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Farming is not odor free & benefits of biosolids use are significant

To The Daily Sun,

There's another debate about biosolids use on farms in Gilmanton, just like five years ago. Back then, local citizens rejected — by a nearly 2 to 1 margin — a ballot measure banning biosolids, because most learned that biosolids are valuable resources that benefit local farms and soils, helping support local jobs and open space.

Now, neighbors to farms are concerned, mostly because of odors. Such odors are a downside of biosolids and manure management. Farmers and those providing biosolids should do all they can to control impacts. But farming is not odor-free. And the benefits of biosolids use are significant. They are documented by 40-plus years of research and practice across North America and supported by Land Grant universities, state environmental regulatory agencies, and the U. S. EPA, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, and U. S. Food & Drug Administration.

Nearly 60 percent of U.S. sewage sludges are treated to make biosolids and are applied to soils, including from San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Boston, Concord, Nashua, Merrimack, Plymouth, and Franklin.

This is an important recycling program and local farmers depend on it. It is part of keeping our waters clean and closing the nutrient cycle. We all contribute to biosolids production and should support their best and highest use. Local bans, such as that proposed in Gilmanton, are counterproductive. New Hampshire state regulations are some of the strictest in the nation and ensure safe use — and the state Department of Environmental Services inspects and enforces.

We urge Gilmanton voters — and every other citizen — to learn more about biosolids recycling. Visit http://www.nebiosolids.org/local-debate-gilmanton-nh for details. And raise your voice at the Gilmanton deliberative session on Saturday and on the ballot on March 8th. We're glad to provide further information, tours, and slide presentations.

Just give us a call: 323-7654.

Ned Beecher, Executive Director

North East Biosolids and Residuals Association


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Here's where to access scientific information about risks of biosolids

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing this in response to The Sun's Jan. 23 article about the petitioned anti-sludge ordinance in Gilmanton.

Sewage sludge is probably the most pollutant-rich material of the 21st century. Of the 90,000 industrial chemicals in commerce today, most end up in sewage. Every New Hampshire entity connected to a sewer can legally pipe its hazardous waste into the facility as long as it fills out the required forms. As these pollutants are removed from the waste water, most end up in sludge.

This includes not just lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and zinc, but a vast array of other unregulated or inadequately-regulated pollutants such as PCBs, dioxins, EDCs, PAHs, flame retardants, phthalates, solvents, and PFOAs, most of which are highly toxic, persistent, accumulate in the food chain and soil, and can damage organisms in tiny amounts, in parts per trillion.

Hundreds of sludge-exposed neighbors in 38 states have reported serious respiratory symptoms, including asthma attacks, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, and sinus infections. Several deaths — including one in New Hampshire — have been linked to biosolids exposure.

We are glad that the Planning Board will continue this conversation and not just listen to anecdotal reports of farmers, or to Mike Rainey, who has publicly referred to credible unbiased sludge research by the internationally renowned Cornell Waste Institute as "garbage."

For credible peer reviewed scientific information about the many risks linked to biosolids see http://www.sludgenews.org/resources/

For the inside story of how sludge brokers, DES, EPA, NEBRA, industry-funded researchers, and sewage treatment plant trade groups collaborate to cover up hundreds of harmful incidents linked to sludge exposure, ignore or manipulate scientific data, and silence critics, see http://www.sludgefacts.org/IJOEH_1104_Snyder.pdf

Caroline Snyder
North Sandwich

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