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
- Category: Letters
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