To The Daily Sun,
Biosolids are helping grow crops in Gilmanton this summer, just as they are across New Hampshire, around the U. S., and throughout North America. Today, corn, soy, wheat, and other grains — as well as Florida citrus and Washington state hops and myriad other crops — are growing with the help of biosolids — treated and tested wastewater solids.
Biosolids are the result of necessary wastewater treatment. We have to manage them. Not all biosolids meet standards for use on land. Those that do can be recycled, and that is usually the most environmentally-sound way of managing them.
Plus, farmers benefit from this low-cost fertilizer, which helps them maintain productive, open space. Their use is a normal farming practice (as legally upheld by courts, such as in a 2015 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision). Just like animal manures, they provide trace nutrients and organic matter, along with the standard fertilizer elements. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. EPA, and all state environmental agencies, including New Hampshire DES, accept the use of biosolids when used in accordance with regulations.
In Gilmanton, some neighbors are upset about biosolids use. In such situations, neighbors have a legitimate gripe if malodors or other nuisances created by biosolids (or manures, for that matter) are particularly bad. That's worth talking about and finding solutions for (adjusting best management practices). But rehashing old misinformation from the Internet and other sources, as happened in a recent letter to the editor, is pointless.
Instead, to encourage productive discussion of biosolids in Gilmanton, we are reaching out to residents, providing opportunities to learn more about biosolids and provide feedback on how they are managed locally, so we can help ensure minimal nuisances. I have met with the local biosolids committee. We have lots of information available to anyone interested (www.nebiosolids.org or 323-7654).
And this Friday, July 29, we are providing a free information program, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Gilmanton Town Offices. The program will include a tour of the Concord Wastewater Treatment Facility (transportation will be provided) and a demonstration of the biosolids land application process. Register with Gilmanton Selectman Bishop ASAP. For more information, click to the agenda under "What's New" at the upper right of http://www.gilmantonnh.org.
Ned Beecher, Executive Director
North East Biosolids & Residuals Association
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