, and turning waste into energy is something Quebecers should get used to hearing about. The three tanks on the city's southern outskirts look like squat versions of the agricultural silos that dot this farming region. In fact, they are anaerobic digesters that process solids at the waste-water treatment plant. It's a closed-loop, energy self-sufficient system that is unique to Quebec, rare in North America, and said to be saving the city more than a $1 million a year in waste-treatment costs. The modest-looking facility has become something of a Mecca for folks interested in seeing the future of waste treatment. Full story

Study on Survival of Infectious Prions in Class B Biosolids

The March 2011 Journal of Environmental Science and Health reported on a study that developed a method for extracting infectious prions from Class B biosolids and subsequently evaluated the survival of infectious prions under the influence of mesophilic (37°C) and thermophilic (60°C) temperatures in Class B biosolids. Unlike other studies, this study utilized a scrapie cell assay to determine infectivity and quantity of infectious prions. The best method for extraction was exposing the biosolids to 4 M urea at 80°C for 10 minutes followed by a membrane centrifugation to reduce the concentration of urea. The recovery efficiency of the infectious prions from the biosolids for this method was 17.2%. In the survival study, a 2.43-log(10) reduction in prion infectivity was observed under mesophilic temperatures after 15 days and a 3.41-log(10) reduction after 10 days under thermophilic conditions. The reduction of infectious prions was greater in the biosolids than the control in phosphate buffered saline, suggesting factors other than temperature were also playing a role in the loss of infectivity of the prions in the biosolids.

EPA Proposes to Defer GHG Permitting Requirements for Industries that Use Biomass

EPA announced on March 14 that it is proposing to defer, for three years, Clean Air Act permitting requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from bioenergy and other biogenic sources.  This additional time will allow the agency to conduct a detailed examination of the science on this issue. Seeking advice of federal partners, states, a diverse group of expert scientists including industry and other stakeholders, and an independent scientific panel, will help to determine how these emissions should be treated under the EPA’s air permitting program. In July 2010, EPA issued a call for information seeking public comment. New EPA guidance is also being provided to help permitting authorities determine that using biomass as a fuel can be considered the best available control technology for CO2 emissions from the large sources needing permits. The guidance can be used until EPA takes final action on the deferral. Sources covered by this proposal would include facilities that emit CO2 from burning forest or agricultural products for energy, wastewater treatment, waste management (landfills), and fermentation processes for ethanol production. Facilities meeting the requirements under the agency’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting program will still need to report their CO2 emissions. EPA will accept comments on the proposed deferral for 45 days following publication in the Federal Register.

To view NBP News Center, click here

To view biosolids contacts across the nation, click here

Conferences

 

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Residuals and Biosolids 2011: Adapting Residuals Management to a Changing Climate
  • WEF is proud to present the 25th Annual Residuals and Biosolids Conference, focusing this year on local and national perspectives on sustainable biosolids management technologies and programs that instill these new policies. The conference will be held May 22–25, 2011 at the Sacramento, CA Convention Center. Registration information  Important Dates: April 20 -Super Saver Deadline; April 30 - Housing Deadline; May 11 - Last Day to Register Online

    Four Innovative Pre-Conference Workshops
  • 18 Technical Sessions
    Topics addressed this year include building public support and addressing political and media issues, future opportunities and emerging technologies, marketing of biosolids and residuals products, environmental management systems, thickening and dewatering, odor and pathogen control, and much more. View the Draft Agenda (PDF).

  • Wastewater Challenge!
    The 2011 WEF Wastewater Challenge, taking place Sunday, May 22 at 8:00 am, is a national competition that's both challenging and fun. This hands-on event requires teams of students to treat agricultural runoff from a biosolids compost facility in order to protect a wetland ecosystem, using an assortment of household products. For additional information, visit www.wef.org/WastewaterChallenge.
  • Friends of Biosolids Social Event at the California State Railroad Museum
    Join your colleagues Tuesday, May 24 at the California State Railroad Museum located in Old Sacramento. Widely regarded as North America’s most popular railroad museum, there is something here for everyone! A $20 ticket includes a five minute bus ride, two drink tickets, and generous hors d’oeuvres.  

To view WEF conferences and webcasts, click here

Training

 

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NBP No Charge Webcast - Implementing the New Sewage Sludge Incineration MACT Standard  Rulemaking – Issues and Challenges  

The National Biosolids Partnership will host a “no charge” webcast on Thursday, April 21 from 2:00-4:00 pm EDT to discuss issues associated with EPA’s final rulemaking to regulate sewage sludge incinerators (SSIs) under the more stringent maximum achievable control technology (MACT) requirements under Section 129 of the Clean Air Act. Some of the topics that will be covered include: background to the regulations, comparison of the proposed and final rulemaking, technology impacts, and next steps. Registration Information will soon appear on the NBP and WEF web pages. 

To view NBP webcast presentations, click here